A 5-Step Guide to Sustainable Business Travel

Reduce emissions without grounding your employees.

Meeting face-to-face helps organizations build trust and grow relationships. Unfortunately, carbon emissions from business travel also contribute significantly to climate change. As companies prioritize net zero initiatives, executives are trying to reap the undeniable benefits of collaborating in person without sacrificing our planet’s viability.

Taking a fresh look at your company’s business travel policies and tools is a great place to start. The good news is you won’t have to ground your employees. Instead, you can pull from tools you already have while introducing work-from-anywhere capability, redefining what “essential” travel means, promoting low-emissions transportation options, and working with partners outside your organization. You’ll also need to account for your business travel carbon emissions if you hope to reduce them.

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can balance your need for business travel with your sustainability commitments and share how to get started on tracking and reducing your entire carbon footprint.

Step 1: Think digital first.

The pandemic opened our eyes to just how much we can accomplish virtually. Even in face time-heavy industries like real estate and healthcare, companies propelled business forward using online channels. Today, companies across every sector aren’t looking back: In fact, nine out of 10 companies are adopting hybrid working arrangements. And with 77% of employees splitting time between the office and home (or working remotely entirely), it’s no surprise that companies will likely not ever go back to exactly how things were.

So how should organizations approach business travel in this work-from-anywhere world? The first step is leaning on digital channels as the primary driver of productivity.


“We learned a ton during the pandemic. With minimal travel, we performed exceptionally well. We had more C-level meetings, faster turnaround times, better access to customers. And we don’t want to lose that. It’s digital first, and that should be our mentality moving forward.”

Brian Millham, President, CSG & COO Worldwide Distribution, Salesforce
The key to success in this work-from-anywhere landscape is a digital HQ. On one secure platform, you can give employees the resources and tools they need to stay productive. In this new model, organizations facilitate hybrid work and enable virtual collaboration between internal and external teams. A single digital collaboration tool that provides easy access to documents, data, and group conversations across your company’s entire ecosystem improves productivity and, in the vast majority of cases, eliminates the need to gather in person.

“We call it the digital HQ because in this all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, your digital headquarters is more important than your physical headquarters. Every company needs a digital HQ to connect its employees, customers, and partners and thrive in a work-from-anywhere world.”

Bret Taylor, Co-CEO, Salesforce
The concept of a digital HQ works best when talking about business travel for the purpose of collaboration. It requires the right technology to be successful, but even that has its limits. If you’re trying to help teams bond, build relationships with clients, attend a large conference, or physically set up a space, travel may still be necessary, and that’s okay. Having a digital HQ allows us to rethink and redefine essential travel without eliminating it altogether.

Companies expect business travel to decrease 20% between 2019 and 2023.

Sustainability Efforts Organizations Are Making to Reduce Their Environmental Impact

Transition more internal meetings online
Optimize meeting agendas to reduce need to fly
Restrict frequency of business travel
Reduce international or long-distance travel
Seek guidance from travel management company
Prioritize travel suppliers investing in sustainability
Encourage alternative transportation over air 
Purchase sustainable fuel

A 5-Step Guide to Sustainable Business Travel

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • How to balance your need for business travel with your sustainability commitments
  • How to get track and reduce your entire carbon footprint.
  • How other companies are using technology to make data-driven decisions to reduce travel-related carbon emissions.

Fill out the form to learn more.

Enter your first name
Enter your last name
Enter your title
Enter a valid email address
Enter a valid phone number
Select your industry
Select your country
By registering I confirm that I have read and agree to the Privacy Statement.
This is a required field

More resources

Reducing Value Chain Emissions by Enabling Supplier Action
Beyond Net Zero: How Nature-Based Solutions Help Tackle the Climate Crisis

Get timely updates and fresh ideas delivered to your inbox.