There are places to go and people to see! Employees and authors travel as part of Macmillan’s normal business practices. In looking at the transportation emissions related to these practices, we know that we can’t completely eliminate our carbon footprint in this area. We started by trying to either reduce travel or encourage more sustainable choices.
First, we are embracing the technology revolution. Upgraded video conferencing and online presentation capabilities are now available in many of our facilities. More and more publicity tours for our authors include some aspect of online or electronic tours which reduces travel, but not effectiveness, in terms of promotion.
Still, sometimes we do need to travel the old-fashioned way. We worked with our primary business travel partner, AMEX, to build prompts into the reservation systems to encourage more sustainable choices. (E.g. Amtrak as an alternative on certain city pairs). To encourage more sustainable travel, guidelines have been established including:
- Optimize travel time and footprint by combining trips when possible
- Fly direct instead of via connecting flights
- Use trains for certain northeastern city routes, such as Boston or Washington D.C. to/from New York
- Share taxis or use mass transit and shuttle vans to and from airports and train stations
- Patronize hotels within your budget with a commitment to sustainability. Help out by watching the thermostat, reusing towels, adjusting window treatments to maximize/minimize sunlight based on season, shutting lights when out of the room, etc.
With all of our progress, when travel is a must, we use carbon offsets to make up for the emissions from our author and employee travel. Measuring our carbon emissions from travel so that we can calculate the necessary carbon offsets is critical.
How We Measured Carbon Offsets
In 2009, as part of our baseline carbon footprint calculation, we conducted an extensive review of our author and employee-related travel emissions. We obtained a summary of all of our travel booked through AMEX, including the costs and types of travel. We then had our accounting department pull records on all the travel charged at Macmillan to complete the emission model.
We compared the two expenses and the difference we attributed to travel reservations made through vendors outside of AMEX. We then applied the metrics AMEX gave us for the travel booked through them to travel booked through vendors outside of AMEX. Additionally, a factor was then added to this calculation to account for transportation to and from the airport and rental car usage.
All the collected data was then run through an emissions calculator to determine our carbon emissions related to our employee and author travel. The emissions calculator we used also took into account the class of travel. If first class travel was involved, the emissions calculation was increased. This emissions calculation has served as the basis for our decisions around the amount of carbon offsets we have used. You can read more about our efforts and the over 35,000 metric tons of CO2 we have offset in 2011 alone under the Carbon Offsets section of this site.
To better understand the carbon emissions of your airline travel, visit one of our carbon offset partners at https://www.atmosfair.de/en/act-now/contribute-now/offset-your-flight/