10 Nov

Helping Members rise to the sustainability challenge

Leaders from across the globe have come together at COP27 in Egypt this week to discuss progress in tackling global warming and what more needs to be done in order to reach climate change targets.

Sustainability is a high priority for the travel industry and good progress has been made in recent years, but we do need to move further and faster. Action from the travel industry to tackle climate change is needed on a number of fronts, from reducing carbon emissions to restoring biodiversity. We also need support from Government to help facilitate some of the biggest changes – like sustainable aviation fuel.

Working together is critical if the industry is to rise to the sustainability challenge, so it was good to see it such a focus at World Travel Market this week. I was pleased to be able to contribute to the debate at a panel session with the Spanish Tourism Board and my colleagues Susan Deer and Carol Rose also spoke about sustainability at other WTM events. 

As I said, working together is crucial if we are to make serious headway on sustainability. That means travel companies, governments and destinations coming together with a shared goal and plan – we heard about lots of good examples of that this week. This is very much part of ABTA’s sustainability approach and we’re also working to provide the resources that can help Members take action. 

Just last month we launched our new Climate Action Guidebook, a joint initiative with Deloitte, which helps leaders gain technical knowledge and understanding on carbon reduction. If you haven’t looked it yet I really encourage you to do so. It is there to help Members make sense of the climate challenge for their business, including any regulatory responsibilities, but also provides practical advice on how to take meaningful action.

In response to feedback from Members we’ve been working to provide training on carbon reduction – helping industry colleagues to understand the landscape and language. We held the first event last week, which was at full capacity, and have more planned for the new year. The training is specific to travel and is accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project (CLP). If you are interested in attending this future training you can email events@abta.co.uk. We shall also hold our annual sustainability conference in March 2023. 

Knowing where to start on sustainability can be one of the biggest hurdles. ABTA is here to help Members and we have an abundance of free resources available in our Member Zone.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive