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How can organisations develop an eco-friendly travel policy?

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Deborah Saunby, sales and marketing director at Selenity

As awareness of environmental and sustainability issues grow, many organisations are looking to take a more active role in managing the carbon footprint of their fleet.

Whether it’s attending meetings or visiting clients, business travel can quickly increase a company’s environmental impact.

Although sometimes unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to reduce emissions and make the travel and expenses process more sustainable.

Digital expense software that mirrors travel policies is an easy way for businesses to gain increased transparency.

The software provides organisations with the opportunity to put travel and expenses under the microscope. Allowing them to analyse current travel policies or introduce more economical and carbon friendly alternatives.

A heighted level of visibility across employee travel arrangements can help to reduce costs and create more environmentally friendly approaches for the future.

To make positive changes and switch to low-carbon alternatives, it’s important that businesses understand the full costs and impact of travel.

Mapping out current travel practices not only allows businesses to identify areas for sustainability savings but can also help to shape and guide future travel policies.

A digital expense management solution also puts the companies travel and expense policy front and centre. This enables staff to make fully informed decisions before making a travel purchase they intend to claim for. With policy reminders and warning flags, employees are encouraged to make the right choices, every time.

For businesses, travel and mileage costs are one of the top three areas of expenditure but they are also ripe for savings and sustainability initiatives.

Reporting on travel spend not only provides a heighted level of visibility but also enables informed decision making, helping businesses identify areas for cost reduction, sustainability savings and policy change.

Switching to digital alternatives and going paperless can also have a really positive environmental impact as well as helping businesses to streamline processes and increase employee productivity.

For instance, with online and mobile based expense systems automating the process from beginning to end, employees no longer have to spend time filling in expense forms and sifting through paperwork.

Instead they can upload electronic receipts and take pictures of the paper ones on their phone, submitting claims from anywhere at any time.

For businesses looking to take a more proactive role in managing the carbon footprint of their fleet, the first step is gaining visibility.

Having a holistic view of business travel is key to helping organisations understand where sustainability savings can be generated.

By understanding the travel choices that employees make, business leaders will be able to design and implement low-carbon alternatives that work for employees. Ultimately, enabling them to achieve their business sustainability objectives in the long-term.

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