27 International offices
Luxury cosmetics
Melbourne / London

Building a Sustainable Travel Policy

Who is Aesop? 

Aesop was established in Melbourne, Australia in 1987 and provides customers with a range of products across skin, body and hair care, as well as fragrance and accessories.

It has dual head offices located in Melbourne and London, United Kingdom as well as regional offices in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, the United States of America, Singapore, Switzerland and France. These offices support online and retail operations through several Product and Store Design, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, Research and Development, Sustainability, Digital and IT teams.

What problems are Aesop facing? What are their major challenges/obstacles? 

Aesop is on a path to reach net-zero emissions. Currently, travel represents 4.3% of Aesop’s global yearly carbon footprint (excluding consumer use of products). 

Aesop has over 3000 employees, operates in 27 countries and has over 400 stores and counters worldwide, so travel is essential for their operations. They have the difficult task of reducing their Co2 impact from travel, while maintaining a high standard of connectivity and output. 

To understand the current state of play, and determine solutions for the future, they reached out to TravelPerk for help.

"On our journey to Net Zero, precise, granular emissions data is really helpful to Aesop —because before we can act, we need to know what to focus on.  Working with Travelperk has enabled us to understand our travel emission hotspots much better and map out the changes we can make that will have the biggest impact."

Rebecca Lawson, Sustainability Manager, Climate

There were three main challenges to tackle:

  1. How to get accurate data? The world had just come out of 2 years of pandemic, where travel to/from APAC in particular was heavily impacted. We could not rely on data between 2020-21 alone to conduct an accurate analysis, so we included data from 2019 up until Q4 2022.
  2. How to get consistent data? As some travel was booked outside Travelperk, we took data from multiple sources, which had varying formats and content. Before starting the analysis, we needed to consolidate all the data sets into one.
  3. How to communicate to travellers? Insights are helpful, but Aesop needed to translate them into clear actions and demonstrate to travellers how they have an impact.

What positive impact has TravelPerk had on their business? 

Aesop and TravelPerk adopted a “Test & Learn” approach based on the insights provided. These resulting recommendations are able to influence significant reductions - with the switch from air to rail offering up to 86% reductions across those routes.  

These included: 

  • Switching to the most ‘Co2-efficient’ airlines on specific routes (these tended to be low-cost carriers).
  • Switching from air to rail where the train journey takes less than 8 hours. 
  • Switching cabin class. Moving from business class to premium economy on long haul flights.

As a result of these recommendations Aesop have already taken positive steps towards managing their travel emissions. For example, Aesop and TravelPerk added a pop-up guiding travellers to most efficient airlines across frequent routes, and made flights that could be replaced by trains, out of policy. 

For TravelPerk, the project showed the importance of building tools that enable both companies and travellers to understand the impact of their choices.