WWF-UK, formerly the World Wildlife Fund,is to campaign for a 20% cut in business travel in the next five years and will target the UK’s 350 biggest companies to win their compliance.
The charity will ask companies in the UK’s FTSE 350 group to axe one in five business flights in its ‘Cut 1 in 5’ campaign.
The group says offsetting the CO2 produced by flights will not count towards the reduction and businesses will have to drop the flights completely to qualify for an award.
The campaign is supported by the Institute of Travel Management, with WWF-UK using the ITM’s carbon reduction management tool and accreditation scheme Project Icarus.
The ITM launched Icarus last year to encourage corporations to cut the CO2 emissions from business travel. ITM executive director Paul Tilstone said: “The WWF-UK campaign complements the Project Icarus target of a 60% emissions reduction by 2050 through travel avoidance.”
WWF-UK believes companies can cut flying through the use of video-conferencing, taking alternative forms of transport and avoiding all non-essential travel.
The group was due to publish research on Friday showing a growing desire among FTSE 350 companies to cut corporate travel.WWF-UK transport policy officer Jean Leston said: “Business travel is under the microscope and there has been a significant change in company attitudes.
“A lot of the pressure is economic – travel is an area where firms can reduce costs. But carbon accounting means companies need to show they are reducing emissions and one of the easiest ways to reduce them is to cut business travel. It can represent 50% of a corporation’s carbon footprint.”