Travel business aims for carbon negative impact

A WOKING-based independent travel company has set itself the target of ensuring its clients’ business travel benefits, rather than damages, the environment.

Global Travel Management (GTM) has also pledged that all its business functions will go through the Carbon Offset Programme, making it a carbon-negative business.

The company, based in Kingsway House, Goldsworth Road, says its activities will remove more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than they cause.

GTM, founded in 1997 by husband-and-wife team Scott and Natalie Pawley, provides business travel services to small and medium-size enterprises as well as blue chip, quoted companies in the United Kingdom and overseas.

It has entered the Resilience in Crisis category of the CREST21 Business Awards, highlighting its intentions to arrange for trees to be planted in managed forests around the world, to help absorb the carbon emissions of airline flights.

Natalie Pawley

“During the lockdown, we set ourselves a target to ensure our clients’ business travel benefits theenvironment,” said Scott. “To do this, we had to ask ourselves six difficult questions.

“They were: How do we help businesses understand the environmental impact of their business travel? How do we help businesses reduce the environmental impact of their travel? How can we go even further? How do we ensure businesses pay attention?  How do we demonstrate leadership to our clients? How do we go even further?”

GTM worked with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from every flight its clients take. It can now show clients the environmental impact of their flights.

Scott Pawley

It has launched a programme through which it arranges for hardwood trees to be planted in forests that are designed to absorb carbon emissions, not for harvesting wood products.

“On average, the trees we plant will grow for 150 years, absorbing not just the amount of carbon emitted by the relative flights, but between 15 and 20 times as much,” said Scott. “The trees continue pulling carbon out of the atmosphere for decades.”

GTM’s invoices detail how many trees are planted to absorb as much carbon from the atmosphere as a flight emits. Every client, and many of their staff, sees the harm they are preventing.

“The lockdown gave the time to determine how to restart our business in a way that delivers clients a solution to their commercial and environmental demands,” added Scott. “Companies are now asking themselves ‘should I avoid travel because it damages the environment?’ Instead, they are realising that travel can be made to improve the environment.”

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