The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) has created a sustainability taskforce to help travel buyers deal with the dilemma of cost versus carbon, introduce sustainability in the supply chain and change the perceptions and behaviours of their travellers.
The initiative has been spurred by the rapid acceleration in organisations setting commitments to net zero emissions, alongside new legislation and audit requirements that will be imposed on companies regardless of whether travel accounts for 10% or 90% of their emissions.
According to ITM’s most recent Buyer Priorities Survey, the biggest challenge facing buyers when it comes to managing travel in 2023 is influencing sustainable practice
The taskforce will consist of 16 buyer and supplier members who will meet regularly over the next three months.
Based on these meetings, ITM will publish a resource guide to give buyers practical tools and tips to take action, whether they are only just embarking on their sustainability journey or are already making progress with travel policy changes.
ITM will also host a webinar sharing the insights and discussions of the taskforce.
ITM’s Sustainability Summit takes place in London this week (March 9) when attendees will hear from a range of speakers and organisations who are already making headway to drive change.
There will also be a keynote session at ITM’s annual energise conference in Brighton on April 27 focussing on how suppliers’ sustainable solutions will need to pass the scrutiny of corporates’ auditors, in order to become a meaningful component of sustainable travel programmes.
Kerry Douglas, Head of Programme, ITM, commented: “Influencing sustainable travel is a topic that has been on buyers’ priority list for a while, but there is now a real sense of urgency due to the accelerated global focus on climate change and legislation that will tighten up organisations’ disclosure of carbon emissions.
“However, the topic of sustainable travel practice is so vast that there’s a real risk that buyers become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. There is also a sliding scale of maturity on the topic within travel programmes and in terms of focus across organisations, depending on the industry sector and how much business travel accounts for their emissions.”