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Travel industry must come together against climate change

Svend Leirvaag

VP Industry Affairs, Amadeus IT Group

2017 is the UNWTO’s year of sustainable tourism for development and we are happy to be part of it. I was also happy to talk about Amadeus’ efforts in this respect at the UNWTO’s Astana EXPO 2017.

Travel industry must come together against climate change
There is still much the travel industry can do to improve efficiency, which in turn lessens environmental impact. Better handling of disruptions, door-to-door travel options, and improvement of accessibility to travel are a few examples. We are addressing these and other challenges, especially in the following areas:

Measurement of environmental impact

Sustainability begins with knowing how much carbon is released by travel. We co-authored a study to answer this question and found that there are no standards for large-scale reporting. Fewer than 30% of tourism and leisure companies know their level of greenhouse gas emissions. The travel industry must make major improvements here. We believe a common standard is vital.

Travel industry awareness

We need to raise awareness that operational efficiency is linked to the environment. Technology can be an enabler in this respect. For example, one of our solutions lowers aircraft taxi time and saves fuel. Another solution helps airlines set their weight and balance . This helps them estimate just the right amount of fuel they will need, lowering waste.

Collaboration among stakeholders

It is clear that technology can promote sustainability. But the travel industry needs to work together as well. A great example of this is our work with ICAO on a carbon calculator.  Our common challenge is climate change and with our combined know-how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

I hope that this session at the event will inspire travel players to take action on this important topic. You can read more about our environmental strategy and sustainability actions here.


Tags

United Nations, Industry Relations, Events