5 ways to boost better travel on Earth Day

sustainThe month of April is Earth Month, and April 22 is Earth Day. Amadeus is proud to report that for the sixth year, our company has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for our sustainability practices in the Index’s economic, environmental and social categories.

This is a high honor, considering that only the top 10-20 percent of sustainability performers in each industry sector are included in the Index. We are proud of our company’s consistent, strategic efforts to make our world a better place through transparency, innovation, privacy protection and environmental sustainability.

5 ways to build sustainable travel, one good deed at a time

This Earth Day and every day, here are five ways travel professionals and their traveling customers can ramp up their environmentally-friendly, planet-conscious practices:

Fly nonstop coach. According to The New York Times, booking nonstop flights yields fewer harmful carbon dioxide emissions than flying multiple segments. The logic is simple: The more times a plane takes off, the more fuel is consumed. A 2010 NASA report says that about 25 percent of airplane emissions come from landing and taking off. This includes taxiing, the largest source of emissions in the touchdown-takeoff cycle. According to a World Bank study, flying coach incurs a carbon footprint three times smaller than flying first class. Coach,anyone?

Offset carbon emissions. Travelers can purchase offsets through airlines such as Delta, United and JetBlue. Environment-focused travelers can also buy offsets through other organizations. For example, Sustainable Travel International runs United’s offset program, which gives travelers options to donate $8.95 to a wind farm in Texas, or $10.75 to a forest conservation program in Peru.

Improve your travel sustainability knowledge. Sustainable Travel’s Travel Better program offers a 30-minute training course to teach travelers the basics of sustainable travel, including how to make choices – from the hotels you stay in, to the meals you eat – to positively impact the cultures and destinations you visit. Travel Better’s tips and resources section and Facebook community will also expand your sustainability knowledge.

Do good. Giving back through volunteerism, “voluntourism” and philanthropy is one of the best ways to make a tangible difference in a resource-starved world. While 2017 was ranked the second most destructive hurricane season in recorded history, the “silver lining” was the travel industry’s unprecedented support – including the Tourism Cares recovery fund, where the cruise lines, airlines and industry partners like Amadeus, stepped up with generous financial and in-kind donations to help the Caribbean islands and South Florida get back in business.

#EarthDayEveryDay starts with us. Learn more about the history of Earth Day on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. Check out the project resources and ideas, and volunteer events and activities. You can also snag a few “greener living” ideas to reduce your own environmental footprint, including a free calculator with tips for lowering energy consumption, such as replacing old incandescent lights.

Shaping a sustainable travel future

While the travel and tourism industry continues to enjoy strong growth, the future will continue to pose new challenges. Governments and other stakeholders worldwide will have to pay more attention to travel and tourism to improve efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and harness sustainable growth. To read more about Amadeus’ sustainability initiatives in travel and tourism, including our partnerships with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), check out Amadeus’ 2016 global report.

What’s your footprint?

The ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator allows passengers to estimate the emissions attributed to their air travel. It is simple to use and requires only a limited amount of information from the user.

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