May 2024

Student research highlights challenges of sustainable travel

By Carrie Mok

Share post:

Read time: approx 3 mins

The results of a market-leading research initiative have shed light on the priorities and challenges of sustainable travel for UK businesses.

Three postgraduate students from University College Birmingham worked on the six-month project on sustainable business travel practices alongside arrangeMY. 

Professor Michelle Callanan, said, “Our partnership with arrangeMY has empowered three postgraduate students to directly engage with real-world challenges in the travel industry. Their contributions, grounded in research and international perspectives, align closely with University College Birmingham’s commitment to sustainability across campus, curriculum, and community.”

"Working alongside the esteemed team at arrangeMY has provided myself and the other students with invaluable insights into the stance of UK businesses on sustainability within the travel sector. Our findings offer actionable recommendations for the industry as it navigates the complexities of sustainable goals"

Alexander Roques Student Project Lead

The research revealed that UK businesses saw cost and location as the top factors affecting their decision-making for business travel arrangements in spite of a growing awareness of environmental concerns. 

While 50% of travel bookers are encouraged by their companies to prioritise sustainability, 100% of Procurement Managers identified budget constraints as a major hurdle. 

Over half (55.6%) of ESG Managers stated being unaware of sustainable initiatives such as hospitality accreditations and two thirds (66.7%) of Procurement Managers indicated that their company does not have a policy that highlights the need to prioritise sustainable travel options.

The findings highlight a crucial gap between environmental aspirations and current practices.

Laura Dudley, Head of Account Management & Green Team Member at arrangeMY said, “While it’s encouraging to see more organisations embracing sustainability, our data uncovers the ongoing journey towards making it a top priority. Educating travellers about the impact of their choices and integrating sustainability into travel policies are crucial steps in this direction.

“As a Travel Management Company, arrangeMY recognises its pivotal role in driving sustainable practices. We are committed to driving our own carbon reduction agenda as well as supporting clients in crafting sustainable travel policies and creating sustainable hotel programmes, by prioritising properties with minimal carbon footprints and industry accreditations such as the Greengage and Green Meetings from Green Tourism.”

Find out more about courses in our Department of Hospitality and Tourism or take a look at our Course A-Z.

Back to top