Businesses cut flights by staff
16.5.2008 (Financial Times)
By Kevin Done
Many businesses are seeking to reduce the number of flights taken by staff as
a way of reducing carbon emissions, according to a report released today by WWF-UK,
the conservation organisation.
A survey [details below] of 100 companies in the FTSE 350 index shows that 89%
are expecting to cut flights during the next 10 years and 85% regard video conferencing
as a way to reduce travel.
The survey was carried out by Critical Research as part of WWF’s One Planet Future
campaign, which is asking businesses to cut one in five flights.
Peter Lockley, head of transport policy at WWF-UK, said the report showed there
was a “real appetite” among many leading businesses to reduce flying. “Green alternatives
such as video conferencing not only provide a swift solution for cutting carbon,
they can also save businesses time and money,” he said.
According to WWF, the report strengthens the case for stopping further expansion
of airports. “If business travellers, who currently account for more than a fifth
of passengers from the UK and a third from Heathrow, are increasingly choosing
to hold “virtual meetings” instead of taking flights, the case for airport expansion
begins to evaporate,” said Mr Lockley.
[Includes a film clip on the website, on aviation and the WWF “One in Five challenge” including the cuts the Man Group have made due to their
use of videoconferencing.]
- 62% of companies surveyed are already reducing their business travel footprint.
- A further 24% of companies are currently developing plans to do so.
- 89% of companies expect they will want to fly less over the next 10 years.
- 85% of companies say that videoconferencing can help them reduce their flying.
- 89% of companies believe that videoconferencing can improve their productivity.
These findings are very significant, not only because they challenge the assumption
that airport expansion is essential for business productivity, but also because
they lend support to WWF-UK’s latest campaign calling on companies to cut one
in five business flights.