So long India; trend toward less business travel appears real
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I’m not big on the theories that everything will change once we emerge from our Covid hibernation, but one area I’ve been impressed with is the sudden commitment of some global services businesses to slashing business travel for climate reasons.
Bain & Co. last week became the latest to announce plans to throttle back its high-flying partners and executives, saying it hoped to cut 35% of its business travel budgets in the next five years. It joins other big service firms such as EY, Deloitte, and Salesforce.com (CRM), which all announced similar measures in the past six months. One firm, Swiss Re, plans to add an internal surcharge to travel budgets to buy offsets against any corporate travel its execs make.
The cutbacks make good business sense. Not only do they help limit a company’s carbon footprint in a noticeable way, they also help reduce costs, something that is always in vogue. A recent Deloitte study found that less than half of companies surveyed expect to return to their 2019 travel spending levels by the end of next year, 2022.
Still, most managers agree flying to visit clients is still a good idea, and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), said a few weeks ago he wants all his folks on planes as soon as possible to visit clients. But the age of the CEO flying halfway around the world to visit far-flung outposts could be coming to an end.
As a former CEO who traveled to India twice a year, I’ll miss the people on the ground. But you can have the 17-hour flight to get there from New York. And the climate benefits that come from not taking it.
More insights below. . . .
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