6 trends paving the way for greener travel

12 May 2022 · 8
There’s no doubt you’ve heard the term “sustainable travel” cropping up more and more in recent years. And that’s no surprise, with over as we inch ever closer to the deadline to reach the 2030 Agenda.
The onus is on all of us to try to reduce our carbon footprints when we travel. From tourists and business travelers opting to travel by rail, to airlines shifting to the use of sustainable air fuels, to the hotel industry exploring new ways of reducing plastic waste - here are 6 of the biggest trends in sustainable travel.

1. Committing to the use of sustainable air fuels

Sustainable air fuels represent one of the most promising shifts towards more sustainable travel. Produced from sustainable feedstocks, this type of fuel is not fossil-derived, although it has similar properties to conventional jet fuels. In fact, it can .
According to the , a number of natural resources can be used to develop sustainable air fuel. That includes corn grain, oilseeds, algae, agricultural residue, and wood mill waste, among several other options. Leading airlines from around the world have already entered into forward-purchase agreements for sustainable air fuel, including United, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Delta, and KLM. Not only that, but several airlines have already been operating flights with SAF in the fuel mix - !
According to Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun,

2. Investing in carbon removal technology

Also known as negative emissions technology or direct air capture technology, this is a method that instantly, physically, and permanently removes carbon from the air. While often associated with , direct air capture is often lauded as a more concrete solution.
On a mechanical level, a Swiss company called is pioneering a new technology that uses fans in modular machines to draw air into a collector. This, then, catches the carbon with a filter made of organic compounds. Once the filter is full, the collector is closed and heated to 100°C (212°F), releasing pure carbon dioxide
There are other, more biological ways to remove carbon from the air as well. Afforestation, reforestation, bioenergy, and enhanced weathering are just a few examples of how direct air capture can help make green travel a reality sooner rather than later. In fact, Science Direct indicates that we have a
Greenperk Header 1024x460

3. Opting for more eco-friendly transport options

Governments around the world are implementing measures to help make travel more sustainable as a whole. Legislation is being passed in countries like France mandating that all short-haul domestic trips with a travel time of fewer than 2.5 hours be taken on trains instead of planes. The positive impact of such legislation is quite clear - policymakers in France claim that such a
And it’s not just governments that are showing an interest in this. Travelers themselves are choosing the greenest and most environmentally friendly options when it comes to how they’re going to travel. According to our own data, train travel is gaining momentum and catching up with air travel - particularly in Europe. In fact, over 30% of all business trips across Europe are booked on trains on our platform. . You’d need a forest the size of New York to remove the equivalent amount of CO2e.
What’s more, encouraging more responsible travel practices for business travelers and tourists alike will go a long way. Things like using public transport over private taxis, or renting an electric vehicle will make a huge difference. Our recent calculations have shown that . The CO2e savings of such a shift would be the equivalent of all vehicle emissions in a city with a population of ​​450,000 for one year. That’s the size of Miami!

4. Focusing on regenerative travel

Regenerative travel is all about enabling and helping an area to grow stronger, whereas sustainable travel looks at minimizing the negative effects of travel on ecosystems, habitats, local communities, and more. Traveling in a regenerative way is all about informed decision-making. It’s about understanding how the way that you travel impacts your destination, and consciously choosing vendors that address and help repair the area in which they operate.
And no - it’s not the same as ecotourism. Think about it this way. You could be a business traveler based in New York who frequently needs to visit the London office. To be a regenerative traveler, your first step would be to arm yourself with the right information so that you limit the damage your business trip can do to the environment. You could significantly mitigate your effect on the environment by consciously choosing to fly with airlines that emit less carbon or opting to stay in hotels powered by renewable energy. You could also work with a travel company that helps you offset your carbon footprint, and make a point of purchasing or paying for locally sourced goods and services.
The same applies to leisure travel. Sustainable tourism can easily be combined with regenerative practices in a way that enables you to enjoy your travel experience and leave behind a positive impact. You could look into local non-profit organizations that can help you participate in volunteering projects with local people like national park clean-ups. Not to mention that you can plan your entire holiday with tour operators or travel agents who value sustainability and help make your trips as “green” as possible.
Car Traveling Through Forest 1024x768

5. Supporting a plastic and paper-free travel industry

Hotels above all are making commitments to ditch single-use plastics for toiletries and disposable cutlery, for example. Given that , moves like these represent an important shift towards a more eco-friendly travel industry. , including things like:
  • Eliminating the use of plastic straws, cutlery, shampoo bottles
  • Replacing plastic bottles with glass or reusable water bottles
  • Implementing mobile keyless entry to hotel rooms
  • Setting up plastic recycling stations across their properties
  • Introducing paperless invoicing at check-out
Many hotel chains have started implementing effective policies in an effort to say “no” to plastic. ) in an effort to combat their effect on climate change. The chain is determined to cut waste by 50% by 2030 - to do so, they’re replacing all miniature amenity bottles with full-sized ones across all their properties and will be fully miniature-free by 2023. They are also using a digital key program to open guest room doors without the use of plastic keycards, reducing plastic 125 tonnes of plastic waste.

Yes, you can help make travel greener too!

No matter whether you’re traveling to Costa Rica for your family vacation, jetting off to Shanghai for that all-important business trip, or meeting your team for a retreat somewhere in the Caribbean (lucky you) -
Here are just a few quick travel tips on what you can easily do to travel more sustainably:
Are you managing or planning travel for your company? Speak to one of our experts to learn how you can help your business reach its net-zero emissions targets through sustainable business travel!
Written by
Sofia Bogunovic
Brand Content Manager at TravelPerk
Train Plane Travel

Make business travel simpler. Forever.

  • . Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
  • Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. and have you covered.
  • Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.