May 29, 2023

New body calls for standardised and accurate data on business travel’s CO2 footprint

A new body representing European business travel associations has published a report this week calling for “urgent and significant” steps to be taken to improve access to “standardised, accurate and comparable” data on the CO2 impact of business travel.

The newly-formed BT4Europe yesterday launched a Position Paper on Sustainability in Business Travel, arguing that information and self-awareness of the carbon impact of business travel are the drivers of change.

“We have identified a set of common data challenges, which if not addressed and legislated upon where necessary will prejudice the green transformation of the sector,” said Patrick W. Diemer, Chair of BT4Europe.

“To green our industry we must plug the data gaps and end the data inconsistencies. For example it is difficult to evaluate the real CO2 footprint for different travel options.”

Angela Lille, Chair of the BT4Europe Working Group on Sustainability, added: “To green business travel, all stakeholder – businesses, citizens and the European Union – must work together to ensure the CO2 footprint of business travel options become as important as price. Customers have a right to CO2 information and we agree a unified standard for CO2 emission calculations.

“The opportunities to act, created by the European Commission’s ‘CountEmissions EU’ initiative and the on-going revisions of the Corporate Social Responsibility Directive and the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, must be seized.”

The report calls for the EU to:

  • Create a standard for CO2 emissions calculation methodology for business travel services (air, rail, hotel, ground transportation, etc.) and start immediately with a concise standard on CO2 emission reporting for air and rail traffic.
  • Develop a uniform standard for recording the CO2 values according to GHG Protocol Scope 3 in Europe.
  • Make digital recording/determination of the footprint as a basis for compensation.
  • Determine uniform rules and legislation on a framework for the EU which obliges all travel service suppliers to provide free of charge standardised CO2 calculation basis and the respective CO2 emissions in digital form for companies of all sizes.