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It’s a simple fact that for many of us, especially living in this vast country of ours, frequent air travel is a necessary part of our professional lives – and is often at odds with our aspirations for sustainability. So I am always eager to hear of new or different ways to try and reset the balance and – to be honest – help ease my conscience somewhat. Thanks to the likes of Skype and Facetime, and virtual meeting solutions such as join.me and Go To Meeting, there are now lots of options to avoid getting on a plane altogether. But for those times when flying to an all important face-to-face meeting is the only option, here are a few tips for planning green business travel.
1. Choose your airline wisely.
Not all airlines are equal when it comes to green credentials. According to a report from Greenopia, if you’re flying within the US, Virgin America ranks highest in terms of a number of sustainability metrics including fuel efficiency, green design and carbon offset programs (Alaska Airlines came in second). Virgin America also scores eco-points because, being a newer airline, they have newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft.
2. Offset your carbon footprint.
An oldie but a goodie – but how many of us always remember to factor this in? Thinking of flying JetBlue? Then you’ll be pleased to know – as Travel & Leisure reports here – their CarbonFund.org program supports The Envira Amazonia Project, which preserves 500,000 acres of endangered tropical rainforest in Brazil while also providing the rural community with educational programs, land titles, and health care. In short don’t just go on price, research your options within an eco-mindset.
3. Book an eco-friendly hotel.
Not only can staying in an eco-friendly hotel be a tick in the sustainability column, it can also be a genuinely interesting, fun experience, and a change-up from standard corporate accommodation. On a business trip last year to New York, I had the good fortune to stay at Yotel, a hotel with LEED® “Gold” certification, with many innovations borne (I am sure) as a result of having a commitment to sustainability.
So, wherever your business travels next take you, put a sustainable spin on your plans!
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