Large employers pledge to fly less even after Covid crisis
A group of large employers in the Netherlands, united in the Anders Reizen coalition, teamed up with environmental organization Natuur & Milieu to create a "Flying Guide", a step-by-step guides companies can use to change their travel behavior in order to reduce their CO2 emissions. They pledged to take the train for short trips, use direct flights as much as possible, and to focus more on video conferences, among other things, and hope that other businesses will follow suit.
"The crisis forced all of us to do our international business without flying. Now is the time to use all these new insights and experiences to determine the policy or the future," said Hugo Houppermans, director of the Anders Reizen coalition. Companies in the coalition include Unilever, Vivat, Vebego, VodafoneZiggo, Vattenfall, ABN Amro, Aegon, Achmea, ANWB, Deloitte, and Arcadis.
According to Yoeri Schenau of Arcadis Nederland, cutting down on their flying can reduce international companies' CO2 footprint significantly. "In 2019, the more than 2,000 Arcadis employees in the Netherlands flew around the world 150 times. By not flying, we avoided a third of our annual CO2 emissions, about 300 tons of CO2, in the past four months. That equates to a year of energy in the home and transport of 40 households," Schenau said.
Marjolein Demmers, director of Natuur & Milieu, said that this is the time to make a major change. "Employees are much more positive about virtual collaboration than before the corona crisis. So there are plenty of opportunities for effective international business without having to fly. Good for the climate, less noise pollution, and it saves the employee a lot of energy," she said.
The coalition hopes that other businesses will look at the Flying Guide and see how they can reduce their emissions by making a few simple choices.