Reducing the climate impact of travel: Climate Focus travel policy

Reducing the climate impact of travel: Climate Focus travel policy

Like others in our industry, we frequently travel via airplane for conferences, meetings, workshops, and other events. In doing so, we’re contributing to the rapid increase of air travel emissions. So far we’ve done the usual approach to clean up our emissions with carbon credits, but at only EUR 10 per ton, this practice hardly captures the damage being done. 

We are therefore launching an initiative to reduce the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of our travel. Starting in July 2019, we are taking the following steps: 

  • We minimise travel wherever and whenever possible; 
  • When a trip is under 8 hours, we will travel by train or share a car; 
  • When air travel cannot be avoided, we will clean up our emissions and pay for the climate cost of the trip through a surcharge.
  • We’ll recycle the proceeds to activities that further mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Minimise our travel 
We strategically schedule events to take place in succession, and kick-off meetings could be replaced with video conferences. We avoid intercontinental travel for single events. We’ll have local staff attend events rather than have people flying in from overseas. When we do not have local staff, we may rely on a local partner. 

Travel by train or car
We travel by train or share a car for all trips up to 8 hours. Even if a flight offers more convenient times or schedules, and even when a flight is cheaper than the train. 

Pay the climate cost of air travel
When we do decide to fly in the end, we will clean up our emissions and pay for the climate cost of the trip through a surcharge. On average, we expect a surcharge of EUR 68 / USD 78 per ton CO2e on top of the airline fee. For a round-trip between Climate Focus offices in Amsterdam and Washington DC, this means an extra cost of EUR 600 / USD 720. 

Investing the Proceeds 
We’ll forward the proceeds to climate interventions, including carbon credits, and to social organisations and initiatives that address the impacts of climate change. We are proposing several carbon credit and non-carbon credit options, and we’ll discuss the options with our clients. 

For more information, click here.