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52% Indian businesses believe firms committed resources to champion sustainability agenda: Report

52% Indian businesses believe firms committed resources to champion sustainability agenda: Report

According to a recent SAP Concur APAC Sustainability survey conducted by the consulting group, Asia Insight, ~29 per cent of the firms have an employee who manages sustainability as a part of their role whereas 23 per cent have dedicated personnel who handle sustainability.   

Conversely, 83 per cent respondents believe they have good or excellent business travel data for their software to analyse the environmental impact of travel.     Conversely, 83 per cent respondents believe they have good or excellent business travel data for their software to analyse the environmental impact of travel.    

Businesses in India believe companies are actively considering sustainability while managing corporate travel and have moved beyond lip service on the subject. More than half or 52 per cent of businesses in India believe companies have committed resources to championing the sustainability agenda, according to a recent SAP Concur APAC Sustainability survey conducted by the consulting group, Asia Insight.   

It further said that ~29 per cent of the firms have an employee who manages sustainability as a part of their role whereas 23 per cent have dedicated personnel who handle sustainability.   

The report furthermore mentions that 62 per cent participants said senior leadership is driving sustainability agenda for corporate travel, followed employees (58 per cent), those responsible for sustainability initiatives (47 per cent) and those responsible for corporate travel (46 per cent).   

“I believe that as flying time reduced, and emissions dropped during Covid-19 lock downs, organisations realised the possibilities of sustainable travel, and stakeholders became more motivated to take action. This shift of focus to bigger picture issues is a pivotal moment – not just for businesses to run better and be more profitable, but for more sustainable business practices to take root,” said Matt Goss, APAC SVP at SAP Concur.   

Companies have three goals in mind for implementing sustainable travel policies—increased brand reputation (90 per cent); positive brand awareness and reputation externally (88 per cent); heightened operation efficiency (88 per cent); increasing brand equity (86 per cent); and reducing costs (84 per cent).   

Graphic: Mohsin Shaikh

But how can companies materialise sustainability in corporate travel? The latest SAP Concur report states 86 per cent organisations believe they need to harness technology to become sustainable. Of these, 55 per cent companies are also adjusting their travel policies to switch to alternate modes of travel for business trips by encouraging employees to choose train over plane. However, 24 per cent companies do not have policies to encourage train travel as of now but will push for policy change.  

They are also looking at promoting the use of electric vehicles through policies like reimbursements for EV charging costs (59 per cent) and reimbursements in some cases (25 per cent). Besides this, 52 per cent have software in place to support corporate travel and expense management and 34 per cent are planning to acquire software for the purpose soon.  

Conversely, 83 per cent respondents believe they have good or excellent business travel data for their software to analyse the environmental impact of travel.    

Goss noted, “For those that lack implementation know-how, technology could point a way forward – in terms of helping guide employees to sustainable itinerary options, tracking emissions, and ultimately formulating more efficient and sustainable travel strategies. Firms should examine how these tools can support their broader sustainability goals.”  

Business practices aimed at enhancing sustainability are enabling pre-trip approvals and provision of sustainable travel and accommodation options for employees’ selection.   

Ensuring sustainability in corporate travel is easier said than done as it poses several challenges for corporates. Some of these hurdles include lack of budget (41 per cent); lack of professional tools to visualise environmental impact of travel (39 per cent); lack of flexibility and adaptability of current policies (39 per cent); and lack of training or personnel knowledge on issues related to sustainability (36 per cent).   

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    Published on: Jul 12, 2022, 2:15 PM IST
    Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Jul 12, 2022, 2:06 PM IST