First GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course Concluded
The First GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course Successfully Concluded in June 2021
June 2021 – The first GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course was conducted during May 6 – June 4, 2021, and successfully concluded after four inspiring weeks of talks, lessons, discussions, ideas, examples and tips on effective management of sustainable business travel.
The 4-week online GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course uses the GSTC Criteria four pillars of sustainable management. This offers a balanced approach to sustainable business travel. The course looked at how to create a new model for business travel that harnesses the real value of a pro-active and successful business travel program, respects the new needs of travel and creates a responsible, sustainable company.
The Importance of Sustainability in Business Travel
Business travel is a segment within the tourism industry focusing on visitors who travel for business and professional purposes. Sustainable business travel is concerned with managing the costs, social impacts and environmental consequences generated by the use of different modes of business travel. Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point allows corporates and organizations to improve their commercial performance and enhance their reputation by adopting sustainable working policies and practices.
Highlights from the Course
After a pre-course introduction, the Sustainable Business Travel course was structured into 4 parts: (1) Understand the impact of the pandemic on people behavior, needs and wants; (2) Business Travel and Environmental Impacts; (3) Business Travel and the Economic Impacts; and (4) Managing the Business of Sustainability – how companies can create and manage Sustainable Business Travel Programs (policies, corporate education and training, reporting, and communication).
The online course included guest speakers, with Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, introducing the GSTC Criteria and its four pillars of sustainability; Albert James Küng, Head of Global Travel Management at Siemens, spoke about the ‘New Need of Travel’; Sabine Kerse, who has worked for more than 20 years in different roles in the business travel industry, lastly as a Senior Manager Global Sustainability Marketing at BCD Travel, pointed out to the importance of wellbeing; Helen Brough, who spent 19 years with American Express, gave recommendations on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); Miguel Naranjo from the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) explained the the Rationale for Company Action on Climate Change; Hugo Timber, Founding Director of Carbon Responsible, provided tools for Carbon Measurement Methodology and Data Capture-Automation-Disclosure; and the Motivational Speaker Santa Meyer-Nandi spoke how Vocational Burnout and Severe Stress influence Societal Change.
Broad Representation of Tourism Stakeholders
37 professionals attended the course from 15 countries (Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, UK, USA, and more), representing multi-national companies such as Siemens, Toyota, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, etc. Participants came from various sectors and provided diverse perspectives: Travel Management/Buyers, TMC/Suppliers, Consultants, and University Students.
What Participants Say
“The GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course is a great way to get an overall view of the tasks that lie ahead, when turning Business Travel green. Highly recommendable.” – Peter Skieller, CEO of Nordic NDC.
“The GSTC Business Travel course is very well geared towards the needs of travel managers. The content of the course is very helpful and entertaining. At the end of the course everyone is able to realistically classify themselves and their company in terms of sustainability.” – Albert James Küng, Head of Global Travel Management at Siemens
“This first GSTC Sustainable Business Travel training course has definitely exceeded my expectations. As the world has changed due to covid, this course provides practical steps for corporates around the globe on how to build a responsible and sustainable corporate travel program to make positive contributions to the destinations. I found the relevant and up-to-date teaching materials, interactive style of training by two industry experts Horst and Bernard, and live breakout sessions where industry participants share ideas and formulae solutions to today’s problems particularly helpful.” – Benjamin Wong, Co-founder and CEO of Tricolage.
“Many commentators are predicting continued massive reductions in the volume of business travel following the pandemic. This could be a result of companies looking at ways to minimize levels of travel (or at least minimum growth) to save costs and reduce CO2. It’s a very tempting scenario!” says Horst Bayer, Chair of the GSTC Business Travel Working Group. “The new GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course will look to answer the question if that is the right thing to do, and if so, how.”