American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) says it has achieved its goal to offset carbon emissions for employee business travel. The greenhouse gas offset applies to trips taken by GBT staff during all of 2019 and will continue into the future. GBT says it becomes the first global travel management company to offset 100 percent of its own travel emissions and it will next focus on becoming carbon-neutral across all its operations.
Si-Yeon Kim, GBT’s chief risk and compliance officer and executive chair of the company’s Environment, Social and Governance group, said in a statement, “The COVID-19 crisis has hit GBT and the travel industry hard. I believe it is ever more important for us to remain anchored to our values during such challenging times. The companies that weather this crisis and emerge stronger will be those that do the right thing by their people, customers, communities and society.”
GBT’s greenhouse gas-offsetting strategy supports the Carbon Fund’s Envira Amazonia Project, a tropical forest conservation project that protects some 500,000 acres from deforestation, helping mitigate the release of more than 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. “At GBT, our decarbonization journey starts with offsetting travel but will soon apply to our entire global operations and beyond,” Kim adds.
With global travel bookings almost at a standstill, GBT is now working with clients to evolve travel programs, and to improve incident management and duty of care policies in preparation for a gradual return of travel demand later in the year. Companies are not only focused on optimizing travel budgets, but also on mitigating traveler risk and enhancing employee care, while making meaningful decisions about their carbon footprints.
GBT has developed a range of consultancy services and tools to help travel managers optimize their travel programs while mitigating the effects of business travel by helping track, measure and offset. Next month, GBT will publish its Environmental, Social and Governance report for 2020.