Just days after the world celebrated World Environment Day, FCM (fcmtravel.co.za), one of the world’s largest travel management companies, has partnered with South Pole, a leading expert in global climate action and project development, to launch a new global carbon offsetting programme. FCM has also committed to offset all its staff travel worldwide and will backdate its contributions to 2019.
The new programme comes at a time where South African companies are actively trying to make sustainability a priority in their travel programmes. “Historically, sustainability has never been an important focus for South African companies. However, it seems that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a shift, a great reset so to speak, and companies are now putting sustainability at the forefront of their business travel programmes,” says Bonnie Smith, GM FCM South Africa.
The South Pole partnership will allow FCM to support multinational clients in setting up a net zero solution to naturalise the carbon impact of their business travel and will make a significant difference in helping them meet their sustainability goals. It enables clients to offset against global flights, hotel accommodation, rail bookings, car rental and other business travel components.
FCM can calculate, record and report monthly or quarterly CO2 emissions globally per item for each client, who can then choose from specific climate action projects against which to offset their total carbon footprint.
FCM and South Pole have compiled a list of 12 positive environmental impact projects worldwide, including forestry conservation or restoration, community energy, or water programmes. Each is a global standard sustainability project. Examples include Kariba Forest Protection in Zimbabwe; Access to Clean Water for Better Health in Cambodia; Solar Power for a Cleaner Energy Future in India; and Uretim Osmaniye Wind Farm in Turkey. The offsetting price for each project ranges from US$3.70 to US$15 per tCO2e. Clients can select one or even up to four projects to suit their budget, geographic area and preferred impact categories.
The partnership dovetails with the development of FCM’s new proprietary platform technology, which puts sustainability at the heart of the booking process, helping employees make better decisions regarding their carbon footprint, while helping organisations meet their global sustainability goals. FCM Platform’s sustainability dashboard shows travellers their individual stats in terms of travel CO2 emissions and enables travel managers to see total carbon footprint and CO2 savings achieved per month. The future roadmap for FCM Platform includes functionality whereby the sustainability dashboard will also show carbon credits reporting for each client and how emissions translate into offsetting credits and projects.
Smith said: “We’re making sustainability a core pillar of our customer offering for 2021, putting greater focus on guiding and supporting clients with their objectives, particularly in terms of CO2 reporting and a global net zero solution that enables them to contribute to positive climate action.
“Sustainability has moved higher up our customer’s business travel agenda, despite the impact of COVID-19. In fact, after the travel bans of 2020 enabled companies to reduce their carbon footprint from travel significantly, many are not only re-emphasising their overall environmental objectives post-COVID, they’re making them an integral part of travel policies and RFPs.”