GBTA reveals new Sustainability Leadership Council

GBTA hopes the Council will help Guide a Greener Future for Global Business Travel

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has revealed the 16 sustainability executives from across the global travel industry who will serve on GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council.

The Council will advise on GBTA’s overall Sustainability Program in its mission to demonstrate the significant contribution that the business travel sector can make on climate action and corporate responsibility.

GBTA hopes the Council will help guide a greener future for global business travel

In November 2021, GBTA embarked on its “sustainability journey” to address one of the biggest challenges the business travel sector – and society – are facing today. Since then, 16 travel industry companies stepped forward as Founding Partners of the first-ever GBTA Sustainability Program, with each nominating an executive from their company to serve on the Council.

Council members have deep sustainability experience and/or expertise and will serve a one-year calendar term. They are:

  • Accor: Brune Poirson, chief sustainability officer
  • American Airlines: Jill Blickstein, managing director and global head of ESG
  • American Express Global Business Travel: Nora Lovell Marchant, vice president, global sustainability
  • BCD Travel: Kathy Jackson, vice president, executive chair sustainability
  • BWH Hotel Group Italia: Sara Digiesi, chief marketing and sustainability officer, Italy
  • Delta Air Lines: Amelia DeLuca, vice president, sustainability
  • Enterprise Holdings: Claire Carstensen, global sustainability manager
  • Hertz: Katie Leone, director, corporate social responsibility
  • Hilton: Jean Garris Hand, vice president, global ESG
  • HRS: Martin Biermann, chief product officer
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts: Townsend Bailey, head of corporate responsibility, Americas
  • Marriott International: Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity, global operations
  • SAP Concur: Hendrik Vordenbaeumen, vice president, product strategy and global head of sustainability
  • Southwest Airlines: Stacy Malphurs, vice president, supply chain management and environmental sustainability
  • Reed & Mackay – a TripActions Company: Chris Truss, sustainability director
  • United Airlines: Lauren Riley, chief sustainability officer and managing director, global environmental affairs

“There is a real need for our entire industry to tackle this incredibly complex challenge. And sustainability will be a key factor for business travel’s recovery. Both companies and travellers want to better manage the impact of business trips that will and must still take place,” said Mark Cuschieri council chair and vice president, GBTA Board of Directors.

Jenny Sabineu, manager, travel services for Salesforce, serves as the Council vice chair and is also the chair of the global GBTA Sustainability Committee, which will focus on identifying and developing the right tools to educate and guide GBTA members. Delphine Millot, senior vice president, sustainability for GBTA, has oversight for the Council, as well as for GBTA’s Sustainability Program and initiatives overall.

She said the priorities for GBTA in its sustainability journey are to raise awareness and educate GBTA members on the challenges ahead; define unifying goals and a holistic vision for a sustainable future for business travel; and increase collaboration and engagement across all levels of the industry.

Millot outlined some of the GBTA Sustainability Program initiatives currently underway.

In the coming weeks, GBTA will release the global industry’s first-ever comprehensive study – across travel suppliers, travel buyers, and policy and government stakeholders – on the state of sustainability in the business travel industry and actions to improve the sector’s environmental performance.

Sustainability will be a major theme – including education, research, speakers, and expo opportunities – throughout the GBTA Convention, August 14-17, 2022, in San Diego, with a featured spotlight on sustainability on August 16.

GBTA is also developing an education programme and toolkit for corporate travel managers to help build sustainable travel programs and influence traveller behaviour.

On November 8, GBTA will host its inaugural GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels, prior to its GBTA Europe Conference 2022 in partnership with VDR. Timed adjacent to the United Nations Climate Summit, COP27, GBTA’s one-day event will bring together the business travel industry and policy leaders to outline concrete solutions to decarbonise the sector in alignment with the Paris Climate Goals.

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