Acting now to build sustainable business travel

Sustainable Business Travel work group

Sustainable business travel was top of the agenda at the July Business Travel Association (BTA) Planet Plan Conference in London. Here the MIDAS Travel ESG Team provides a summary of what the day entailed.

What is the BTA Planet Plan for sustainable business travel?

The group’s mission is to bring the business travel community together, working in partnership with industry and government to create sustainable travel for the future. Early on, the BTA recognised that in order to address growing concerns around the impact of travel on the environment, we would need to work together. So that was the start of the Planet Plan Group.

What is MIDAS Travel’s role in the Planet Plan group?

MIDAS Travel joined the Planet Plan group in 2022 following a call for action to the business travel community to come together, share ideas, and drive positive movement. Now, members of the ESG team contribute to the various factions of the Planet Plan group namely; charter, RFP, Data and Innovation. Additionally, Dave Morgan, Sustainability Consultant for MIDAS Travel, is contributing valuable knowledge as well as working to drive innovation and forward momentum.

What was the purpose of the Planet Plan Conference?

The conference brought together the 80+ industry representatives, the BTA Board and MIDAS Travel to collectively address the key challenges the sector is facing around sustainability and climate change. With countrywide net zero targets in place, the day was used to maximise collective intelligence to agree on the best solutions and areas of focus to support in achieving goals.

What did we learn about sustainable business travel?

There were insightful presentations from guest speakers including representatives from the Met Office, Department for Transport, Rail Delivery Group and Greengage. These sessions helped frame the current situation highlighting the human impact on the environment, and focusing in on the specific role of the business travel sector.

Then, we took a deep dive into the challenges facing the UK and globally in tackling the situation. And finally, we decided on some actionable takeaways and a direction for us to move forward as a sector. We also discussed individual and group strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Across the room, the same message resonated;

‘We can’t solve climate change alone. We need international cooperation, governmental support and standardisation in measurement’.

How will MIDAS Travel’s involvement in the Planet Plan Group benefit its clients?

Sustainability affects businesses both large and small, and it is a joint goal. MIDAS Travel’s client base of SME’s are at different stages in their sustainability journey. Some are just starting out, others are gearing up to a net zero strategy. The communality is that all companies are on this journey. As such, MIDAS Travel acts as a strategic consultancy. We advise clients on how best to navigate the complex challenge of conducting business travel in a sustainable way.

Being part of a wider network means joint activity, opportunities for partnership, information sharing and action together. It is an open forum for education for all parties, with invaluable opportunities to gain insights and benchmarking.

Working with the most sustainably advanced suppliers and partners, puts MIDAS Travel at the forefront of driving solutions and innovation. Learnings are shared with clients, who can adjust and improve their own programmes for maximum benefit. Finally, individual efforts will then combine to have wider, group impact, which is ultimately what is required to achieve these net zero goals.

To discuss sustainable business travel, please get in touch with our ESG Team.