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                                                        A Two-Minute Briefing on Key Business Environmental Issues

             The Big Picture                                           stages of’“greening” itself — driven by partnerships
                                                                       with the nonprofit sector.
             Business travel is big business in the U.S., comprising
             a $185 billion industry in 2000, according to the         The Green Hotel Association, for example, more
             Travel Industry Association of America. The Survey of     than doubled its membership of 100 properties from
             Business Travelers tracked more than 200 million          1996 to 2001. Member hotels are encouraged to
             single-person business trips in 1999; among over-         implement water-saving measures, execute energy-
             night trips, 85% of business travelers stayed in a        saving techniques and reduce solid waste. The Green
             hotel or motel. While this is good news for airlines,     Hotel Initiative from the Coalition for Environmen-
             rental car companies, and hotels, business travel         tally Responsible Economies seeks to increase the
             exacts a heavy toll on the environment.                   demand for environmentally conscious hotels by
                                                                       harnessing corporate and government purchasing
             According to Trees for the Future, a program aimed        power. Groups like Meeting Planners International
             at offsetting travel-related emissions, a jet emits       and Oceans Blue Foundation, both Canadian non-
             approximately one pound of ozone-depleting carbon         profits, have programs and resources aimed at making
             dioxide per passenger mile. That means 3.2 million        it easy for event planners to reduce waste at meet-
             acres of trees would need to be planted every year        ings and conferences.
             to offset the emissions caused by the 240 billion
             miles the National Business Travelers Association
             claims are racked up by U.S. business travelers
                                                                       Key Players
             annually. Add in the greenhouse gases generated by
                                                                       ■ Corporate Travel Offices hold significant
             rental cars, the energy and water use of hotels, and
                                                                          leverage to stimulate demand for greener travel by
             waste produced by conferences and meetings, and
                                                                          spending billions of dollars on airfare, accommoda-
             it’s obvious: Greening business travel could result in
                                                                          tions, and transportation.
             significant environmental benefits.

                                                                       ■ Travel Agents demonstrate the potential to
                                                                          offset air-travel emissions with environmental
             The Context

                                                                          projects, such as planting trees that absorb
                                                                          harmful carbon dioxide.
             Companies are increasingly concerned about climate
             emissions and energy use. At home, many employers
                                                                       ■ Rental Car Companies can promote alterna-
             offer incentives to employees who carpool, bike to
                                                                          tive vehicles, such as electric vehicles.
             work, or use public transportation. There’s also
             growing acceptance of environmental factors in
                                                                       ■ Hotels and Conference Centers attract
             corporate procurement policies, for everything from
                                                                          business with energy- and water-conservation and
             office paper to materials used in manufacturing. But
                                                                          waste-reduction measures. Meeting Planners hold
             travel buyers remain hard pressed to find options for
                                                                          the key to waste reduction on the part of both
             the environmentally responsible business traveler.
                                                                          participants and venues.
             The travel industry, for its part, is in the embryonic
                                                       A Two-Minute Briefing on Key Business Environmental Issues

             Getting Down to Business                                Reality Check

             ■ AT&T’s approach seeks to limit its employee’s air     ■ Finding airlines, hotels, and conference
               travel. The telecommunications leader reduced           centers that have adopted environmentally
               employee air miles by 15% through video                 responsible practices will take extra legwork for
               conferencing and Web meeting. Its Environment,          corporate-travel buyers and event planner.
               Health, and Safety department, for instance, hosts
               weekly Web-based meetings on environmentally          ■ Options for alternative rental cars are limited
               preferable procurement; participants share              to a few major U.S. cities.
               documents on the Internet while discussing issues
               on the phone.                                         ■ Video conferencing entails procuring equip-
                                                                       ment and a special facility.
             ■ Nike has partnered with one of its travel suppli-
               ers, Delta Airlines, in an effort to offset carbon-
               dioxide emission caused by its employee’s air
                                                                     Action Plan
               travel, which averages 110 million miles annually.
                                                                     ■ Review your company’s current travel policies to
               For each seat booked on Delta, its Eco-class
                                                                       identify opportunities for greening travel.
               project invests in environmental projects, such as
               helping a Portland, Oregon, middle school install
                                                                     ■ Aside from the environmental benefits, compa-
               high-efficiency boilers — a project that resulted
                                                                       nies can gain an improved public image and
               in an offset equal to the total carbon-dioxide
                                                                       potential cost savings of introducing environ-
               emissions from Nike’s U.S. employee air travel on
                                                                       mental concerns into corporate-travel buying and
               Delta in the last half of 2000, according to its
                                                                       event planning; use these incentives when pitching
               corporate responsibility report.
                                                                       the idea to management.

             The Upside                                              ■ Purchase airline tickets through companies, such
                                                                       as Triple E, that offset the greenhouse gases
             ■ Reducing climate emissions: Companies may               produced by jet planes. Or fly through British

               be able to take credit for travel policies and          Airlines or Southwest Airlines, two companies
               practices in measuring and reporting their climate      that have environmental agendas.
                                                                     ■ Seek out “eco-friendly” lodging using
             ■ Cost-saving measures: Using telecommunica-              resources like Green Seal, who is working to
               tion-based meeting services cuts down on travel         certifiy the lodging industry using their environ-
               costs and paper use.                                    mental standards.

                                                     A Two-Minute Briefing on Key Business Environmental Issues

             ■ Plan a “green” meeting: Event planners should          and energy and water use. —
               look for opportunities to send documents via e-        reference/webguide_record.cfm?LinkAdvID=5089
               mail whenever possible, use double-sided printing
               for promotional materials and handouts, and          ■ Oceans Blue Foundation: A Canadian environ-
               arrange for paper recycling. Promote free shuttles     mental organization that promotes environmen-
               and public transportation. And seek out naturally      tally responsible tourism, Oceans Blue developed
               lighted event spaces.                                  a primer for the meetings and conventions
                                                                      industry. Meeting planners, suppliers, and delegates,
             ■ Hold telecommunications-based meetings:                as well as facilities operators, will find helpful tips
               Video conferencing and Web meetings eliminate          for greening a meeting. —
               unnecessary travel and save resources.                 bluetourism/settsail/navigationaltools/

             Leads                                                  Lodging

                                                                    ■ Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ EcoMeet

             ■ It’s Easy Being Green! A Guide to Planning
                                                                      Program: The largest luxury hotel company in

               And Conducting Environmentally Aware                   North America has developed this program, which

               Meetings and Events: This guide           allows conference planners to order a ready-made

               offers corporate event planners an overview of         green conference at 36 properties in the U.S.,

               the key steps involved in planning a green             Canada, Bermuda, Barbados, and Mexico. The

               meeting, and provides a planning checklist.—           program emphasizes transportation alternatives,

                                   environmentally conscious meals and conference

               reports_third.cfm?LinkAdvID=2392                       facilities, and environmental educational for
                                                                      conference attendees. —

             ■ Meeting Professionals International: This
                                                                    ■ Green Hotel Initiative: Aims to harness
               Canadian nonprofit provides a comprehensive
               reference and resource guide to planning an            corporate and government purchasing power to

               environmentally friendly meeting or event.             encourage more hotels to “go green.” —

               Includes lodging and transportation information.

               —              organizations_record.cfm?LinkAdvID=10215

                                                                    ■ Green Hotels Association: The nonprofit

             ■ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
                                                                      association encourages member hotels to imple-

               Green Conference Initiative: The initiative’s          ment water-saving measures, execute energy-

               Web site offers a multitude of resources and           saving techniques and reduce solid waste. —

               information to help conference planners and  

               suppliers organize meetings that reduce pollution      organizations_record.cfm?LinkAdvID=3313

                                                       A Two-Minute Briefing on Key Business Environmental Issues

             ■ Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for              ■ Environmental Vehicle Rentals: Offers pick-
               Lodging Properties: Nonprofit Green Seal is             up locations at airports in Burbank, Los Angeles,
               working to build a certification program for            Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego,
               lodging facilities across the United States. Check      San Francisco, and San Jose, California; plus
               with them for participating states. —                   Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Reagan National in
                          Washington, D.C. Call 800-937-4401.

             Transportation                                         The Bottom Line

             ■ Travel Cool: For each reservation made,              There’s no way to get around it: business travel takes
               Portland-based Triple E’s Travel Cool makes a tax-   a toll on the environment. And the transportation,
               deductible donation to the Better World Travel       lodging, and event-planning industries are just
               Foundation, which supports community-based,          beginning to wake up to the public-relations boosts
               energy-saving projects that offset emissions         and economic benefits of incorporating environmen-
               caused by air travel. —    tal considerations into their business philosophies.
                                                                    That doesn’t mean business travelers should wait on
             ■ Triple E: Travel agent offers environmental          the sidelines; for those willing to seek out the
               options for travelers and offsets travel emis-       resources, there is a growing number of options for
               sions. —                             environmentally responsible business travel.