Corporates opt for green travel

Business travellers are prepared to switch to modes of transport that are less harmful to the environment, according to new research by You Gov. The survey of 1,019 people across the UK, carried out for train company Eurostar, found that 39% of respondents have changed their travel habits due to worries about climate change. More than half (54%) said the environmental impact of flying is more of a concern than it was five years ago. The poll comes on the back of research for Eurostar that claims flying produces ten times the emissions of train travel on its London to Paris and Brussels routes. Eurostar corporate communications manager Gareth Headon said business and group travel clients were demanding more information on the impact of travel. "Corporate clients and travel management companies have concerns about CSR, and they are asking for data that show how environmentally friendly particular forms of transport are." Research by consultancy Paul Watkiss Associates has calculated that each passenger on a return flight from London to Paris, generates 122kg of CO2, compared to 11kg by train. However British Airways, which operates ten return flights a day on the London to Paris route, queried the findings. A spokesman pointed out that a study by the Commission for Integrated Transport showed that plane emissions were five times higher on that route, but that load figures had to be factored in. "Eurostar does well from London to Paris, but its Brussels route is less busy," he said. "You also have to consider where the electricity is coming from. In France it’s mainly nuclear which obviously has a low CO2 emissions, compared with coal-fired power stations in the UK." BA has been responsible for a number of environmental firsts, he claimed. As well as setting targets for fuel efficiency a decade ago, it is the only airline signed up to the Government’s emissions trading scheme, and introduced a carbon-offset scheme for customers last year.

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