Climate change and the efforts to fight it will see a renewed focus following COP26. Gatherings, such as COP26, will encourage governments, businesses, and communities to work together to identify the environmental challenges we face and act on them, ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Creating a sustainable travel programme

The management of Carbon emissions and the establishment of a sustainable travel programme have long been defined objectives across organisations and corporates around the world.

The tradition of conducting business in person, whether by attending meetings, having ‘feet on the ground’ for the humanitarian and charity sectors or presenting a white paper at an academic conference can be a challenge, not only for the organisation and the traveller, but for the environment too.

With travel contributing to 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions* the time has come for organisations to recognise, measure, monitor and report their travel activity accurately and adjust their approach to managing travel.

This can be achieved by establishing policies and programmes that specifically address how we conduct travel in a safe, environmentally sound manner while following relevant legislation and regulations. And for this, one should partner with a TMC able to support these clearly defied objectives

Quote by Samantha De Goede

Diversity Travel's response to the climate emergency 

As an organisation, we are proud of our history and are in a strong position to provide travel sector leadership in carbon reduction, appropriate action and adherence to rigorous evaluation in this area.

We have always taken our responsibility toward our impact on the environment seriously, having held the ISO accreditation for environmental management (ISO 14001) since 2008, and being ‘climate neutral’ since 2011.

We acknowledge the need to act urgently to reduce the global threat of climate change. As an organisation, our objective is now to accelerate the reduction of our carbon footprint and agree challenging targets to achieve net zero across Scopes 1 to 3 by 2025.

Our action plan

We have formed a Climate Emergency Team, led by David Coe, our Head of Environmental Action, to deliver against the objectives set out in our Carbon Reduction Plan. Our Carbon Reduction Plan is made up of six key integrated pillars, illustrated  below. In order to achieve our net zero objective by 2025, our focus will be on enhancements, activities, and initiatives across the six pillars.

6 Point Action Plan

  • Complete reporting visabillity 
  • Our office network, transport and business travel
  • Our operations and the carbon cost to serve
  • Sustainable waste disposal 
  • Promoting and assessing behavioural change
  • Broader advocacy and awareness

Encouraging greener air travel

To support our customers in reducing their carbon impact we will tailor their booking journey and our proprietary Online Booking Tool (OBT) to support making sustainable travel choices. We will continue to deliver training and communication plans to our customers, and to their staff to encourage travellers to make greener choices, including:

  • The promotion of alternative communication methods, such as video conferencing
  • Booking direct flights. Increasing the number of stops on a flight means more take-offs and

    landings, which increases the associated carbon expenditure

  • Travelling in groups to meetings to reduce flying frequency
  • Economy seats have a smaller carbon footprint than premium seats in First or Business class
  • Travelling with less luggage will mean less fuel consumption

We can provide the following environmental information and prompts to our customers’ staff, which is displayed in our Online Booking Tool (OBT):

  • Displaying international rail content alongside flights
  • Allowing users to filter search results by carbon emissions
  • Displaying carbon emissions for each leg of the journey
  • Displaying an amber warning for users trying to book UK Domestic, UK-Paris or UK-Brussels flights, for example.

Green hotels

Within the hotel content accessible to our customers, we will highlight properties which are sustainable and operate environmentally friendly hotel practices. For example, this could include hotels that meet certifications such as Earth Check, Eco Hotel, Green Key and LEED.

These certifications monitor hotel processes and practices, such as:

  • Waste minimisation
  • Energy conservation and management
  • Management of freshwater resources and wastewater management
  • Pollution prevention
  • Environmentally sensitive purchasing.

Carbon offsetting

We offer our customers both centralised and point-of-sale carbon offsetting solutions to compensate unavoidable emissions and support their defined carbon reduction plans. There are a vast range of projects to choose from, and all the available offsetting projects meet the Quality Assurance Standard for Carbon Offsetting and BSI's PAS 2060 specification on carbon neutrality.

To learn more about how Diversity Travel can support your organisation achieving your sustainability objectives, please contact us at 0161 235 5400

Samantha De Goede

Nature  - Climate Change (2018)