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Climate protection is the big challenge of our time. However, many MICE planners are still not taking responsibility for it. Only a fraction of them think about low-carbon travel, and carbon offsetting does not yet seem to be an issue for them either. Our survey shows that around 30% rarely give priority to carbon offsetting, and another 15% of MICE planners don't give it any thought at all. Read here how we can change that.
Does low-carbon travel matter?
According to a survey by Pro Sky*, around one in three MICE planners generally give no thought to low-carbon travel when choosing a destination, with one in eight ignoring the issue completely. There are of course events that cannot be reached in any other way due to their location. And yes, the time factor does not always permit alternatives. But just 6% keeping an eye out for low-carbon travel options appears to be an extremely low figure.
Offsetting not yet a big issue
Now, you might expect that all those MICE planners who do not want to or cannot choose low-carbon travel options at least offset emissions. However, only around 20% regularly think about whether carbon offsetting for travel is possible when choosing a destination. Surprisingly, 56% said that they often travel to and from their events by air. Another 15% always use flight solutions. Carbon offsetting travel should then be easy given the large number of providers. So why is it not happening?
Theory no. 1: MICE planners are unaware that a carbon calculator exists for group flights
Differences on offsetting do exist between individual tickets and group flights. If people don't know that carbon emissions are easy to measure for group flights too, they won't even try to offset them. The carbon calculator for group flights that was developed jointly by Pro Sky and atmosfair has been available since 2015.
Conclusion: information needs to be spread about the available tools and services.
Theory no. 2: carbon offsetting is too much effort for MICE planners
One indication of this is that around 17% say they would definitely prioritise flights that integrate carbon offsetting. Another 39% think it's very likely that they would do so. Airlines, providers of flight solutions as well as MICE planners themselves therefore need to act.
Conclusion: there is a need for integrated carbon offsetting.
Theory no. 3: MICE planners are not aware that a lack of offsetting can end up costing them business
Is it really so urgent to strive for sustainable and, above all, integrated solutions? Yes. According to sustainability researcher Martin Erhardt, MICE planners who do not maximise the integration of sustainable measures will no longer be competitive in the medium term. MICE planners are already telling us that having a sustainable travel option when pitching can be the difference between success and failure. Many MICE planners might therefore be paying dearly for their approach.
Conclusion: awareness is needed that a lack of carbon offsetting can have severe financial consequences.
What action is Pro Sky taking?
"Sustainability is something we all need to put on the agenda. It's not just individuals who bear responsibility for society and the environment. Companies also have a role to play here," says CEO Armin Truger. "At Pro Sky, we acknowledge this responsibility and want to commit ourselves even more to it in future, together with our customers and partners. What motivates us here is our conviction that everyone can – and must – make their contribution. We are therefore currently implementing new projects, aiming to make a difference, and realigning our priorities. It's not always easy, but we're making the effort. And we will be delighted when we can all learn from each other. After all, it's not only flying that connects. It’s also the values we share.”
Pro Sky will therefore continue to explore in 2021 how the company can contribute to making flying even more sustainable. In 2015, we launched a carbon calculator for group flights and a carbon calculator for private jet flights in cooperation with atmosfair. In 2019, we established an internal working group on the topic of sustainability, and in 2020, the PRO SKY Destination Report focused on this topic. So in 2021, we have set ourselves a clear corporate goal of exploring what other options are currently possible.
*Survey of 179 MICE planners for the German edition of the PRO SKY Destination Report 2020.