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Business travel: Costs and safety are more important to German companies than sustainability – but demand for sustainable solutions is increasing

Neu-Isenburg, 30 June 2022

There’s a growing pressure on companies to become more ecologically sustainable. When it comes to business travel, however, costs, traveler safety and a fast, comfortable trip are still more important to most German companies than ecological sustainability goals. This is the result of a survey of around 110 top German managers conducted by corporate payment specialist AirPlus International.

About half of those surveyed (48 percent) assume that this prioritization will not change in the next two to five years, and one in five (21 percent) do not expect a change of mind even after that. Nevertheless, most companies are flexible to a certain extent when it comes to travel costs. Almost one in two respondents (44 percent) is prepared to spend ten percent more on business trips in order to make them more ecologically sustainable, one in five (20 percent) would still invest five percent more, and one in six respondents (16 percent) would even invest twenty percent more.

Almost all of the companies surveyed have the topic of sustainable business travel on their agenda: 47 percent have already implemented concrete measures, while another 42 percent are currently still in the planning phase. The most popular measures include selecting the most environmentally friendly means of travel possible (cited by 64 percent), bundling business appointments into less frequent but longer trips (cited by 60 percent) and, where possible, replacing them with video conferences (cited by 59 percent). Only one in three companies currently calculates its CO2 emissions caused by business travel, and only one in four offsets them.

This could change in the future, as Oliver Wagner, CEO of AirPlus International, explains: "Rules such as the new EU directive on corporate social responsibility will force numerous companies to report on how climate-friendly and environmentally friendly they operate beginning next year. To do this, it is essential that companies know their carbon footprint. Demand for our reporting product AirPlus Green Reports has risen sharply in recent months. Many of our customers are now taking the opportunity to prepare for the introduction of the CSR directive."

AirPlus surveyed a total of 111 C-level executives in Germany, including CEOs, heads of finance and heads of sales.

About AirPlus International:

AirPlus International is a leading international provider of corporate payment solutions. 49,000 corporate customers rely on AirPlus for the payment and evaluation of their business trips and other purchasing services. The products and services are marketed worldwide under the AirPlus International brand. AirPlus is an issuer of the UATP and Mastercard card schemes. The AirPlus Company Account is the most successful billing account within the UATP. For more information, visit

More information on AirPlus Green Reports

Press release: "AirPlus makes paying for and settling business trips climate neutral"

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