Half of global companies have cut their business flights in two since Covid

(Transport and Environment, 18 Dec 2023) But some companies are already edging closer to pre-Covid levels of flying, including pharmaceutical companies Merck and Johnson & Johnson, and financial giant JP Morgan Chase, new analysis by the Travel Smart campaign shows.

Just under half of the world’s biggest companies did not return to 2019 levels of flying last year, a new study of business travel emissions finds. Of 217 companies analysed, 104 kept their air travel emissions to less than 50% between 2019 and 2022. Among those having reduced their flying the most are technology giant SAP (-86%), pharmaceutical company Pfizer (-78%) and consulting group PwC (-76%). This analysis shows the feasibility of a shift towards less flying, more rail travel and the increased use of virtual meetings. 

The study finds that 113 of the companies bounced back to over 50% of pre-COVID levels of flying with some of them edging very close to 2019 levels. These include financial giant JP Morgan Chase (-13%) and pharmaceutical companies Merck (-17%) and Johnson & Johnson (-28%). None of these companies have targets to reduce business travel emissions and have been identified by the Travel Smart campaign as some of the world’s biggest flyers. For the 113 companies in this situation, if they had kept their business flying in 2022 to 50% of 2019 levels, the study finds that this could have saved over 1,8 million additional tonnes of CO2.

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Transport and Environment, 18 Dec 2023: Half of global companies have cut their business flights in two since Covid