Environmental, Social and Governance report documents progress in 2020 and future commitments
London – April 22, 2021 – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, has published its annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report. The report details progress made on key corporate social responsibility priorities and commitments during 2020.
The report reveals clear commitment and determination to lead the industry and support colleagues, partners and customers in building a better future. Key highlights across the three domains include:
Environment & Sustainability
Climate change poses a significant challenge to the global economy and human environment, and GBT sees an opportunity to be part of the solution.
In 2020, GBT articulated its environmental strategy with three key targets on sustainability:
- GBT to establish itself as the leading marketplace for green business travel providing the practices, tools and supplier relationships for clients to put sustainability at the heart of their travel programs.
- GBT will lead by example, reducing its operational emissions by 100% with renewable energy and achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.
- GBT will work with clients and partners across the travel ecosystem to drive aviation towards net zero carbon by 2050.
The ESG report details how GBT’s marketplace for green business travel will function in five key areas:
- Track & Report: helping clients set targets, track carbon and report on emissions, with data analytics to inform strategy and decision-making.
- Influence Choice: providing point-of-sale tools for travelers to make greener choices. In 2020, GBT’s award-winning proprietary travel and expense platform Neo was further enhanced with green features including a carbon filter for air and rail, green hotel badge and filter, and electric and hybrid car highlight.
- Buy Green: enabling clients to purchase green content and choose sustainable suppliers for travel, meetings and events.
- Promote Offsets: GBT launched a carbon offset platform to help its clients and suppliers reach their carbon neutrality commitments with high-quality carbon credits. Our trusted partners include: Carbonfund.org Foundation, Carbon Footprint and Tasman Environmental Markets.
- Drive towards net-zero aviation: GBT is helping to create a circular economy with an industry-level shift towards a low-carbon future with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and emerging decarbonization solutions.
GBT continued to advance its global flagship cause, Education – Back to School in Times of Crisis. With an estimated 1.6 billion children and adolescents out of school at the height of the pandemic, the world was reminded of the criticality of education. Through our partnership with UNICEF USA, GBT is helping to preserve education for the world’s most vulnerable children impacted by humanitarian emergencies, extreme poverty, disease and disaster.
Social: Diversity, Equity & inclusion
As well as rapidly putting in place important measures at the onset of the pandemic to protect the health and safety of employees, 2020 saw GBT invest significant additional resource in diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I).
- GBT established a new global DE&I function, and appointed Tonya Hempstead as Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. This function’s responsibility is to ensure that all colleagues are represented, empowered, and have the opportunity to thrive at GBT. Supporting the function’s purpose are local ambassadors along with global and local leadership groups.
- As a first step, GBT rolled out unconscious bias education, to elevate awareness about biases that affect decision making in the workplace, and to lay a foundation of inclusion and belonging.
- In 2020, GBT created a new employee resource group, the Black Employee Network (BEN), which joined the Women of the World (WOW) and League (LGBTQ+) groups. Three new employee resource groups will soon follow.
- For the sixth year in a row, GBT was awarded a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index as a best place to work for LGBTQ equality. Additionally, four GBT colleagues were included in the Top 50 Women in Travel Awards.
GBT continues its journey to create an inclusive culture and environment through embedding DE&I into HR programs and policies.
Governance: Risk & Compliance
GBT views compliance as a competitive advantage. Its industry-leading risk and compliance program and strong governance framework protect GBT’s reputation and employees, and give clients the assurance of working with the most highly-regulated travel management company in the world.
- GBT operates under EU-approved Binding Corporate Rules – a privacy code of conduct granted to a select group of multi-national corporations that adhere to industry-leading privacy principles.
- GBT’s risk mitigation strategies address privacy, cyber security, business continuity, crisis management – and combat fraud, terrorist financing, money laundering, bribery and corruption.
- The strength of GBT’s internal control environment was tried and tested during 2020. In the early stages of the global pandemic, GBT activated its Incident Management Response (IMR) program which provided the framework to deal with the crisis, including enterprise risk self-assessment; pandemic preparedness plans; tracking travel advisories, government regulations and status updates; and return to local offices procedures.
CEO Paul Abbott said: “GBT champions travel as a force for good, connecting society and generating prosperity. So it is important that ESG is embedded in our organization’s ethos and informs all that we do.”
“As we continue to deal with the impacts of the global pandemic, we remain committed to supporting the wellbeing of our colleagues, clients and the world in which we operate”.
The full report is available for download here.
About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travellers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organise meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.