Embracing responsible travel

Embracing responsible travel

From big picture strategies to small-scale changes.

As part of a panel discussion at Illuminate this year, FCM’s Head of Account Management Australia, Renos Rologas asked two very different organisations – ANZ and Accor Hotels, to share how they were addressing the topic of responsible travel. It seems the focus for organisations since early 2020 has been developing strategies to overcome the travel complexities caused by COVID-19.

Banking icon and FCM client, ANZ sets public environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) targets annually (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) to help inform its travel program.

Jeff Elliott, ANZ’s Environmental Sustainability Change Lead identified ANZ’s three main travel program changes as being – a zero tolerance booking policy, increased focus on individual traveller risk and the consolidation of Duty of Care responsibilities. 

“We now have zero tolerance on booking outside approved channels, as COVID has bought home that we need 100% visibility,” said Mr Elliott. “As far as traveller duty of care and wellbeing of staff – we also have a tiered risk system built into our booking system, which only allows permissible travel.”

Mr Elliott also highlighted the need for thorough pre-trip education and timely information with access to real time support. “Having a tailored approach for each individual traveller is becoming more important,” said Mr Elliott. “We have seen different staff have different requirements and higher risk, whether it’s for medical reasons or age, so we need to support them appropriately.”

Another priority is having clear travel policies and verified travel information. “It’s essential to give staff a consistent message, rather than having them rely on varying information from airlines, misinformation or fake news,” said Mr Elliott. “We really need to minimise that concern and provide one trusted advice source through our own channels.”

Responsible travel also means addressing the environmental impact, with ANZ implementing staff education and a new carbon offset program. “We've also increased the granularity for key stakeholders, instead of the financials we include the emissions associated with each team's flights,” explains Mr Elliott. “And we also align ourselves with suppliers who hold similar values and meet our supplier code of practice.”

One travel supplier, and proud FCM partner, who’s been recognised many times for being a sustainability pioneer for the accommodation sector is Accor. Renae Trimble, Chief Commercial Officer at Accor explains that two key company-wide priorities are to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to eliminate all guest-related single use plastics by 2022. Accor has already removed thousands of plastic items and is now focusing on single portion toiletries and plastic wrapping on slippers – avoiding 20,000 plastic bags a year.

For Renae, the key is to make sure everyone is engaged with the values - and in the process - from staff, to investors and guests. “We know that our clients want to engage with like-minded companies and we see this through RFPs and the questions we are now being asked,” said Renae. “It’s also important to follow through internally, with things like renewable energy, food waste reduction, having our own vegetable gardens and sustainable refurbishment programs. It creates value for the business too in so many ways, such as attracting and keeping quality talent whose values align with the organisation’s.”

Responsible travel policies also are evident in Accor’s approach to guest duty of care. “A range of new initiatives include Accor’s ALLSafe program that focuses on cleanliness and prevention standards cross properties,” said Renae. “As part of ALLSafe, Accor established a global partnership to provide telehealth and medical support across all hotels worldwide, in a number of different languages. This adds a high level of confidence when staying in an Accor property.”

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