Sustainable Travel: Case Study

How does sustainable travel relate to travel procurement? Airline emissions of CO2 account for about 3% of global CO2 output.  Not the biggest emitting industry, but a very visible one.  Many companies are taking a closer look at what they – and their suppliers – are doing to reduce carbon emissions.  Travel is a topic that comes quickly to mind.

The question is how can you keep people on the road but have a positive impact on your CO2 reduction goals? Here’s one answer:

A.T. Kearney (ATK) is a large global consulting firm with lots of road warriors, and a CEO committed to making his firm a best practice leader in corporate social responsibility.  Here’s a video interview with Margaret Hansen, A.T. Kearney’s global travel procurement director.   The good stuff starts at 1:45 into this six-minute interview.  Margaret describes the goals for her program, the challenges she faced and the success she’s achieved.  For a quicker read, here’s a one-page overview of her efforts, as described in Business Travel News.

In brief, her solution, with the full backing from senior management, was to measure emissions associated with each traveler.  The firm then rolls this data up into every profit center, and reports their progress toward reaching their reduction goals.

It’s more complicated than that, of course.  But the point is that if a large consulting firm can do it, maybe you can too.

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