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Measuring Your Carbon Footprint: Learn Why It’s Important

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NATIONAL REPORT—You may have heard the adage: what gets measured gets managed. It’s just as relevant today when it comes to more sustainable business travel. As corporations across the world work towards science-based or net-zero targets, many travel buyers are taking a deep dive into scope 3 emissions while looking at their company’s carbon footprint to manage and mitigate travel impacts. Recent legal and regulatory developments around the world, including the European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, require reporting on scope 1, 2, and 3 for certain companies.

According to Global Business Travel Association’s 2023 report, The State of Climate Action in Business Travel, sustainability is becoming a key consideration in corporate travel programs and measuring emissions is a major responsibility of travel buyers. In fact:

  • 64 percent of travel buyers are tracking emissions from their business travel program compared to 55 percent in 2022.
  • 70 percent of travel buyers are relying on data provided by their travel management company.

Have you considered how you can use emissions data to your advantage? Give thought to:

Sustainability strategy—With emissions data, you can track, report, set emission targets and create a travel policy that works for the long-term.

Influencing traveler choice—By providing transparency on emissions and sustainability features at the time of booking, travelers can be nudged toward less carbon-emitting choices. Many online booking tools (OBTs) can help with features that sort and flag carbon-efficient choices based on their respective footprints. A few of our OBTs display a marker based on emissions data and show air and rail emissions data side by side when relevant.

Carbon pricing—By identifying travel-related emissions, you can assign a monetary value to the carbon emitted and apply a fee to travel transactions, like flight bookings. Fees go toward a fund that’s used for investment in sustainable initiatives like sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), carbon compensation, or electric vehicles. By investing in SAF, you can help accelerate the path toward net-zero aviation.

Carbon compensation—To help compensate for residual emissions from your travel program, you may want to invest in carbon compensation. The Science Based Targets initiative recommends that companies go above and beyond their emission reduction targets to invest in mitigation beyond their value chains. Projects verified according to independently recognized carbon standards often report on wider ecosystem, biodiversity, and socioeconomic benefits, contributing to the advancement of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. While carbon compensation is often part of corporate sustainability strategies, it shouldn’t replace decarbonization.

Based on these findings, you can see why measuring your carbon footprint is an important step toward emission reduction and ultimately, decarbonization. Yet there are factors to consider when selecting a calculation method. Need guidance? Explore our white paper about air travel emission calculations, written in collaboration with CHOOOSE, a leading climate technology company.

It’s a quick yet detail-packed reference guide that reviews:

  • Several industry-approved carbon emission methodologies.
  • What to consider when deciding which method works best for you.
  • Alignment to Greenhouse Gas Protocol for calculating air emissions.
  • A glossary to decode complex air emission terminology.

To learn more, download the white paper. And if you’d like to discuss the topic further, contact us.

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