Last updated on
Eco-friendly business and eco-friendly travel have become quite the buzz words recently, and with good reason. Most of the world is becoming more conscious of climate change and the importance of reducing our carbon footprint for our immediate future and for the generations to come. As governments and individuals are taking greater initiative to create policies and personal habits that reduce the environmental impact, it’s also important that businesses become more eco-friendly. They too should incorporate eco-friendly measures and join the global movement to respect and preserve our planet. For the time being, Earth is the only place we can live, so let’s all do our part and take action in as many ways as possible. We want to help with this mission so we have compiled a list of ways on how to be more eco-friendly for corporate travel and in the office.
Before you go….. Ask yourself, is this corporate business trip necessary?
Sometimes the same goals can be accomplished through telecommunication. We can reduce the number of business trips overall by embracing technology. Instead of getting on a plane, have your eco-friendly business meeting by phone, conference, or video call.
Insider tip: at Akommo we use zoom.us for video conferences.
This would be the ideal, but we know that this isn’t always possible. So if you must go….
While airplanes tend to be the fastest way to travel, they also usually produce the most carbon dioxide per passenger. Trains and busses are much more eco-friendly, so if you are able to travel this way, it’s the best option. Take advantage of this time and read a book, listen to a podcast, jam out to your favourite music, watch your next binge-series, or just enjoy the scenery. If you must work during your travel, no problem, because most busses and trains have WI-FI connection. And an added bonus is that you will get to skip out on the security lines at the airport.
When trains and busses are not a feasible option, try and book a direct flight, as this reduces the amount of emissions per passenger. In geometry we are taught that “the shortest distance between 2 points in a plane is a straight line.” Well pun intended on this one, because it can be used as a motto for eco-friendly airplane travel as well.
When you plan your next business trip and you know you have other meetings pending, try and schedule them back to back. That way you reduce the total amount of travel and thus the total amount of emissions produced. If you have to travel from Barcelona to Cannes and know you need to meet a client in Paris, try and make the travel coincide on the same trip.
Company policies and personal choices for travel definitely matter and they definitely add up. There are many ways that we can all be doing a better job of being more environmentally conscious. We have created a list of ways you can make more eco-friendly choices, not just for corporate travel, but for everyday life.
Not only is it important to have an eco-friendly business, but it’s important to give back to the community as well. Check out all the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects that Akommo is doing!
The absolute best way to get around is by walking or by bike, as it creates no pollution. If your hotel is within walking distance of your next event, get some fresh air and take in the beautiful sites of the city! Also, it’s difficult to find time to work-out, especially during a business trip, so why not get that much needed exercise during the commute and “fill 2 needs with 1 deed.”
When it’s too far to walk or bike, take public transportation. Most European cities have efficient and well connected public transport, and oftentimes it’s just as fast as a taxi. Traffic jams are a worst nightmare when you have a place to be or a presentation to give, and not to mention the running meter. Go underground to avoid the bumper to bumper traffic or take the tram or the train.
When you do need a transfer or taxi make sure to share with your colleagues. “Sharing is caring,” and it not only reduces the carbon footprint, it also reduces the costs for your business! If you have the option, definitely try and use an eco-friendly taxi or rent a hybrid car.
Insider Tip: Here at Akommo if we need to take a taxi we only order eco-friendly taxis that are electric or hybrid.
- Eco-Friendly Accommodation:
When booking your next hotel or apartment, choose an accommodation that is eco-friendly and focuses on sustainability. Many large and small hotel chains are trying to reduce energy consumption and create a more sustainable model. Some hotels even have their own bee hives. Is there anything better than fresh honey on your bread or in your tea? Once you’ve decided on an eco-friendly accommodation, there are small things you can do individually to reduce your own personal carbon imprint.
A). Bring your own shampoo and soap and leave the “freebies” there. I know it can be tempting to use or take the cute little bottles that are provided to you in your room, but in the long run those cute little bottles add up to empty plastic that take up large amounts of space.
B). Hang your towels up to dry and reuse them. There’s really no need to have your towels changed everyday. I mean hopefully you’re clean getting out of the shower, so just hang them up and use them again.
C.) Put the “Do Not Disturb” sign to good use. Is there really a need to have your room cleaned everyday?
D.) Be energy conscious. When you are in your room, only use the lights you need. When you leave the room, make sure all the lights are turned off. Also make sure to unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Everything that’s plugged in will drain some amount of energy and many appliances will drain power even when they are turned off. This is sometimes called “phantom” or “vampire” electricity for obvious reasons, so stop sucking unneeded energy by unplugging everything.
Part of our efforts to contribute to an eco-friendly business model is not only being energy conscious during corporate travel, but also in the office and in our daily routines.
- Live by the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle): One of the best ways to make your workplace more eco-friendly is to try to live by those precious words you were taught as a child. First and foremost, reduce the total waste you are making. Bring a water bottle and refill it as opposed to downing multiple plastic bottles. Second, reuse as much as possible. Do away with paper towels and napkins and go for cloth. And finally, it’s important to recycle. Set up different bins in the office to make it easy for people. In addition, many coffee machines now use pods that create waste with every cup. Contact the coffee supplier to see if they have a recycling program.
- Turn down the AC and Heating: Depending on where you live, the weather can be your friend or your enemy, but either way, while working in your office, put the temperature to the minimum or maximum possible to reduce energy consumption and costs.
- Don't Print: In a world ever more technological, there is less and less need to have paper copies. Before you click the print button ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Many companies are adopting a cloud-based structure creating less demand for printing.