As in pretty much every industry, sustainability is a hot topic in travel. At this year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference there was much discussion on sustainability in the travel sector, and these conversations are being repeated at travel conferences across the globe. Rightly so. There can be no doubt that change needs to happen.
It’s estimated that air travel contributes to around 2.4% of global CO2 emissions*, while plastic pollution, the depletion of resources and threats to wildlife, are just some of the negative impacts the travel industry can be accused of causing.
But travel is a good thing. It underpins economic growth, it broadens minds, and it brings people from different cultures and beliefs together. Stopping people from travelling, and growing Flygskam, (the guilt caused by the environmental effects of flying that began as a movement in Sweden), is not the answer. However the development of travel must be sustainable.
It can be. TRBusiness magazine’s Travel Retail Sustainability Forum is an excellent first step in helping the travel retail industry address the global environmental challenges it faces, with a particular focus on the pollution problem caused by single-use plastics. New technologies, such as the development of new fuels, or lightweight and recyclable packaging and inflight amenities, as well as the evolution of on-line in-flight shopping for delivery at destination will also play a part.
Progress in this area is no longer an option. It’s vital for commercial survival. Our customers are becoming more discerning about the companies they buy from, and those without a credible reputation on sustainability will lose out. We believe there is a bright future ahead for the travel industry, and we pledge to do our bit in helping the industry to become as sustainable as can be.