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The future of corporate travel

November 15, 2023

As more and more companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint to meet regulatory requirements or their own sustainability goals, corporate travel is drawing attention for being a significant contributor to emissions

A recent Deloitte survey of 334 travel managers, executives and travel-budget oversight based in the US, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and France reveals that international trips continue to grow, despite climate concerns likely putting a cap on corporate travel gains for several years to come

Although only one in seven companies surveyed in the United States and one in five in Europe expect sustainability restrictions to reduce their travel by 2023, just over 40% of each say they are working to optimize their corporate travel policy to reduce their environmental impact. Furthermore, four in 10 European companies and a third of US companies say they need to reduce travel per employee by more than 20% to meet their 2030 sustainability targets.

According to the study, the following trends and points to be developed for a sustainable future for companies and the planet were identified: 

  • The reshaping of travel to account for social shifts such as more flexible work, and corporate travel–specific ones such as higher expectations of flexible travel bookings
  • Travel’s strategic positioning within companies
  • Attitudes toward conferencing platforms and other technology as replacements for different travel use cases
  • The state of relations between travel buyers and suppliers, especially pertaining to contract negotiation
  • Which supplier-led sustainability efforts have the most potential to move the needle on bookings

“Travel suppliers and intermediaries should stay in conversation with corporate buyers on their progress in tracking travel emissions, and arming travelers with information to choose the most sustainable alternative. It may not be easy to create verifiable standards to measure the climate impact of each travel purchase, but demand for such standards is apparent,” conclude the authors.

Source: Deloitte Insights