Sceptics may question the business travel industry's long term commitment to environmental responsibility - but suppliers are taking no chances
The Starwood hotel group has launched an awareness programme focused on the impact of climate change and efficient carbon management at 400 properties in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Czech Airlines (CSA) has just announced a new corporate environmental policy, setting out current and planned initiatives.
And Russian carriers may be forced to invest in new, more environmentally friendly aircraft if they are to continue operating to European airports.
The moves come as corporate clients increasingly pressure suppliers to demonstrate their green credentials and leading travel management companies are beginning to monitor the quantity of carbon emissions created by customers' business trips - or are working on ways of doing so.
Starwood, whose brands include Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and Luxury Collection, has issued what it calls “an energy and training tool kit” to every hotel head of department.
It includes posters, provided by the Carbon Trust, which remind staff to conserve energy by switching off air conditioning and computers at the end of the day, for example.
The group has also been taking part in a study as part of the Hospitality Energy Consortium aimed at providing a clearer idea of the amount of carbon emissions they produce and ways to reduce energy consumption.
Members of the consortium, which acts as a single energy procurement body, include Hilton, Accor, Queens Moat Houses, Corus and Thistle.
Czech Airlines says its new environmental management system (EMS) is “focused on monitoring and improving all corporate processes that affect or may affect the quality of the environment.
“In this respect the environment is understood in the wide context of protecting nature, employees' health and a high-quality working environment.
“EMS concentrates, for example, on the consumption of fuel and other raw materials, air emissions and waste production.
“Implementing EMS will also support corporate business interests, because in today's world many business partners prefer to cooperate with those who act in a responsible manner.”
Meanwhile aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has warned that regulation of noisy and high emission aircraft in the EU is increasing pressure on Russian airlines to buy cleaner, foreign made jets.
In an interview with Reuters at the Moscow Air Show, Martin Blain, customer business director for Europe said: “The time is coming when a lot of Russian equipment will have to stop flying in and out of Europe.”
Aircraft such as the TU154 are banned from some airports, while their operators face higher landing charges than carriers using more environmentally friendly jets, he said.
His remarks raise the question whether Russian carriers will be forced to increase fares to cover the cost of investing in and paying import duties on foreign airliners.