Preparing Your Travel Program for the New EU Sustainability Guidelines

Note: This article was originally published on by Pippa Ganderton, Product Director of ATPI Halo. We’ve republished these thoughts below, modified to address the needs of North American-based businesses.

The New EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) makes sustainability a key focus for corporate travel programs within the European Union. While companies based outside the EU may not think this news applies to them, North American businesses can still be asked for this information if they are part of an EU company’s value chain. The United States also has plans to introduce similar regulation in the later parts of 2024.

Regardless of where your company’s home base is located, it is important to understand why this regulation has been enacted and how Direct ATPI Halo can help your business comply with CSRD.

Why was the New EU CSRD Created?

The EU did not feel businesses were doing enough to combat climate change. The enactment provides a platform for companies to demonstrate their desire and ability to achieve a combination of regulatory requirements, as well as voluntary initiatives (voluntary carbon market offsets).

When it comes to business travel, corporate travel managers will likely not own this new reporting process, but they will work closely with their sustainability teams to track emissions coming from travel. Our industry sees this as a welcome push for more transparency and accountability on climate reporting, allowing businesses to direct their actions where it matters most.

Who Does CSRD Apply To?

CSRD applies to companies operating in the EU meeting at least two of the following criteria:

  • more than 250 employees
  • €40 million turnover
  • €20 million on their balance sheet

It also applies to smaller EU companies that are publicly listed, but significantly, also to non-EU businesses with net turnover in the EU of more than €150 million. Some 50,000 large, medium, and small businesses in the EU will need to apply the rules between 2024 and 2029.

With the introduction of the EU's CSRD, businesses can expect to be audited with regards to their ESG activities. The directive goes further than ever before with regards to non-financial requirements and requires companies to include information about their Supply Chain. Travel falls into Scope 3 emissions, directly related to Supply Chain.

The significance of the directive lies within its so-called “double materiality”: impact materiality and financial materiality. Corporations will be required to report on the environmental, social, and governance impact of their activities, as well as how climate change affects their business. Where limited assurance may be sufficient for some initially, a move towards reasonable assurance is coming.

How Can Direct ATPI Halo Support Travel Managers?

This is an important moment for travel managers to show they are part of the ESG conversation and strategy, and how they can support their business in this respect.

Through Direct ATPI’s partnership with Thrust Carbon, and our state-of-the-art Analytics 2.0 reporting platform, we are able to support clients with the necessary CO2e travel data. Direct ATPI account managers can work closely with clients to identify areas where the travel-related CO2e can be reduced. These might include traveling smarter (shifting from higher to lower emitting travel options) or combining trips to nearby locations instead of taking multiple trips. The latter example will likely have a positive impact on traveler well-being also.

Travel is unavoidable for many clients, especially when it is critical to operations or where in-person meetings are essential to business performance and success. This is why we created Direct APTI Halo. We understand that once measures have been taken to reduce the GHG footprint, the residual travel CO2e emissions need to be addressed. Direct ATPI Halo offers a range of fully certified carbon offset projects at competitive prices that meet all due diligence requirements, enabling clients to reduce their unavoidable carbon travel footprint. Our 12+ projects are of the highest standard and we are delighted to know they have already supported some clients in passing their ESG audits.

More Sustainable Travel Management

To find out more about the New EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, get in touch with us at Direct ATPI Halo and we can work together to introduce sustainable practices into your business.