There are clear signs that business travel behaviour is beginning to change in response to global warming concerns, a forthcoming study by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and KDS will reveal. For the third consecutive year, ACTE and KDS, the European leader in on-demand travel & expense solutions, surveyed the opinions of an international group of business travellers and travel managers, and, for the first time, identified a real desire to reduce the frequency of travel and select ‘greener’ options. The full details of the wide-ranging study will be announced at next month’s London Business Travel Show.
The ACTE - KDS survey sampled the opinions of over 250 business travellers (53 percent of the sample) and travel managers (47 percent) between November 2007 and January 2008. The majority (40 percent) worked for businesses employing over 10,000 employees, and the largest geographic markets represented were the United Kingdom (29.5 percent), the United States (23.5 percent) and Continental Europe (22.9 percent).
The full research findings will be announced at a joint ACTE - KDS press conference to be held on February 5, 2008 at 1.30pm in Conference Room 1 at Earl’s Court.
Among the findings to be discussed will be details about the fact that 45 percent of respondents felt that guilt about global warming now directly impacts individuals’ decisions about business travel. The significance of this is explained by the related finding that almost 70 percent of respondents now use an online travel booking tool, thereby potentially creating a far closer link between individually held concerns and actual travel bookings. The traveller is now directly involved in the selection process and when given a choice may select a travel option according to its impact on the environment.
“This joint survey is especially significant as it indicates a major behavioral change in the way business travelers now link carbon reduction with the travel process,” said Susan Gurley, Executive Director of ACTE. “It is inevitable that travelers, and their companies, will incorporate a growing sense of environmental awareness into traveling smarter, more productively, and with less impact on the environment. Our industry will soon be looking at bold new trends.”
The survey will also reveal that in the past 12 months businesses have done more to convert good environmental intentions into firm actions. When compared with last year’s ACTE - KDS survey, the new study will show that the proportion of companies advocating a reduction in travel for environmental reasons has leapt from under a quarter to over one third. This rise in corporate social responsibility has also seen a marked increase in the proportion of travel departments reporting on carbon emissions to senior management.
“Individual travellers seem to be leading the way when it comes to greener behaviour”, says Stanislas Berteloot, marketing director of KDS. “While businesses are taking more action to improve their environmental conduct, this survey will show that most of their employees believe they should be doing even more. With the increasing adoption of self-booking travel systems, the quickest route to improved corporate social responsibility seems to be through individuals’ actions.”