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Sustainability: “This Is a Journey Best Taken Together”

Business-travel association announces significant sustainability efforts, brings on high-level climate-action advisors.

The Global Business Travel Association has pulled together a who’s who of travel-industry sustainability executives to advise on stepped-up efforts around climate action.

GBTA announced a new “sustainability journey” last fall, hired Delphine Millot as senior vice president of sustainability in late January, and has now released a list of 16 supplier members who will serve the first one-year terms on the new Sustainability Leadership Council.

Mark Cuschieri, global head of travel for UBS who serves as both chair of the Council and vice president of the GBTA Board of Directors, commented on the importance of GBTA’s sustainability efforts. “There is a real need for our entire industry to tackle this incredibly complex challenge. And sustainability will be a key factor for business travel’s recovery. Both companies and travelers want to better manage the impact of business trips that must still take place. GBTA is in a unique position to help champion a collective, global effort that delivers meaningful outcomes.”

GBTA’s sustainability program has several elements in the works, including research, education, and outreach:
• In the next few weeks, the association will release results of a study on the state of sustainability in the business travel industry and actions to improve the sector’s environmental performance.

• GBTA will host its inaugural GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels on November 8, before its European conference and concurrent with the United Nations Climate Summit, COP27. GBTA plans to outline concrete solutions to decarbonize the business travel sector in alignment with the Paris Climate Goals.

• Sustainability will be a major theme at the GBTA Convention, August 14-17, in San Diego, with a spotlight on sustainability on August 16.

• GBTA is developing an education program and toolkit for corporate travel managers to help build sustainable travel programs and influence traveler behavior.

“At GBTA, our long-term vision is a future where connecting businesspeople via travel can be done with a net positive impact on our planet and local communities,” commented Millot. “By coming together, the global business travel sector can make a bigger impact on climate action and corporate responsibility. This is a journey best taken together.

The new members of GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council include:
Brune Poirson, chief sustainability officer, Accor
Jill Blickstein, managing director and global head of ESG (environmental, social and governance), American Airlines
Nora Lovell Marchant, vice president, global sustainability, American Express Global Business Travel
Kathy Jackson, vice president, executive chair sustainability, BCD Travel
Sara Digiesi, chief marketing and sustainability officer, Italy, BWH Hotel Group Italia
Amelia DeLuca, vice president, sustainability, Delta Air Lines
Claire Carstensen, global sustainability manager, Enterprise Holdings
Katie Leone, director, corporate social responsibility, Hertz
Jean Garris Hand, vice president, global ESG, Hilton
Martin Biermann, chief product officer, HRS
Townsend Bailey, head of corporate responsibility, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity, global operations, Marriott International
Hendrik Vordenbaeumen, vice president, product strategy and global head of sustainability, SAP Concur
Stacy Malphurs, vice president, supply chain management and environmental sustainability, Southwest Airlines
Chris Truss, sustainability director, Reed & Mackay
Lauren Riley, chief sustainability officer and managing director, global environmental affairs, United Airlines

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