77% of company employees believe that a company has an important role to play in the fight against climate change. In a survey of 2,506 employees in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany and Spain, an overwhelming majority of employees surveyed say their employer should take action against global warming. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to be employed full-time in an organization with at least 50 employees and be between the ages of 18 and 74.
While most respondents are willing to change their travel habits for sustainability reasons and also believe they have an important role to play in shaping their company’s travel policies, even more believe that companies should set corporate theft reduction targets. 74% of employees surveyed in this survey believe that to reduce corporate theft, a company should set goals and include travel policies. The survey also reveals that nearly three-quarters of employees think an important factor in reducing a company’s carbon footprint is reducing levels of corporate theft. The results in all European countries confirm this.
“Corporate flying habits have changed and employees want a new normal where companies take responsibility for reducing their share of emissions,” said Denise Auclair, corporate travel campaign manager at Transport & Environnement. “Change will happen with clear goals and policies that align with employee expectations. This can only help companies in the current race to recruit and retain top talent.”
The survey comes at a time when there is a growing sense that the decline in business theft is here to stay. Among those who report flying for work now or before the pandemic , 62% say they have reduced their flying habits compared to before COVID-19. Only 27% say they fly as often as before the pandemic, with 11% saying they now fly more.
The pandemic has shown the ease with which business travelers can reduce business flights, turning to an expanded choice of other low-carbon alternatives. When asked their preference for how to reduce the environmental impact of business air travel, business travelers in this survey were most likely to say they preferred virtual collaboration technologies ( 53% of respondents). Less frequent flights (36%) and other means of transport (32%) account for around a third of intentions.
The shift to remote collaboration is expected to have a big impact on the return of internal meetings . A large majority of business travelers in this survey (72%) say they are willing to take fewer business flights for internal meetings to reduce their environmental impact. 67% of business travelers surveyed in this survey indicate that they are willing to plan more local meetings than global meetings, and therefore potentially avoid long-haul flights.
“Employees understand the climate impact of long-haul flights and are prepared to limit their travel. But they expect senior management to lead by example and set ambitious goals to reduce business travel. And there has never been a better time, right at the start of COP Business leaders who claim to care about the climate should first examine their own flying habits and seize the moment to commit to maintaining the their company’s air travel to less than 50% of pre-pandemic levels, as a key measure to reduce corporate emissions,” concludes Denise Auclair.
Learn more about the Travel Smart Campaign
Notes to editors
 The employee sample was further broken down to reflect business travelers only. Business travelers in this study refer to those who say they flew for work before COVID or are currently flying for work.The sample of business travelers was 1,279 people, across the UK, US, France, Germany and Spain.
The survey was conducted online by Ipsos with a sample of 2,506 adults in five countries: US, UK, France, Germany and Spain. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to be employed full-time in an organization with at least 50 employees and be between the ages of 18 and 74. The employee sample was further broken down to reflect business travelers only. Business travelers in this study refer to those who say they flew for work before COVID or are currently flying for work. The sample of business travelers was 1279 people. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6 and 10 October 2022. Population weights were applied at the country level. The survey has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points for all respondents. The survey also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for business travellers.