SAP Concur research highlights rise of green business travel; UK leads Europe

By Faye Bartle |

A windfarm in the countryside

SAP Concur research found that 81% of organisations surveyed in Europe are recovering to pre-pandemic levels of domestic travel.

Businesses in the UK are leading the way in Europe when it comes to greener corporate travel, according to research commissioned by SAP Concur, which shows that 99% consider sustainability in their travel policy.

Almost half of UK businesses (47%) already consider their travel policy as completely sustainable, compared to just 35% of French businesses, 13% of Spanish businesses, and 18% of German businesses, says the research.

Furthermore, the results showed that the sentiment towards sustainable corporate travel is more positive within UK businesses, with 47% stating that they ‘live and breathe sustainability’, with all stakeholders ‘really engaged’.

This is in comparison to just 31% of European businesses that feel the same way.

“It is great to see that UK businesses are leading the way in sustainable corporate business travel,” said Ami Taylor, Senior Director Global Product Strategy, SAP Concur, which helps businesses to manage their travel, expense, and invoice processes from any location.

“As demand for higher levels of sustainability grows, questions about sustainability policies will be raised more strongly, more often and by more parties, from management and employees to supply-chain partners and external stakeholders — as well as the employees themselves.

“It is therefore positive to see that so many UK businesses have already made great strides in their quest for green business travel programmes.”

Woman typing at laptop

An impressive 99% of UK businesses consider sustainability in their travel policy, says SAP Concur research.

The findings are timely with sustainable business travel in the spotlight following the pandemic.

Indeed, more generally, the research showed that business travel is on the rise with 81% of organisations recovering to pre-pandemic volumes of domestic travel and 61% returning to previous levels of international journeys.

The study was carried out by iResearch on behalf of SAP Concur and surveyed 700 corporate travel decision makers across Europe – in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland) and Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands) – between February and March 2022.

In terms of the sustainable travel strategies are being implemented, the research highlights how organisations are looking to prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles that resonate with the recent COP26 agenda, with many setting objectives around energy saving (63%), reduced plastic usage (55%) and carbon reduction (46%).

“Moving forward, businesses should focus on continuing their ongoing programme to support their travelling employees in making greener choices – supported by the right tools to help them make informed decisions,” said Taylor.

“Technology tools that facilitate the measurement and implementation of more sustainable programmes will be vital to organisations in achieving this.”

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