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WWF scheme helps leading UK companies cut flights by 41%

15 June 2012

New figures released today show that some of the UK’s leading companies have reduced their business flights by 41%, as part of a WWF run scheme.

WWF's One in Five Challenge, a five year programme designed to help companies reduce their reliance on business flying and transform the way they meet and travel, has just produced its latest set of results, showing that member companies have, on average, cut their flights:

• by 19% in the first year, saving £1.5 million and reducing emissions by 1,500 tonnes CO2
• by 41% over two years, saving £2.4 million and reducing emissions by 3,600 tonnes CO2

Companies, such as Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, and Marks & Spencer, have achieved these results by using a variety of measures including questioning the need for travel, including flights in corporate carbon reporting and increasing their use of rail, video and audio conferencing. Members say that lower carbon ways of staying connected are actually helping them to increase their efficiency, citing less time spent out of the office, faster decision making, productivity gains and increased collaboration to be the main benefits from using technology to replace the need to travel.

The One in Five Challenge aims to help companies and government departments to cut 20% of flights within 5 years. Members include some of the UK's leading companies representing over 300,000 employees and taking over half a million flights. Within two years, more than half of members have already achieved the Challenge and are remaining in the programme in order to make further flight reductions. Lloyds TSB is the latest to achieve the Challenge, cutting 26% of their flights in a single year.

Jean Leston, Senior Transport Policy Advisor for WWF-UK, said: "Our members have discovered significant commercial and environmental benefits from flying less. If these progressive companies can cut their flights by 41%, others can too. Members say that lower carbon ways of staying connected are actually helping them to increase their efficiency, citing less time spent out of the office, faster decision making, productivity gains and increased collaboration to be the main benefits from using technology to replace the need to travel.”

Paul Baker, Group Property Director for Lloyds TSB, responsible also for the Group’s travel and entertainment spend, said: "This is a great achievement for the Group. By focussing on reducing our travel and choosing alternative options we have reduced costs, significantly improved work life balance for our staff and now achieved this recognition from the WWF. A win win win!”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. WWF-UK’s second One in Five Challenge annual report 2010/11 is available here: http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/second_one_in_five_challenge_annual_report_2010_11_1.pdf

2. Current members of the One in Five Challenge are Balfour Beatty, BSkyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Government, Skanska, Vodafone UK and WWF-UK. So far, 7 of these 12 members have achieved the Challenge.

For more information:

George Smeeton, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK
Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk


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