Like any other large, global company, travel is an important part of our day-to-day business.
As a company, we annually issue about 50,000 airline tickets, and our associates spend over 80,000 nights in hotels each year. Our Global Travel & Procurement team manages our travel suppliers—including airlines, ground transportation providers, hotels and others—in order to provide the best possible value to our Nielsen associates and to ensure that we’re focused on responsible resource management and environmental sustainability in the way that we travel. In both of our most recent non-financial materiality assessments, travel has emerged as one of the most important issues for Nielsen to monitor as it relates to the nature of our business and what our stakeholders view as most important.
Recently Julia Wilson, Vice President, Global Responsibility & Sustainability, sat down with Bartek Beer, Manager, Global Travel & Procurement, to discuss what responsible travel means for Nielsen today.
“We define value not only by the typical criteria like service, quality and cost, but also by environmental sustainability and social responsibility,” said Bartek. “So in other words, responsible travel means incorporating social responsibility and environmental sustainability into the way we select and manage our travel suppliers.”
Bartek highlighted the proactive approach that our travel suppliers have taken to sustainability. Our Global Procurement and Travel teams also work closely with suppliers in the Travel category and beyond to hold our suppliers accountable and to stress the importance of these issues for Nielsen. Our Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, for example, is focused on our commitment to reducing any negative environmental impacts that are caused through our global purchasing footprint.
To address the importance of sustainability in our approach to travel as a company, we’ve set some new goals. First, to include sustainability criteria in 100% of our centrally managed, global travel requests for proposal (RFPs). Second, to engage 100% of our travel suppliers on overall sustainability practices, including formal, third-party assessments for 80% of our centrally-managed travel suppliers on environmental, social and governance practices. And third, to collect baseline data for greenhouse gas emissions for air, rental car and hotel suppliers where available.
“This is our goal: put all of our travel suppliers on one page and create consistent measurement to track the progress,” said Bartek.