3 Ways Business Travel Can Be More Environmentally Sustainable

Business travel is booming, accounting for 20% of all domestic travel in the US alone. 

However, the carbon footprint associated with air travel, accommodations, and transportation poses a significant environmental challenge. Employee travel is one of the greatest contributors to corporate carbon emissions; however, the majority of the world’s largest companies are failing to set ambitious targets to reduce their employees’ emissions. 

In today’s climate-conscious landscape, companies are under more pressure to prioritize sustainability in their business travel practices, comply with regulations, and uphold their corporate social responsibility. We will discuss three ways companies can reduce their carbon footprint and promote environmental sustainability while taking full advantage of global opportunities. Let’s dive in.

The sustainability movement in the business travel industry

There’s been a growing awareness and subsequent push for sustainability within the business travel industry. According to a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) report, the tourism and travel sector accounts for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions overall, a significant proportion of that being solely business travel. This awareness has increased pressure on companies from governments, investors, and consumers to adopt eco-friendly and socially sustainable practices. As the industry evolves, companies that send employees on international assignments or business meetings must adapt their travel policies to align with the sustainability imperative. 

Organizations can significantly reduce their environmental impact by adopting the following three strategies while demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

1. Invest in carbon offsets for flights

Air travel remains a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). While many companies are making efforts to switch to trains instead of flights for short business trips, when a flight is necessary, there are ways to mitigate the impact. Companies can invest in carbon offset programs, which fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. These projects can take various forms, such as reforestation initiatives, renewable energy development, or methane capture from landfills. By purchasing carbon offsets, companies can effectively reduce the environmental impact of their air travel, contributing to a greener planet.

Some major corporations are instead choosing to buy into Sustainable Aviation Fuel, as an alternative to carbon offsets. This next-generation low-carbon fuel was made to replace current fossil-based jet fuel. Companies that buy sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates invest money to support SAF production. By purchasing these certificates, corporate travelers are helping fund more environmentally friendly aviation fuels while still being able to report lower emissions for their company’s operations.

2. Choose green accommodations

The hospitality industry has recognized the importance of sustainability, with an increasing number of hotels and resorts seeking eco-friendly certifications. One of the most respected certifications is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which evaluates buildings based on energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor environmental quality.

By prioritizing LEED-certified or similarly accredited accommodations, companies can reduce their environmental footprint while supporting the hospitality industry’s efforts toward sustainability.

Additionally, many green hotels offer incentives for guests who opt for environmentally conscious practices, such as reusing towels or declining daily room cleaning.

3. Promote environmentally friendly travel practices

While corporate policies and partnerships play a crucial role, sustainable business travel relies on employees’ actions. Companies can encourage eco-friendly practices by providing reusable water bottles, promoting the use of public transportation or shared rides, and recommending sustainable dining options that prioritize locally sourced and organic ingredients.

Organizations can also implement training programs to educate employees on the importance of sustainable travel practices and equip them with the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed decisions during their business trip, whether they’re working or enjoying their time abroad.

Embracing sustainable business travel practices not only aligns with environmental stewardship but also offers tangible benefits for companies. By reducing their carbon footprint and prioritizing eco-friendly practices, organizations can:

  • Enhance their reputation and brand image with customers. As people become increasingly conscious of environmental issues, companies prioritizing sustainability can differentiate themselves, attract top talent, and foster customer loyalty.
  • Achieve cost savings. Sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient accommodations and reduced waste, can lead to significant long-term cost savings.
  • Comply with regulations. As governments introduce stricter environmental regulations, companies that proactively adopt sustainable practices will be better positioned to meet compliance requirements.
  • Foster employee engagement. By involving employees in sustainability initiatives and providing them with the tools to make eco-friendly choices during business travel, companies can cultivate a culture of environmental responsibility and boost employee morale.

Businesses can significantly reduce their environmental impact by investing in carbon offsets, choosing green accommodations, and promoting environmentally friendly travel practices while demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Navigate the complexities of sustainable business travel with an immigration partner

The path to a more sustainable future requires a collective effort from businesses, governments, and individuals alike. By embracing sustainable business travel practices, companies contribute to a greener planet and position themselves as leaders in environmental stewardship, fostering a culture of responsibility and innovation within their organizations. 

While prioritizing sustainability in business travel is crucial, navigating the complexities of international travel documentation and immigration requirements can be overwhelming. This is where trusted immigration and documentation partners can provide invaluable support, allowing companies to focus on conducting business sustainably and effectively.

By working with specialists who can handle everything from immigration documentation to apostille, legalization, business visa filing and processing, and more, companies can offload administrative burdens and ensure compliance with local regulations. This not only alleviates stress for mobility teams but also enables them to concentrate their resources on driving sustainable practices within their global mobility programs.

Trusted immigration partners can support sustainable business travel in several ways. They can help clients secure appropriate business visitor visas worldwide, ensuring accurate and timely submission of documentation while monitoring application status. Additionally, they can coordinate the legalization or authentication of documents, such as academic certificates or birth certificates, and provide certified translation services for required documents, ensuring high standards and compliance.

By leveraging expertise and cutting-edge technology, these partners can streamline processes, enhance efficiencies, and reduce workloads associated with international travel. This allows them to offload administrative complexities, lower pressure, and focus on what truly matters – conducting business sustainably and effectively while minimizing their environmental impact.

Lex Documents can help with your global immigration documentation so you can achieve your sustainability goals

Lex Documents offers services ranging from visa application and processing to document procurement, legalization, and translation. Regardless of the service, we are focused on providing it in the most sustainable way possible and constantly working to create a better environment for our customers, our employees, and the world.


We have offices and staff in Europe, North America and Latin America with experience in international administration and local and international document management for immigration and global mobility needs. Whatever your business needs, we can offer a personalized service with a single point of contact to quickly navigate complex bureaucratic systems.

Contact us to find out how Lex Documents can help you.

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