Six Sustainable Tips for Business Travel

7 June 2022  |  Travel Blogs

There is no way to sugarcoat that the aviation industry is one of the biggest emitters of carbon. But as borders reopen and business travel booms again, my attention quickly turns to sustainable business travel. In this blog, we’re going to be looking at ways we can collectively offset our carbon footprint and help protect the environment when travelling for business. 

Rightly so, climate change and climate action are at the forefront of everyone’s mind this year. In this blog, I’m going to give you some simple steps to help you take action and travel more responsibly.  


I’m sure many of you are already using reusable plastics, but if not, purchase yourself some refillable toiletry bottles today. Refills are a perfect way to transport your favourite shampoo, conditioner and creams that you already have at home. Avoid buying mini-sized products or using the hotel’s complimentary toiletries. And say no to complimentary testers at the airport. Using these mini’s creates a staggering 980 tonnes of waste every year.

Sustainable Business Travel tips:  refillable toiletry

According to research carried out by Direct Line Group, an average of 15.5 million UK adults purchase travel-size toiletries every year, that’s nearly a third of all British travellers. Sadly we’ve gotten into the habit of buying new toiletries every time we travel. And we’re buying more and more minis because of the 100ml liquid restrictions. It’s time to get organised with some mini reusables.

Top Tip Think twice about drinking from the mini-fridge, plastic water bottles take a whopping 450 years to completely degrade. 

Sustainable Business Travel tips: Think twice about drinking from the mini-fridge, plastic water bottles take a whopping 450 years to completely degrade. 

Direct flights

Direct flights are not only more convenient, but they are often better for the environment too. This is because 50% of carbon emissions are said to come from takeoff and landing.

Research carried out by Annals of Tourism Research and Go Green Travel Green, found that on average, the difference between direct and connecting routes was 100kg of carbon dioxide per person. That’s roughly the equivalent of operating a refrigerator for an entire year.

I understand that we’re always trying to find the most cost-effective flights, I’m guilty of this myself. But knowing the cost to the environment, could this be something you or your company consider next time you’re booking your business travel? 

Top Tip Some airlines are better at filling seats than others. And newer planes can be more efficient so it’s worth taking the time to do some airline research.

Pack light

It’s important to pack light, as a heavier suitcase will contribute to making the plane use more fuel compared to a lighter backpack.

But we’ve gotten into a bad habit of buying new things when we travel. From holiday clothes, a new suit for a big business meeting, or treating ourselves in the airport. But these habits must be broken.

Travelling with less means you’re more likely to walk or use public transport, therefore reducing your carbon footprint even more.

Travelling with less means you’re more likely to walk or use public transport, therefore reducing your carbon footprint even more.

Top Tip Pack versatile items instead of a different outfit for every occasion. You’re travelling after all, so expect to re-wear items of clothing.

Eat and shop more sustainably

When travelling for work I get it can be hard to eat sustainably. First, off we’re tempted with the hotel breakfast buffet, convenient and great value for money right?

According to a study by Estimation of the Scale of Food Waste in Hotel Food Services, a devastating average 72.55% of food is wasted from a hotel buffet, including plate waste. This might be something you take into consideration when booking your accommodation. Take a minute to research what eco-conscious actions they take.

Try to help independent businesses and local markets where you can, as this often reduces the distance that goods have to be transported.

We understand that on a business trip, there’s likely to be a lot of eating out. So if you are out impressing a prospect or clients, why not reduce your meat intake by booking a vegetarian restaurant. They’re all the rage, and chances are you’ll impress them with your balanced approach. Take a look at to find up and coming sustainable eateries all over the world. 

Sustainable Business Travel tip: Opt for the vegetarian meal on your flight.  

Top Tip Opt for the vegetarian meal on your flight.  

Choose excursions wisely

You may be travelling for business but perhaps you’re entertaining or you have some time to yourself? Whatever the reason, it’s important to take the time to research sustainable tours and be responsible tourists.

Carefully research any animal experiences. Visiting a sanctuary might sound like a wholesome activity, but read the reviews and be 100% positive it’s ethical. Here’s a link to a PETA article: How to Tell if a Place Is a REAL Animal Sanctuary. 

Top Tip Visit and appreciate local parks and green buildings. Examples of green buildings: One Central Park (Sydney, Australia), Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China), Bosco Verticale (Milan, Italy), Suzlon One Earth (Pune, India), One Angel Square (Manchester, United Kingdom). 

Sustainable Business Travel tip: Visit local parks and green buildings, like the  Shanghai Tower

Did you know that the Shanghai Tower uses 80% less energy for its heating and cooling than equivalent towers? This is due to its use of danfoss technology. The tower had transparent double walls that insulate, allow for air ventilation, and let in sunlight.

Carbon Offset Programs

Always opt into carbon reduction projects. When you book a flight, use a TMC that offsets your flight’s CO2 emissions. Also, take the time to research eco-conscious airlines.

Airlines investing in renewable biofuels include; Qantas, American Airlines, JetBlue, Lufthansa and KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. Who by 2026 aims to achieve a 15% gross reduction in CO2 by implementing a green fleet using renewable jet fuel. 

Top Tip Do you need to print all your travel documents? Read through your airline’s policies, as chances are digital copies provided on your phone are just fine.

We’ve sadly come to the end of our top sustainable travel tips. But I’d be interested to hear if you have any eco-friendly travel hacks I can add to my list. 

If you’d like to learn about our carbon offset program with echo.bravo, take a look at our website.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful, thank you for reading, 

India | Marketing Executive | echo.bravo