(Joyce) #1

16 Business Spotlight 3/2020 GLOBAL BUSINESS

Foto: SeventyFour/

by 2023, according to an Allied Market Research report from
November 2018. Will large numbers of businesses really start
to rethink the need to jet across the Atlantic from the UK to
New York to set up a deal, or fly from London to Dublin for a
The often exorbitant cost of train travel means that it might
be difficult to argue against a £40 (€48) return flight from Lon-
don to Edinburgh versus £240 (€285) on the train,
for example. And what about long-distance com-
muting to work? Many passengers are weekly
commuters hopping on flights to and from main-
land Europe. “With more and more companies
making their own ‘net zero’ pledges, business
travel is bound to come under the spotlight before
long,” says Cait Hewitt, deputy director of the campaigning or-
ganization Aviation Environment Federation. “We’re starting
to get inquiries from the business travel-buying community
(corporate travel buyers) to discuss what they should be doing
about the impact of climate change on travel.”

Starting to take action
Some companies have already taken action. London-based
Lawson Conner, a company offering compliance services and
software to financial firms, says that it has reduced business
flights by 75 per cent over the past two years. “I used to fly quite
a lot — I’d probably take about eight flights a month, travel-
ling to Singapore and Hong Kong,” says Gerhard Grueter, co-
founder and managing director of Lawson Conner, which em-
ploys about 50 people in the UK. “That’s now completely cut.”
The business has a “one person” international travel policy,
according to which only one member of staff is allowed to at-
tend global business meetings.

[(ÄdmIn] UK ifml.
, Verwaltung
argue against sth.
[)A:gju: E(genst]
, Gründe gegen etw.
Aviation Environment
Federation [eIvi)eIS&n
, etwa: Verband für
ban sth. [bÄn]
, etw. verbieten
bonding [(bQndIN]
, verbindend
bound: be ~ to do sth.
, etw. zwangsläufig
tun werden
carbon [(kA:bEn]
, Kohlenstoff; hier: CO 2

, Pendeln
, Unternehmens-, Firmen-
corporate social
responsibility (CSR)
[)kO:pErEt )sEUS&l
, soziale Unternehmens-
Edinburgh [(edInbErE]
, [wg. Aussprache]
engineering professional
services company
prE)feS&nEl (s§:vIsIz
, Unternehmen für
Ingenieur- und Beratungs-
levy [(levi]
, Abgabe

, befreiend
look at sth. [(lUk Ät]
, hier: etw. prüfen
, Festland;
hier: Kontinental-
net zero
[)net (zIErEU]
, Netto-Null
offset [(Qfset]
, Ausgleich
pledge [pledZ]
, Versprechen
, Rampenlicht;
hier: Fokus
, Nachhaltigkeit

The reduction in flights has, in part, been possible only be-
cause the company has offices around the world. “If clients are
being served locally, if someone wants to speak to me, I don’t
need to fly to New York — it’s not necessary,” says Grueter.
Two years ago, the global engineering professional services
company WSP set itself a target in the UK to become carbon-
neutral by 2025. This has meant reducing business flights in the
UK by 9 per cent and 16 per cent worldwide. In 2017,
it banned flights under 250 miles and introduced an
initiative that encourages non-travel and low-carbon
alternatives to driving and flying. “When our staff
book travel online, a pop-up asks whether they need
to travel or could they use Skype,” says Claire Gott,
UK head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at
WSP. “Also, our admin staff have been trained to challenge any
travel. The first choice is by rail.” There’s also an internal carbon
levy of £50 (€60) a flight on all domestic air travel, to be increased
to £200 (€240) a trip. This money will be invested in CSR activ-
Sabine Zetteler, owner of the London-based communica-
tions agency Zetteler, is on a mission to reduce flights taken by
her company of ten people. Zetteler says her agency has clients
all over the world, so in some cases, flying can’t be avoided, but
for short trips, it plans to find more carbon-efficient ways to
travel. For instance, in April 2019, five of the team travelled by
train to Milan Design Week. “It took 12 hours longer and cost
a few hundred extra financially, but it was liberating, bonding
and important for us to try,” says Zetteler. As for this year, the
company plans to visit fewer places and share the carbon offset
charge for international meetings that can’t be avoided.
Universities are also looking at what they can do. Sion Picker-
ing, social responsibility and sustainability projects coordinator

There are no
green flights
on the market

What you and your organization can do
Think about whether it’s essential to travel for business. Could you
join the meeting by conference or video call? Is there someone
who lives or works nearer to the event or meeting who could go
instead? If you have to go, could you get there by train? Any extra
costs compared with flying can sometimes be offset by travelling
on an overnight train and avoiding the cost of a hotel room.
If you do fly, buy an economy-class ticket (a business-class seat
has around three times the CO 2 impact of an economy-class seat,
according to the Aviation Environment Federation).
Try to choose the most efficient airline for the route. As well as
showing you prices, websites such as Skyscanner display which
flights are “greener” because they emit less CO 2. This calculation
is based on aircraft type, capacity and number of stops.
Don’t encourage extra flying by letting staff keep air miles. Find
other ways to provide rewards.

, Flugzeug(e)

Aviation Environment
Federation [eIvi)eIS&n
fedE)reIS&n] , etwa:
Verband für umweltver-
trägliches Fliegen

offset sth. [)Qf(set]
, etw. ausgleichen
route [ru:t]
, [wg. Aussprache]
Free download pdf