The share of business trips has been rising steadily for years; according to the Association of German Travel Management eV (VDR), almost 2018 million business trips were made in Germany in 190 alone. The continuous growth of this segment and the high numbers of business trips made show that it can be an incredibly important contribution to climate protection if business trips are made in an environmentally friendly manner. Therefore, in this post today, we would like to give you ten tips on sustainable business travel that prove that it is not that difficult to make your next business trip environmentally friendly.
1 First consider whether an online meeting is sufficient
At the beginning it should be considered whether the business trip is really necessary. In some cases, it may be sufficient to hold the meeting online. With services such as GoToMeeting or Skype multiple people can participate in an online video conference. And if you do have to travel on business, you should check whether you could link the business appointment with other on-site appointments. This saves you having to go back and forth within a very short time.
2 Take your own coffee mug with you
Be alone in Germany according to the German environmental aid Every hour (!) around 320.000 disposable coffee cups are used. In order to counter this environmentally harmful to-go culture, your own thermos coffee mug should not be missing on any packing list. This can then be filled either at home in advance or at the bakery on the way.
It is also worth taking a lunch box - preferably made of stainless steel - with you for the seductively scented croissant at the bakery. Of course, you can also fill your own bread box with your favorite snack at home in advance. Taking a refillable water bottle made of stainless steel or glass saves on annoying plastic waste.
3 Use the times efficiently during your journey
Traveling by train to the next business meeting is the most environmentally friendly way of getting there. The train is also extremely suitable as a "rolling office". While there is free WiFi in the ICE trains, you should set up a mobile hotspot with your mobile phone when traveling on other trains on the train. As far as the power supply is concerned, there are sockets in ICE trains at all seats below in the foot area. Sockets are not available at all seats on the other Deutsche Bahn trains. Here it is worth taking a power bank with you to secure the power supply when you are out and about.
Incidentally, all train journeys with the BahnCard Business are automatically CO2-free. In order to make train journeys CO2-free without a BahnCard, you should select the “Environment Plus” option at the end of your booking for an extra euro.
You can find more information on business travel with Deutsche Bahn here
4 Use time windows as breaks during the trip
When traveling, time windows open up that are wonderfully suitable as breaks. These breaks can be used, for example, with meditation apps such as "7 min“Spend. The app offers seven-minute guided meditations. Audio books are also a good alternative. Our tip: “Switch off” from Martin Suter. In it, the author tells with a healthy dose of irony and satire about the lives of top managers who try to relax.
5 If the flight is unavoidable, it is important to compensate
If it is unavoidable to use the plane as a means of transport for the next business trip, it is important to compensate. The CO2 offsetting of business trips through the company can be a first step to anchor sustainability at company level and to present this to the outside world.
By the way, sums of money that are used to offset CO2 are tax-deductible in Germany. Because the amounts are considered donations, for which a donation receipt can be issued on request, which in turn can be claimed from the tax offices.
You can find more information about compensation for business trips here
6 Lunch or dinner in a sustainable restaurant
On our blog we have already told you about "Greentable" reports: the initiative has made it its goal to implement more sustainability in gastronomy. You can find one on the platform Restaurant guide with numerous restaurants all over Germany that have already successfully implemented this. So why not spend your business lunch or dinner with your business partners in a sustainable restaurant?
If you do not find what you are looking for in the restaurant guide or if you are traveling internationally, you should make sure when visiting a restaurant that local and regional products are used and that local dishes are also on the menu. In this way, you also get to know the local cuisine on site.
7 Book sustainable accommodation
For business trips lasting several days, the choice of accommodation plays a major role. It is important to give preference to accommodations that pay attention to sustainability in their daily business. On Good travel you will find a selection of sustainable accommodation all over Europe. Even on platforms like GreenLine Hotels and BIO HOTELS there is a selection of sustainable hotels.
In addition, when choosing a hotel, you can make sure to choose an accommodation in which you can move around. After or before a day of travel or work that was mainly spent sitting, a little exercise is a good compensation. It doesn't always have to be the hotel gym. Offers such as yoga or Qi Gong, a hiking trail on the doorstep or a pool in which you can swim a few laps are also suitable.
Use 8 co-working spaces on site
If you don't necessarily want to work on the final preparations for the business meeting in the hotel room, it can also be attractive to use co-working spaces on site. Here you can rent for a few hours and use the last hours before the appointment efficiently. There is one here Overview of various co-working spaces in Deutschland.
9 Short distances within the destination by rental bike or on foot
Short distances within the destination, for example from one business meeting to another, can also be covered on foot or on a rental bike. This not only saves CO2, but also gets enough exercise and also sees more of the city. In addition, it has been proven that you reduce stress hormones through exercise, which means that you start the next appointment completely relaxed.
Use 10 car sharing offers
On longer journeys, it is advisable to use local public transport as well as car sharing offers in the respective city. According to the Federal Environment Agency A single car sharing car replaces up to eight private cars and is therefore an environmentally friendly alternative to company cars. This website gives an overview of the various providers and availabilities in Germany. And maybe there will even be the opportunity to form a car pool with business partners.
Here are the tips for sustainable business travel summarized again:
- Check whether an online meeting is also possible
- Thermos coffee mugs, lunch boxes and drinking bottles should not be missing on the packing list
- Knowing how to use the train with WiFi and electricity as a “rolling office”
- Use time windows during your journey as breaks with audio books or relaxation apps
- Flight compensation if the flight to the business meeting is inevitable
- Lunch or dinner in a sustainable restaurant
- Book sustainable accommodation
- Use co-working spaces on site
- On site on foot or by rental bike
- Use of the car sharing offer of the respective city