May 28, 2024

ITM publishes sustainability guide

The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) has published a guide to help its buyer members develop policies that encourage more sustainable business travel.

The guide, Building Responsible Travel Programmes, has been written in response to a growing and urgent need for companies to meet carbon reduction targets.

The paper is the output from ITM’s Sustainability Taskforce, which was established in March this year and provides extensive practical advice to buyers at any stage of their sustainability journey, across any industry, and recommends steps buyers can use to get started.

These include: 

  • Understand your company’s carbon targets
  • Identify allies and engage with them
  • Get the right data
  • Revisit targets and KPIs  

A key element of the guide is a suggested matrix, setting out actions across a scale of simple to complex and level of impact.  At the top of the matrix there are four key actions that have the potential to deliver the greatest impact:

  • Gaining senior leadership engagement and support
  • Travel policy updates and changes, driving change through suppliers, education, modal shift
  • Demand management, reviewing alongside business owners what can be done in terms of managing demand and how that demand can be met through alternative forms of meeting and/or transport
  • Investment in insets (SAF) and/or removals, which requires engagement and direction by senior leadership.

The matrix complements the work already undertaken by the GBTA Foundation’s Sustainability initiative and Sustainability Toolkit.

Accompanying the main guide are several appendices featuring case studies and more detailed explanation of steps buyers can take to plan for the future, including links to additional GBTA resources.

Kerry Douglas, Head of Programme, ITM, said: “By clearly defining the vision of what a responsible travel programme looks like and having the buy-in from all stakeholders, travel managers have a prime opportunity to educate and lead their organisations in helping to meet their sustainability objectives. 

“ITM sincerely hopes that this guide and accompanying appendices provide actionable insights and practical support to our buyer community so that they can take an informed conversation forward. Not everyone will need to read the full document or appendices and therefore this resource is meant to offer choice in how much background or detail they need.”

The guide is available via the ITM website here and the accompanying Appendices are available here.