Shaping a sustainable future of travel

Tomas López Fernebrand

SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Amadeus IT Group

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The travel industry has realised that business sustainability in the longer term not only demands consideration of commercial and economic needs, but also making a positive impact on society and the environment. Travellers will be expecting the companies they travel with to deliver beyond traditionally commercial results.

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How do we understand sustainable travel? We at Amadeus stick to the widely accepted definition by the Brundtland Commission, arguably the first international forum on sustainable development. Adapting their approach to our industry, sustainable travel could be described as travel that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to fulfil their own travel demands.

The scope of sustainable travel is immense, ranging from the management of natural parks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or optimising the impact on local communities.

Sustainable travel involves economic, social and environmental issues:

Economic & Social sides

On the economic front, our core objective of sustainable profitable growth goes in line with that of sustainable travel. Let me provide some examples so that what we say is supported by the true test of what we value, i.e. to check where we invest our time, energy and money. In 2012, out of every 100 EUR of revenue, we dedicated 14 to innovation. In addition, over 4,000 of our total 11,000 strong workforce are dedicated to R&D. This effort results in improved efficiency in the industry and in sustainable travel.

On the social side, our major landmark in 2013 has been the launch of our partnership with UNICEF, through which we facilitate micro donations from travellers to projects that benefit underprivileged children. In the coming months we plan to expand the initiative to partners beyond Iberia, the first airline to join the project.



Companies Performance

Finally, regarding our environmental initiatives, the energy efficiency programme in our Data Centre in Erdingand the consolidation of our Environmental Management System in our top sites worldwide were crucial for Amadeus to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index(DJSI) in 2011 and 2012. We also received their Bronze Class Sustainability Award just a few days ago as recognition for our leadership in sustainability performance. In addition, Amadeus scored highly in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which evaluates how companies perform regarding disclosure and management of their carbon emissions. For the reporting year 2012, over 80% of the Global 500 corporations participated in both DJSI and CDP programmes.

Given the aforementioned points, we believe that Amadeus is taking an integral and proactive stand on sustainable travel. Moreover, this requires us to collectively believe in sustainability and make constant efforts to improve our programmes in this area. Sustainable travel is a direction, not a destination.

To learn more about our sustainability initiatives please visit our sustainability report.


Environmental Sustainability, Industry Relations