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21.12.2022

SAP Concur and Sustainability

By Jack Borchard

Over the last few weeks, I have been conducting research into SAP Concur with a focus on sustainability. With this research, it has been great to get to know the SAP Concur market and I look forward to getting to know more people and learning more.

To start, I found this Quote that came directly from SAP Concur:

“𝟐𝟒% 𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐩 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐢𝐟 𝐢𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.”

I found this statistic quite shocking and wanted to dive deeper. Would people actually turn down an organised business trip for sustainability issues? I decided to ask the question.

To my surprise, YES. The results show that 25% of respondents said they would say no to a business trip if it wasn’t booked using sustainable travel.

On one hand, It’s nice to see that the market response is close to what SAP Concur is saying itself and that numbers haven’t actually just been plucked from thin air. On the other hand, what does this mean for business travellers? Is it actually realistic to speak up and say no to going on a business trip? What can people do to avoid this situation?

One respondent suggested that the needs of this business outweigh the sustainability issue. And I can personally relate. I’ve been lucky enough to go backpacking and, let me tell you, budgeting is an important factor when booking any travel plans. I can sympathise with businesses that have to think about costs and outcomes. This being said, the onus must lie on the business to carefully think about their travel needs and how they can implement change. But how?

If businesses have decided that travel is necessary, the impact of this travel needs to be minimal. A few possible options include;

  • Sending a smaller team. Is everyone who is planning on going really needing to go? Not only is this going to save costs, but also reduce the impact of that extra travel ticket.
  • Choosing direct flights over multi-leg flights may also be an option. Flights are hugely impactful, but often the only means of conducting the necessary travel. With more flights directly corresponding to more impact. To add, Having direct flights may sometimes cost more but ultimately will save the travellers overall time.
  • Simply taking the train for shorter journeys. Work can be done on trains to minimise the time loss impact as well as often being cheaper. The use of trains, more times than not, is far more eco-friendly than driving or flying.
  • Or, Simply booking eco-friendly hire cars or hotels that push for sustainable choices. Little changes like these add up to decrease impact overall. With some of these changes being cheaper, can this reduction be used to pay for more costly, but sustainable, travel options?

With the results of this poll clearly highlighting the need for more sustainable travel and businesses needing to listen to their employees, Let’s think about what could be done. Should businesses ask their employees what travel preferences they like ahead of booking? Should businesses be mandated to measure their travel eco-footprint and report it? On the flip side, should businesses enforce sustainable travel? Having a sustainable angle seems to be an important factor at the moment.

 

SAP Concur Travel could be an excellent answer to this. Having the ability to set specific booking requirements and having the data easily accessible to review, makes it easy for a business to reduce its environmental impact.

Alongside Concur, SAP has other tools to help enable businesses to take action on their global footprint. I’d like to point you in the direction of my previous SAP Sustainability Control Tower called The Green Line.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this question. If you are part of that 25%, Possibly you’d like to tell me what alternatives you suggested and if SAP Concur has helped you make those new choices. 

Feel free to reach out to me at Jack@bluewaveselect.com

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