Business travel is among the largest sources of Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounted for by Federal agencies. For some agencies, business travel can represent up to 60% of Scope 3 emissions, but represents about 20% of Scope 3 emissions for the Federal sector as whole.
While other emissions categories have been the focus of efficiency improvements for several years, few agencies have been actively planning to manage business travel for GHG reduction purposes. Travel management due to budgetary constraints has typically been more common for Federal agencies in the past. Because air travel emissions are the biggest source of travel emissions for most agencies, this guidance focuses on planning for reductions in air travel specifically. Future versions of this guidance will include planning support for managing business ground travel, which may be a substantial portion of emissions at some sites.
Effective planning for aggressive reductions in business travel starts with a deeper understanding of travel patterns within the agency. This will enable travel managers to develop travel reduction solutions that will affect GHG emissions without compromising the important role that air travel plays in carrying out the agency's mission.
General guidelines for planning for GHG emissions reductions from business travel include the following steps:
- Step 1 Assess Agency Size Changes
- Step 2 Evaluate Emissions Profile
- Step 3 Evaluate Reduction Strategies
- Step 4 Estimate Implementation Costs
- Step 5 Prioritize Strategies
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