A vast majority of multinationals lack any serious plans to reduce their business air travel, according to a study conducted by the environmental organization Transport & Environment (T&E), published earlier this week. The organisation examined the flight policies of 322 global companies and reported that 85 percent of these companies do not have any “credible plan” in place to limit the number of flights. However, the study also highlighted that four companies have met the “gold standard,” which demonstrates that is is possible to reverse this trend. These four companies, including Dutch bank ABN Amro, are ambitious and report their emissions.
T&E placed companies in the highest category if they aim to halve their emissions by 2025 or earlier and provide information about it. In addition to the Dutch bank, the top of the list includes the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, insurance company Swiss Re, and Fidelity International, a British financial institution.
Most of the companies surveyed have set general goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by their employees’ and executives’ business air travel. The report assessed companies based on several factors, including the goals they have set to reduce air travel, the timeline for achieving these goals, and the level of detail provided in their reporting on emissions.
Using these criteria, the companies were divided into four categories, ranging from A to D. Of the companies evaluated, 11 received an A rating, including four meeting the “gold standard.” T&E views these four companies as exemplary in their efforts to limit their business air travel. The B category comprised 38 companies, while the majority of the companies (212) received a C rating. Another 61 companies received a D because they showed a lack of ambition or provided poor reporting on their emissions.
The top three polluters are Volkswagen, KPMG, and Johnson & Johnson, according to the study. Volkswagen was put in the lowest category by the environmental organization, while KPMG and Johnson & Johnson received a C.
Dutch company Arcadis is among the firms that stand out positively. Like ABN Amro, Arcadis is aiming for a 50 percent reduction by 2025, according to Natuur & Milieu, a Dutch environmental organization that was indirectly involved in the study. The group called on companies that have not yet developed specific policies to do so. “That starts by being transparent about emissions, setting reduction targets, and taking measures to meet those targets.” To fly less, companies could, for example, hold video conferences more often or encourage their employees to travel by train.
Reporting by ANP
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