Findings from airline sustainability scorecards

Glenn Thorsen, Global Sustainability Lead at FCM Consulting

In summer 2023, FCM Consulting launched a partnership with CAPA and Envest Global.

To coincide with the announcement, the team launched an offer to provide organisations with a personalised airline sustainability scorecard, pairing their unique methodology with the CAPA Envest Global Sustainability Benchmarking Report. All the team needs to create the scorecard is, from each buyer, their

  • Top 3-5 airlines in terms of trip volume/travel spend
  • Percentage of total trip volume/spend per airline listed
  • Whether they make any climate-based contributions with airline partners.

How it works 

Once a travel buyer has answered the initial round of questions, FCM Consulting uses the inputted information, the Global Sustainability Benchmarking Report and their own methodology to score airlines based on various sustainability metrics. Airlines are ranked from bronze up to platinum, depending on the maturity of their sustainability activity.

FCM Consulting schedules a meeting with the travel buyer to talk through their findings, and to advise on next steps. Post-GBTA Convention, 30 meetings have taken place either in-person or virtually. 

Initial findings

The 3-5 airlines in the travel programmes analysed typically have a silver and above ranking. Less than 10% of respondents have a Platinum ranked partner as their most travelled airline. However there are only eight airlines ranked Platinum, so by nature this number will be low.

It’s encouraging to see that just under 20% of the respondents have Gold or Platinum ranked programmes when scoring their top five most used airlines.

With this data to hand, travel buyers have more data behind them to make more sustainable choices.

Over 90% of the travel programmes analysed have at least one of the five airlines reporting total SAF usage.

Over 50% of the programmes analysed have over 50% difference in efficiency between the preferred airline in first position, and the airline in fifth. For example, of the respondents in the USA so far, the first airline is on average 10% more efficient than the second airline, but 60-80% more efficient than the fifth.

However, that first airline could be 40% of travel volume, while the fifth airline only accounts for 5% of trip volume. Factors such as load factors and whether a programme uses low-cost carriers also has an impact.



Glenn Thorsen, Global Sustainability Lead for FCM Consulting, has found travel managers appreciate this first layer of data and to have the context. Here are some of the ways that travel buyers plan to use the scorecard data:

• Validate internal thinking/compare against airline marketing messages
• Share internally, as sustainability teams are not aware of this data set
•  Use in future air programme management and negotiations
• Request the full report, and initiate workshops with FCM Consulting to delve further and work on strategy. 

Essentially, travel buyers feel more informed about their airline partners’ sustainability activity off the back of the scorecard exercise.

Want your own personalised scorecard? Fill in these questions, and FCM Consulting will get in touch to organise a time to discuss.

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