Helping the global business travel industry create a positive impact and a better future for people and the planet is the mission behind the Global Business Travel Association’s relaunch of its charitable arm, the GBTA Foundation. The GBTA Foundation will focus on the strategy and execution of GBTA’s global sustainability programs, supporting initiatives related to climate action, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and other talent-related topics via education, research, and advocacy.
“We are excited to re-establish the GBTA Foundation within a fine-tuned scope of ‘people and planet,’” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “It’s an important moment in GBTA’s 54-year history, as we renew our commitment to creating lasting, positive impact. The GBTA Foundation, along with its newly appointed Board of Directors, will focus on making a positive impact in our industry and beyond.”
Paul Abbott, CEO for American Express Global Business Travel, will serve as the Chairperson of the GBTA Foundation Board of Directors for the next two years. “I’m very pleased to lead the GBTA Foundation at this critical time − to pave the way for progress via ambitious programs and initiatives focused on sustainability,” he said.
GBTA’s new Sustainability Program initiative, which launched in late 2021 to build a greener future for business travel and help reduce its climate impact, will now be managed under the Foundation, as will GBTA’s existing people-related programs, WINiT by GBTA and GBTA Ladders.
Appointed by the GBTA Board of Directors, the Foundation Board will help ensure ambitions are large enough for the environmental and human sustainability challenges at hand, and to elevate the work of GBTA in research, advocacy, and practitioner learning - to reach those beyond the industry.
Leaders from across the global travel industry with distinct interests and strengths in key ESG (environmental, social and governance) areas will serve as the Board of Directors for the Foundation for staggered terms of one and two years:
- Paul Abbott, CEO, American Express GBT (two-year term)
- Leslie Andrews, Director of Global Travel Category, JLL (two-year term)
- Erica Gordon, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Public Affairs and ESG, Hilton (one-year term)
- Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines (two-year term)
- Darragh Ormsby, Global Travel Manager, Google (one-year term)
- Tyronne Stoudemire, Senior Vice President, Global Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Hyatt (one-year term)
- Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner, Festive Road (two-year term)
- Denise Truso, GBTA Board President (as per Foundation bylaws)
- Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA (as per Foundation bylaws)
- Delphine Millot, Managing Director, GBTA Foundation (ex-officio)
The Board held its first meeting this month and is prioritising Foundation governance, providing guidance on GBTA’s existing people and planet program efforts, and determining strategic areas of focus and priorities within environmental and human sustainability initiatives for 2023.
Delphine Millot, hired by GBTA in January 2022, will administer the Foundation as its Managing Director and Senior Vice President-Sustainability. According to Millot, “This is an important opportunity for GBTA to create lasting impact via relevant research, education, and other programs that not only benefit our industry but bring the general public and policy makers closer to us on these relevant topics.”
The GBTA Foundation was originally formed in 1989 as a US 501c3 charitable arm of GBTA. Until early 2018 when it was put on hiatus, the GBTA Foundation was the center of all GBTA education and research. The education and research areas of GBTA were subsequently moved to the core GBTA organisation’s 501c6 tradeshow arm where they will continue to reside when not related to the “sustainability of people + planet” focus of the Foundation.