Amex GBT makes strides towards a low-carbon future

The TMC is on a global mission to educate its stakeholders, lobby the government, and build multilateral collaboration.

Good climate finance: projects that are independently verified, and supporting ecosystems and communities affected by the adverse effects of climate change.
Good climate finance: projects that are independently verified, and supporting ecosystems and communities affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Photo Credit: Adobe stock/BillionPhotos.com

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) has made robust efforts to rally the public and private sectors, lobby the government, and build multilateral collaboration.

Joining the World Economic Forum

In 2022, it was the only TMC to have a seat at the table with over 160 private and public industry leaders at the Forum. Powering the transition to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is one of the Forum’s focus areas where Amex GBT hopes to make an impact. By signing the WEF Clean Skies for Tomorrow ambition statement, it aims to help the aviation sector achieve 10% SAF by 2030.

Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) pledge

By signing the Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) pledge – a joint commitment across the events industry – the TMC wants to build an NZCE industry framework that is in line with the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. That includes developing a common approach to reducing and measuring events’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Eloísa Urrutia, head of sustainability at Amex GBT Meetings & Events, added her thoughts on the pledge and its framework and metrics: “It’s vital that we all speak the same language when we want to implement sustainability targets into meetings and events.”

Many clients have a goal in place to halve emissions by 2030. Reducing emissions is key to reaching net zero but when it is not possible, carbon compensation projects like reforestation offer an interim solution.

Said Nicole Sautter, manager of global sustainability at Amex GBT: “Climate finance should be directed towards projects that are independently verified, supporting ecosystems and communities most affected by the adverse effects of climate change.”

Climate tech provider, CHOOOSE, gives clients the option to select a carbon compensation project on an online platform that has a portfolio of options.

UK Jet Zero Council

The TMC has also become a member of the Council’s SAF Delivery Group’s Mandate and Commercialization subgroups. The Council helps overcome the economic and technical barriers that limit SAF production and offers a broad framework for zero-emission flights in the UK.

Sautter said, “SAF is the most viable option for reducing emissions in the short-to-medium term although it still represents only a tiny portion of the global fuel supply.”

Other initiatives:

· Shell Aviation collaboration - clients can invest in SAF to meet their company’s overall environmental goals, and benefit from measurement tools and consultants to guide and optimise their investment while gaining access to Avelia, a leading blockchain-powered digital SAF book-and-claim solutions for business travel.

· Contributing to the Biden Administration SAF Grand Challenge – it aims to increase the production of SAF to 3 billion gallons by 2030, and 35 billion gallons by 2050 in the US through advocacy with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative.

· Joining the SAF Blender’s Tax Credit Coalition, where more than 50 aviation industry stakeholders are committed to building a strong SAF industry and decarbonising aviation.

· Contributing to the UK Parliament’s Fuelling the Future: Motive Power and Connectivity inquiry. It examines how the government’s fuel policy will affect connectivity, capacity, and sustainability across all transport modes, including motor vehicles, shipping, rail, and aviation by 2050.

· Launch partner with IATA’s CO2 Connect - clients now have flight emissions data based on fuel burn information, load factors, and other granular details.

· Following Science Based Targets (SBTi) criteria which are based on emission-reduction pathways that are consistent with the Paris Agreement. The TMC has submitted its emission-reduction targets and plans to present them for validation by the end of 2023.