May 29, 2024

Sustainability Movers & Shakers

Introducing our 2024 Movers & Shakers – ones to watch in the sustainability space

CLARASIGHT

This New York-based company relaunched earlier this year with a new name and with the kudos of enlisting some of industry’s most respected sustainability experts to its advisory board. Its mission is to help global organisations close the gap between climate-related intention and action with cutting-edge carbon planning and analysis software, accelerating decision-making with department-level insights that identify trends and pinpoint reduction opportunities. Founders Adam Braun and Philip Charm are long-time friends who want to make a difference and help secure the future for their young children. Using a Software as a Service subscription model, they are already working with some big global names and managed to double the company’s revenue in the latter half of 2023. Watch this space.

Black Box Verdict: Providing clear, actionable insight and forecasting can only help change travel behaviours.

clarasight.com

TRAVALYST

Founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Travalyst is a not-for-profit organisation that uses a hybrid funding model consisting of partner fees and philanthropic funding. It’s a coalition of some of the biggest names in travel and technology, including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Sabre, Mastercard, Travelport, Trip.com and Visa, working alongside sustainability academics and professionals from around the world. Its aim is to change the way people travel by aligning the industry behind clear, consistent and credible sustainability information which is then shared at scale, for free, on trusted platforms. It has already launched a standardised way to calculate emissions estimates for flights and is now working to bring sustainability information about accommodation to scale for the first time, going beyond just emissions and vetting sustainability certifications for accommodation providers, aiming to have a master list of certifications soon. Initially focussed on leisure tourism, it is now turning its attention to business travel.

Black Box Verdict: Travalyst is collaboration for good at the very highest level, delivering open-source data to make real social impact.

travalyst.org

CTM LIGHTNING

CTM’s proprietary online booking tool, Lightning, is back in our Movers & Shakers list for the second year thanks to new features.  These include sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) scoring for 250-plus airlines; a hotel verification system where travellers can validate a hotel’s sustainability claims and feedback to colleagues; a search filter for car hire by Hybrid/EV and for hotels that offer hybrid and EV charging points; and the cleverly-named Lightning Bolt. This is a door-to-door trip search giving travellers a full itinerary, including flights, hotel, train, car hire or taxi using just destination and starting point to select the most sustainable journey, supporting modal shift and lower emission routes. Meeting the needs of many travel buyers, the tool also compares flight and rail trips (including Eurostar) based on carbon usage, cost and time, and allows easy switching with just one click.

Black Box Verdict: CTM continues to innovate, helping drive modal shift, encompassing SAF fuel calculations and even highlighting EV charging points at hotels.  We particularly applaud their door-to-door trip approach via Lightning Bolt, offering real carbon transparency.

uk.travelctm.com

ALTOVITA’S ECOSTATS

AltoVita, a corporate accommodation platform that covers 7 million fully furnished apartments and properties worldwide, partnered with Thrust Carbon to launch EcoStats earlier this year. Using a sophisticated API integration, the tool accurately estimates the CO2 emissions for each night’s stay in properties listed on AltoVita, assessing various sustainability metrics such as sustainability certifications, renewable energy usage, carbon tracking, efficient lighting, single plastic use, recycling and responsible sourcing. Since its launch AltoVita has seen significant uptake by clients, including PwC. It also introduced the CO2 emission calculator into its reporting dashboard, AltoInsights, which displays total CO2 (in tonnes) for bookings within the selected period. EcoStats follows reporting processes consistent with practices used in research such as the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index. The solution is available to all users of AltoVita at no extra charge.

Black Box Verdict: A powerful partnership, with Thrust Carbon delivering robust data across AltoVita’s vast inventory to provide much-needed transparency and a commitment to evolve the data suite in this fast growing sector.

altovita.com/ecostats

ZEERO

This ambitious new venture from Trees4Travel gives corporates and travel companies the chance to invest in impactful climate projects in order to ramp up climate action. A mix between a sustainability sharing economy and a crowdfund, Zeero aims to “turn sustainability on its head” by switching it from being a cost centre to being a potential profit centre. Founders Nico and Elkie Nicholas hope Zeero will be the catalyst that finally scales up action in business travel, helping to fast-track solutions that are urgently needed and already being created by innovators in the sustainability space. Watch out for a reality TV show based on their efforts coming to your living rooms soon.

Black Box Verdict: Great to see the ingenuity of this programme, a unique concept striving to fast-track and scale innovation in the alternative fuel industry. We’ll be tuning in!

trees4travel.com/zeero

HRS GREEN STAY

HRS’ Green Stay Initiative is a sustainability-focused solution that seamlessly incorporates comparative green metrics in the hotel procurement process, saving corporates significant time and expediting insights and decision. It engages with hotel suppliers, from international chains like Accor, Marriott and Radisson, to regional groups and independent properties, to drive their participation in the Green Stay Initiative as they compete for corporate volume. HRS provides quarterly reporting to executives that includes accurate reporting on emissions generated by hotel stays, a summary to enhance their sustainability strategy and predictive metrics illustrating likely outcomes from the implementation of new tactics and/or refined tech that steers travellers towards hotels with superior green credentials.

Black Box Verdict: Standardisation in the RFP process has been a hot topic so this initiative will ease pain points for both buyers and suppliers.

hrs.com

ISLA

A non-profit organisation founded by 12 event professionals and industry leaders in 2020, isla seeks to find a sustainable future for events. Describing itself as “movement for the industry, by the industry”, it works with agencies and brands, organisers and suppliers to create a network with knowledge and expertise to drive change. Members get access to a course of training modules, member forums and round tables and the chance to join action groups. It has also developed a carbon measurement tool for sustainable events, TRACE by isla, to help minimise and monitor carbon at live, hybrid and digital events.

Black Box Verdict: We admire isla’s passion for changing mindsets in the events industry. As meetings and events activity continues to increase, a keen focus is needed to minimise impact and share knowledge.

weareisla.co.uk

SUSTAINABILE HOSPITALITY ALLIANCE (SHA)

The SHA is an increasingly powerful alliance of the world’s leading hospitality brands and now represents more than 40 hotel companies and value chain partners and over 50 supply chain and strategic partners. Last year it drew up a five-year plan committing to a number initiatives, including the introduction of standardised sustainability metrics across the sector. It has embarked on a detailed consultation project defining an industry carbon methodology that will be independently audited by the World Resources Institute and aligned with Greenhouse Gas Protocols to globally “harmonise metrics and KPIs, develop standards and streamline reporting and benchmarking in sustainability”.

Black Box Verdict: When it comes to carbon methodology, the hospitality industry is still playing catch up with air and rail and SHA is helping to deliver much needed change and transparency.

sustainablehospitalityalliance.org

REST, POWERED BY QIA SERVICES

QIA (Quality in Tourism) Services offers a range of ESG accreditation, providing “the tools to be responsible, the support to be ethical and the power to be sustainable”. Its initiative, REST – Responsible, Ethical, Sustainable Tourism – is a “one-stop-shop” mark of quality that rates businesses, including hotels and serviced apartment providers, on their commitment to be responsible, ethical and sustainable in everything they do. Not only does it measure the environmental sustainability of a business but it also measures its commitment to staff and clients, its Corporate Social Responsibility practices, HR policies and supplier relationships and is compliant with RFP processes. Following a stringent inspection, businesses who achieve the REST quality mark, which consists of three rating levels – green, silver and gold – will be included in an online searchable listing of sustainable providers.

Black Box Verdict: This accreditation tackles responsible and ethical elements, alongside sustainability reporting metrics.

qiaservices.com

SILVERDOOR CARBON CALCULATOR

Launched last autumn, the SilverDoor Carbon Calculator collates carbon emissions data for the serviced apartments sector, giving corporate clients access to qualitative and quantitative data to review and understand the environmental impact of their accommodation choices. It helps guests and bookers compare the environmental performance of serviced accommodation in the same way as they compare rates, location and facilities. Using data provided by SilverDoor’s 2,000-plus global property partners, the tool calculates a building-specific, per night CO2 emissions estimate for a stay in a serviced apartment, and compares this figure to an equivalent hotel stay using trusted industry standard data from the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index. Measurements include the total area of each apartment and wider building, energy use, total area of climate-controlled space, water consumption and laundry management.

Black Box Verdict: An excellent addition to the SilverDoor data proposition. We particularly like the comparison to hotels, driving increased apartment adoption.

silverdoor.com/carbon-calculator

ATPI HALO

ATPI’s consultancy service, headed up by Product Director Pippa Ganderton, is built around three core pillars, helping clients to measure, reduce and offset. This year it partnered with Neste, a leading provider of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), to expand its proposition to help its clients invest in SAF. Simplifying what can be a complex process, ATPI clients can purchase in-sector travel emission reductions and obtain a single certificate for their investment, rather than managing this administration across multiple carriers and sources. Meanwhile, ATPI Group is setting a good example by earning a Silver EcoVadis Medal for the second year running and has recently appointed its first global Sustainability Officer, Louisa Tour, to spearhead internal sustainability initiatives and develop integral ESG strategies across the entire global business.

Black Box Verdict: This new SAF collaboration demonstrates the commitment of both companies to drive measurable impact for the industry.

halo.atpi.com

Movers & Shakers were selected with the help of Paula Cullen, Head of Practice – ESG & Growth Black Box Partnerships 

This article appears in our Sustainability Special