Bringing sustainability into the functionality of booking corporate travel
Egencia strives to be at the vanguard of sustainable initiatives, and work to be a proud and enthusiastic leader instead of a “tick the boxes” follower.
We spoke to Renaud Loizzo, director of product management at Egencia, to find out what Egencia is doing about sustainability and how this work benefits corporate travel programs.
What is Egencia doing to help its customers achieve their sustainability goals?
RL: Product-wise, there are two main steps to enhancing sustainability features. The first is to make sure that we can provide accurate carbon emission data to travel managers. Which we’ve done with the Carbon Emission Dashboard in the Egencia Analytics Studio.
The next step is embedding information into the booking path that has the power to change traveller behaviour. From a sustainability viewpoint, this is the gold standard.
We’ve rolled this out by displaying the carbon footprint of each flight — along with “real-life equivalents” like how many homes could be powered for a year or how many smartphones can be charged with that amount of energy — while booking, at checkout and in email confirmations. And this is just the starting point. It’s exciting because in the past, everything was about driving savings. Now, instead of just cost, our customers want to factor in sustainability too.
What is Egencia, as a company, doing to lead in terms of sustainability?
RL: When it comes to carbon offsetting and carbon removal, the more detailed the data, the better. Right now, carbon emissions are a static calculation. But we’re working towards more dynamic calculations based on more variables as the data improves. We are currently piloting a new product where our travellers can see the carbon offset cost on our air shopping pages. It helps the traveller be fully aware of the total cost of their flight. It also allows our customers to communicate in an impactful way to their employees their own efforts on the sustainability front.
Also, as more partners sign the UNESCO pledge and badging comes into play, that will be helpful not just to travellers, but also to incentivise those companies to make more sustainable choices themselves.
What would be your advice for travel managers and travellers looking to make more sustainable choices?
RL: Building sustainable goals directly into business travel policy is one way. For instance, favouring direct flights over indirect.
But there are other ways to influence travellers’ choices within the booking path. For instance, travel managers can use Analytics Studio to identify frequently travelled short-flight routes — like Paris to Marseille or New York City to Washington, D.C. — and create a Custom Message that will display when a traveller goes to book that route. Something like, “There’s a train for that route, please click here to book by train instead”.
And for hotels, travel managers can use the Hotel Custom Branding feature to display a custom badge on hotels that they’ve identified as committed to sustainability.
Check out what else we’re doing to help you achieve greener business travel.