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Business flights are in trouble in the world of net zero

The Swiss Re insurance group has 14,000 employees scattered around the world, and if you want to fly somewhere this year, you need a good reason.

To address climate change, the company decided in 2022 to halve its greenhouse gas emissions from air travel in 2018.

This goal has been added to the elements used to assign company bonuses. Internal carbon prices are about $ 200 for employees booking a return flight from London to New York to the Business Unit Cost Center for economy and about $ 600 for business seats. Means.

Everyone’s emissions are monitored and very frequent leaflets need to be vigilant. “If one employee travels like crazy, we’ll find it,” Reto Schnerweiler, head of Swiss Re’s Group Sustainability, told me. Also, there will probably be “discussion with the individual”.

Even other large companies have difficulty flying for work. At Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, the impact of its new goal of halving air travel emissions by 2025 by staff running programs to help children with diabetes in poor countries. I feel.

The team was planning to meet in Bangladesh this year, but instead everyone went to Zurich. “The number of long-haul flights to and from Bangladesh did not justify an internal group meeting,” said Katrindi Bona, Novo Nordisk’s Sustainability Officer, for some people already. Explain that you are in Zurich.

On the other hand, the four major accounting firms EY Nudge theory — The idea that small design changes can change behavior — move to an in-house travel booking system and encourage staff to travel more environmentally friendly.

“For example, if they are booking a flight back on the same day, we will start nudge them to turn the meeting into a team. [online] It’s a conference, not a physical one, “said Steve Burley, Global Vice President of Sustainability at EY. Or take the train instead.

I found all of this by calling some of the companies listed above Ranking This month, it was announced by a Green Transport Campaigner who analyzed the air travel plans of 230 US and European companies.

Most of the people I talked about about these developments in corporate climate change measures turned their eyes and muttered “cost savings.” They are quite right to do so. Some companies may be acting to reach their more stringent Net Zero goals than ever before. But pandemics are a grand lesson on how much business you can do through Zoom, and are being watched by chief financial officers around the world.

The question is why not more companies copy Swiss Re, Novo Nordisk and EY.

These three companies are just one of the eight companies that earned the top score A grade in the Green Group rankings. So, for example, they took steps to set specific goals to reduce rapid travel emissions quickly, not in the distant future, and reported on the magnitude of emissions for at least a year. Means that.

This doesn’t seem to be that much of a hassle. Especially given that many low-scoring companies have ambitious plans to reduce total emissions. Microsoft, like ExxonMobil and BP, has applied a $ 100 carbon price to business trips as part of an ambitious effort by software companies to invest in green aviation fuel and become carbon negative by 2030. Obtained the lowest D grade.There are no specific goals for reducing emissions Business trip..

This is subject to change.Aviation only account About 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions. However, if the pre-pandemic growth trend resumes, its share could rise, and large electric aircraft, cost-competitive green aviation fuels, or other technologies to make it more flight climate friendly are still available. If it is missing, it will be a problem.

Campaign participants’ air travel rankings are not intended to completely ban business flights or punish employees who have jobs that require frequent flights.

It’s important to note that it makes sense for businesses to stick to the more environmentally friendly travel habits they have acquired during a pandemic. Some companies have shown that this is possible. More people can do the same.

pilita.clark@ft.com

@pilitaclark



Business flights are in trouble in the world of net zero

Source link Business flights are in trouble in the world of net zero

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