Contribute to a better climate through a sustainable travel policy
In the Netherlands, we all know the old environmental campaign slogan ‘A better environment starts with you’. Now, 25 years later, the environment is still a hot topic. Just open the newspapers, check a news site, or switch on the TV or radio, and you will hear people talking about the environment and the climate. In national and European politics, the climate is an election topic and climate debates are being held. Partners in the aviation industry, too, are jointly considering what the options are. In the recent Dutch elections, two parties saw big gains: the Green Left party and the climate-change-sceptical Forum for Democracy. What will this mean for the environment?
At VCK Travel, we believe the environment is an important topic. As your partner, we therefore aim to work in an ethically responsible way, aware of environmental issues and the next generation. And if we think of the slogan ‘A better environment starts with you’, then we immediately think of ourselves, as well as our customers and their travellers – three parties who can all make a contribution.
Environmentally aware partner
Looking first at ourselves, we have ambitious plans for the future. We are well on our way to achieving a fully climate-neutral environmental footprint in 2020. This is one of the objectives of our environmental policy, which we started in 2010. We already make over 60% fewer print-outs compared to 2010, and the CO2 emissions from our lease cars have gone down by more than 40%. Via GreenSeat, we compensate the CO2 emissions of our colleagues’ business trips. In 2010, we received ISO 14001 certification for the first time, which ensures that we comply with all rules and regulations and manage environmental risks. This certification is subject to an annual audit, which also ensures that we make steady progress each year with our environmental and climate objectives. We have made an important investment by installing solar panels on the roof of our All Weather Terminal in Amsterdam. Not only can we now load and unload large ships there under cover, its roof also supplies power to warehouses and offices. Thanks to this large investment, we are able to meet our own energy needs by up to 50%. In our offices, we are phasing in LED lighting with a presence detection system, so that no unnecessary lights are left on.
Draw up a travel policy
So what can we do for you? Our Account Managers are adept at drawing up a balanced and sustainable travel policy aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. This can be achieved by travelling less or differently; and when travel cannot be avoided, we can offer you more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as the train. Some companies already have a policy which specifies that journeys of up to four hours should always be taken by train. But did you know that flying Business Class results in more CO2 emissions than the same flight in Economy Class? This may offer significant opportunities for realising your climate objectives. You can also ask for our support in drawing up a rental car policy. For example, you could consider energy-efficient options such as electric, hybrid or smaller, more economical models. Of course, you can also compensate CO2 emissions via GreenSeat. Don’t forget, however, that in some cases you need the approval of your Works Council before you can make changes to your travel policy.
Make your travel policy a success
Of course, your employees also have a say in your travel policy. Rules in the policy are likely to be the subject of discussion. Travelling is something we all do, so we all know something about it. Opinions will differ, which may make the introduction of a new travel policy a sensitive matter. However, with concrete reduction targets and a common starting point, you can involve everyone. A prerequisite for this will be that your employees gain insight into the benefits. Modern technologies make conference calls and videoconferencing easily accessible. Such solutions will reduce resistance, because many people will see the fun in virtual meetings.
As a traveller, you can also do your own bit. Less luggage means lighter aircraft and therefore less fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Using your own refillable water bottle will help prevent plastic waste. In hotels, you can often have your bed linen and towels changed less frequently. And increasingly, we see that lights and air conditioners in hotel rooms are automatically switched off when your room key is not inserted in its holder. Simply be aware of what you can contribute.
If you would like to brainstorm with us about a sustainable travel policy, please contact your Account Manager or call +31 20 6800 802. We will be happy to discuss with you how we can help you achieve your environmental objectives.
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