Most Innovative Business Travel Solution 2020; As Featured on BTN

Written by Mark Corbett on 5 Jan 2021

In November 2020 Thrust Carbon was named Business Travel News (BTN) Innovation Face-off Winner. After a tough competition, which included the likes of Gett, TripKicks, and our good friends and close collaborators Shep, we were delighted to be named the 2020 winner. Not only was this a huge endorsement of our easy to use products by the industry judges, but that the time for environmental action is now. More than ever the industry is acknowledging and owning its impact on the climate.

We are delighted to say that this award reflects the ever-increasing pressure sweeping across the industry to deliver positive change. Not in the future, but right now, as quickly as is feasibly possible.

What follows is our interview with Adam Perotta at BTN, as featured on their website earlier last month.

Has Covid-19 taken the focus off sustainability? Are you still seeing Industry green efforts?

As difficult as the pandemic has been for the industry, many forward-thinking and leading organizations and individuals are seeing the current pause in business-as-usual travel activity as a real opportunity to implement valuable solutions that bring new capabilities into the context of their travel programs, and no more so than where sustainability is concerned. The fact we support retrospective analysis to generate a baseline and accurate reporting is a big draw. Then, with a mind on the road to recovery, our tools that build on top of our emissions calculator ensure clients can build the frameworks to drive more sustainable travel decisions in the future.

You offer your product through TMCs and directly to corporates. What's the current mix?

It was an even split. Since the pandemic, large enterprises with high levels of resilience and little to no travel have benefited from the increased breathing space to proactively innovate with Thrust Carbon, which has shifted that balance of our client portfolio. By contrast, demand from TMCs has risen as a result of our partnerships with Advantage Travel Partnerships, WIN, UniGlobe and TravelOperations, but budgets remain limited with so few people travelling. Our model is designed with a reseller license, which means we will be a big part of driving a sustainable recovery in travel and across TMCs.

Mark Corbett, Director, Thrust Carbon

Other providers offer emissions measurement services, like TravelBank, Egencia and Amex GBT's Neo. What sets Thrust Carbon apart?

Not all calculations are made equal. Some competitors are a great step in the right direction, but the problem for the consumer is, how do you know who to trust without total transparency? That's why our methodology is included in every single client report. Furthermore, our reporting is actionable rather than just displaying a raw amount of CO2. TMCs and clients can use data to create travel policies that answer questions like, ‘Which airlines are greener to fly with? What flights do we take that sit on high-speed rail routes? Who are the biggest emitting departments in my organization?' Another core element that sets us apart is that we're not just about flights. We offer calculations for the entire travel spectrum.

How do you ensure your data is accurate and up to date?

We place a significant effort in the constant updating and maintenance of our sources. Every time a change is made, it will be published in our reports, and clients notified. Furthermore, our analysts are here to help our clients understand what this data means, how to set emissions goals and how to use the data to drive the necessary reductions in emissions. In terms of data sources, we're not just saying this because our founders are British, but the U.K. government really is a global leader in emissions science, data and publications. We are immensely grateful for their rigorous approach and open data.

To what extent are you seeing end-user clients leverage emissions data to push for more sustainability from providers?

We already have a client who is planning to use our data to influence airlines, and a potential client who sees this as one of the most exciting reasons to purchase our calculator subscription. As a starting point, it is incredibly valuable to see your travel split across various routes and carriers. It enables clients to compare average emissions per traveller in the context of destinations and other elements, and even make decisions regarding routing and providers.

Prior to the pandemic, we were speaking directly to a lot of airlines. They have a responsibility to accurately measure their emissions. What we're offering is a cost-effective means to do so, with safe hands and total objectivity. Suppliers that can better articulate, reduce and offset their emissions may well have an edge over their competition. Furthermore, we are delighted to be integrating sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into our offering.

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Climate action is hard, and our goal is to make it as effortless as possible for our clients. It’s one of the main reasons we have seen such rapid growth in the past six months. Building on our relationship with BTN, we are over the moon to be invited to speak at their Business Travel Show Europe Kickoff on the 25th of February. Mark Corbett will be joining the discussion on ‘Sustainability: Getting Back on the Road Smarter’, which will be held from 12:05 to 12:50 CET. Hope to see you there! And failing that, you can tune in on our insights page to hear Mark’s key takeaways.

Stay tuned for more data-driven insights from the Thrust Carbon team. Let’s make travel effortlessly green together.

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