sustainable corporate travel practices

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That said, close to four in 10 (37%) professionals cited a lack of budget as one hurdle they face in the organisation's sustainability journey, while around three in 10 (32%) cited a lack of employee engagement.

Approximately nine in 10 (86%) senior and mid-level managers in corporate travel, finance, human resources, and procurement & sustainability surveyed, across the Asia Pacific (APAC), say their companies are actively considering sustainability when managing corporate travel.

This was revealed in solutions company SAP Concur's APAC Sustainable Business Travel survey, which had respondents from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Mainland China, Australia, and South Korea.

According to overall findings, many organisations in APAC have "gone beyond" articulating sustainability principles to putting things into practice through its corporate travel policies, driven by its leaders. Diving deeper into the findings, about more than half (56%) of the professionals said their senior leadership is driving the sustainability agenda for corporate travel. This group comes ahead of employees (47%), those who are responsible for sustainability initiatives (47%), and those who are responsible for corporate travel (41%).

Further, more than half of the organisations involved in the survey shared that they "committed resources" to championing sustainability. This commitment translates to more than three in 10 (34%) of the organisations having someone who manages sustainability as part of their role, and more than two in 10 (21%) have dedicated personnel handling sustainability.

Such evidence, analysts shared, indicate that organisations in APAC are investing in sustainability outcomes.

"The research findings were a significant departure from the pre-pandemic days where Asia Pacific organisations were more concerned about travel cost savings than the environmental impact of their actions,” shared Matthew Goss, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific and Greater China, SAP Concur.

That said, professionals surveyed revealed that incorporating sustainability into corporate travel is not without its challenges. Close to four in 10 (37%) shared that a lack of budget is one hurdle they face in the organisation's sustainability journey, while around three in 10 (32%) cited a lack of employee engagement. Other hurdles mentioned include a lack of professional tools to visualise the environmental impact of travel (31%), and a lack of policy flexibility and adaptability (31%).

With that in mind, analysts suggest decision-makers look at technology solutions as a feasible means to help and guide employees to, for instance, sustainable itinerary options, tracking emissions, and formulate more efficient and sustainable travel strategies.

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