The pandemic caused a lot of pain and grief; no doubt about that. But amidst the chaos and hardship – lockdowns and restrictions forced businesses to pause and reflect. As video calls and conferencing quickly replaced on-site visits and meetings, business travel took a tumble. And for the first time ever, we were left with the opportunity to push the reset button – a move that had been long overdue.
If we are to stand a chance of averting a climate catastrophe, we need to make big changes fast. We’re all agreed on that, right? So what’s the biggest change we can make in the shortest time? Think pandemic. Think business travel. Think anew.
Scope 3 is where it’s at
Most businesses are cottoning on to the need to reduce their carbon footprint. Transparency on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is fast becoming a deal breaker for investors and customers alike. They are scrutinising your performance. How are you measuring up?
GHG emissions fall into three bands: Scope 1 – the emissions a business generates from its own assets, such as its heating systems and company cars; Scope 2 – the emissions generated by third parties supplying consumables, such as water and electricity; and Scope 3 – all other emissions generated indirectly up and down the supply chain, such as the transport companies and hotels that provide business travel.
Scope 3 has been described as “the Holy Grail” of emissions control. Why? Because while Scope 1 and 2 may be easier for a business to manage, Scope 3 is where the scale is. Transportation accounts for 14% of global GHG emissions. In the US it is the biggest emitter of all sectors. When the pandemic brought business travel to a halt in 2020, global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 7%.
It’s travel, but not as we know it
Now, why would a business travel platform like COCO+ be trumpeting about cutting back on business travel? Well, because we care about the planet for one thing, but also because there’s a serious business benefit here. Now that business travel is taking off again (pun intended), it’s vital – yes, vital – that we don’t just revert to old habits. Come with us on a journey that will change your world.
Scope 3 is, for many businesses, the biggest area of emission but it is notoriously tricky to measure and control. You’re relying on other companies to feed you a complex set of data, which they might well prefer to keep to themselves. But business travel is one part of the Scope 3 conundrum that is well within your grasp.
You don’t need to shop around for lowest-emissions, do due diligence on quality off-sets, or even work out whether there’s a train that will get your Sales Director to Birmingham in time for Tuesday’s dinner meeting – we can do all that for you.
Simply set your business travel strategy to align with your sustainability strategy and you can use the reporting tools to make sure you’re keeping on track (oops, there’s another one). The more you measure, the more you can tweak. The more you tweak, the more you save and the greener your business will be.
While emissions reporting is currently obligatory only for quoted companies, large corporates, and LLPs, it won’t be long before that requirement moves down the tiers, so best to get in the swing of it now. More to the point, you can show your customers and investors that you’re a proper, caring company that isn’t burning up the world for profit. And in this post-pandemic age, that’s about as strategically shrewd as it gets.