GBTA study tackles climate impact

SINGAPORE, 26 April 2023: As companies strive to reduce their carbon footprint, they are implementing strategies to decarbonise employee travel.

But which practices effectively drive change and ultimately empower organisations to continue leveraging business travel while reducing their climate impact?

A new benchmarking study released Monday, “Managing Emissions From Business Travel Programs: Overview of Corporate Best Practices,” sheds light on how companies decarbonise their travel programmes.

Compiled by the GBTA Foundation, the report provides a valuable snapshot of companies that are mitigating their business travel emissions.

Released during Earth Month, the study examines which measures are most effective in reducing the climate impact of Scope 3 emissions from business travel and key considerations for implementation and success.

“One of the biggest challenges for achieving more sustainable business travel is knowing how to build the path and the program to get there. We went to companies and leaders in sustainability to bring forth best practices and insights that can help any company seeking to travel greener and better,” said GBTA Foundation managing director Delphine Millot.

Millot added that tackling Scope 3.6 emissions needs to be a joint effort across the entire global business travel value chain and relies on common ownership and shared responsibility between the suppliers and users of travel services.

The report lays the building blocks for companies to create a more climate-conscious travel programme – from starting with measures requiring less effort and funding to advancing with more ambitious strategies, activities, and outcomes.

Developing a sustainable travel programme involves a combination of measures at different levels and working with various stakeholders.

The report outlines measures across four critical categories: travel decisions, emissions tracking, supplier engagement, and decarbonisation.

Additionally, it provides a toolbox of action areas to efficiently reduce emissions while aligning to organisation budgets, available time, company culture, and other factors.

Six key points for success in reducing business travel emissions

Lowering the impact of business travel on the environment is an iterative process. The report identifies commonalities among interviewees, emphasising the integral elements necessary to reduce emissions from business travel effectively:

  • No One Size Fits All: Evaluate needs and return on investment before drawing from the toolbox.
  • Make a Demand Signal: Corporate travel managers have a key role in signalling a growing demand for greener travel options.
  • Start Today: Strive to improve emissions data − but don’t let perfection halt progress.
  • Go “Glocal”: Global strategies should be localised to consider infrastructure and cultural differences.
  • Future Proof: Combine quick wins with longer-term investments.
  • Collaboration is Key: Sustainability is a shared effort between corporate travel managers, procurement, sustainability, and employee travellers.

Additional topics covered in the report include integrating climate considerations into corporate travel policies, measuring travel program emissions, greening the procurement process, and navigating Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) opportunities toward decarbonising air travel.


The report’s benchmarking methodology consisted of interviews with a dozen sustainability leaders from global companies that rely on business travel to conduct their business successfully. Participants included the GBTA Foundation’s Sustainability Corporate Advisory Board (CAB) members, collaborating with the GBTA Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC).

Visit the GBTA Foundation to download the full benchmark report

About the GBTA Foundation 

The GBTA Foundation is the non-profit, cause-led arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s business travel and meetings trade organisation serving 7,600+ members.