Balancing business resumption and sustainability is a challenge: CTMs

There is also a lack of universal standards when it comes to corporate sustainability

With borders open and economic recovery a priority, regional corporate travel managers (CTMs) are having to put more employees back on the road while balancing sustainability.

According to a senior CTM in a global financial institution, the challenge was the lack of a “world standard for carbon offsets”, and airline partners such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines having different policies on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

There is also a lack of universal standards when it comes to corporate sustainability

The senior CTM added: “Business trips are resuming. It’s about building back the business, meeting clients and management travelling in the region to meet staff.”

Aircraft are full, he commented, because business owners were prepared to pay high airfares not to lose business opportunities.

He pointed out: “Our regional travel policy has changed to improve traveller wellness, not compromise on comfort and (budget) limits have gone up to retain employees.”

Meanwhile, the regional CTM of a US pharmaceutical company said travel was back to about 50 per cent with no more travel restrictions and only personal consideration on destinations.

“Travel to Singapore is back with a vengeance,” he shared, adding that “if an employee has to travel and if the budget is available he or she will”.

He added that while the company was not asking its TMCs for travel and meeting sustainability reports yet, it was a matter of time as the issue is now on the radar.

Benson Tang, executive director of Corporate Travel Community (CTC), and organiser of the CTC Summit and Sustainability Expo in Singapore on November 3, told TTGmice that sustainability in corporate travel is a hot topic, and will be this year’s theme.

“Travel is a big carbon emitter and the summit will field experts and CTMs to speak about it,” he said.

The summit, Tang added, will also address topics such as SAF and how to tender for it, standards for measuring carbon emissions, and looking at petrol versus electric vehicles for ground transport tenders. There will also be an exhibition, which will “focus on suppliers with green initiatives”.

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