New research has found that sustainability is still not a significant part of a business agenda. This research, done by Emburse, shows the demand from employees for more sustainable business travel, compared with a lack of prioritization from employers.
In the midst of the pandemic, Covid safety weighs in as the most important factor for over a third of employers to consider right now for business travel arrangements. Almost two-thirds (61%) of those surveyed said the pandemic has made them rethink how they travel. One change in travel ideology is that 48% of those aged 16-24 said they would be using the train more than before the pandemic, more than double the amount of employees aged 55+.
The study, which surveyed 1,022 UK employees and 250 employers about business travel and sustainability, also found that even if Covid is not considered, sustainability is still not employers’ priority. Cost is the second most important factor, with 17% of employers listing this as an important consideration. Only 11% of employers list sustainability as a factor.
But when asked specifically about sustainability and travel budgets, employers appeared to be receptive to change. Fifty percent of employers said they would consider offering employees incentives or a higher travel budget threshold to take the train in order to reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint, and 70% of employers surveyed acknowledge it is their organization’s responsibility to enable sustainable business travel. From the employee view, 57% said they would be more encouraged to take the train if their employer offered incentives around it.
Sustainable travel does not have to cost a company money, either. Not only does the research show that employees prefer a sustainable company, but it shows that the three top approaches to sustainable trips are cutting down the number of trips, combining trips, and minimizing air travel. Sustainable travel is becoming so anticipated, in fact, that Google beginning to offer sustainability information in its search results.
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