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Travel Management

 May 01, 2007
BCD Travel Releases Global Corporate Social Responsibility Principles

 BCD Travel, the world's third largest global travel management company, (May 1) made public its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Principles. The principles are billed as a global code of conduct for a global company, and will guide all of the company's operating units, including BCD Travel, Advito and BCD Meetings & Incentives.

The full policy is available for download at

BCD Travel is not a newcomer to the CSR field. In many of the company's country organisations, local CSR initiatives had been in place for years -- and in some cases, decades. These initiatives included recycling, community enrichment programmes and ISO environmental certification; currently, BCD Travel has more offices and employees covered by ISO environmental certification than any other global travel management company. The company's CSR Principles centralise, unify and target these initiatives under a single, global and uniform set of KPIs, central audits and reporting.

BCD Travel CEO Mike Buckman observed: "Our commitment to CSR mirrors the commitment of our clients, who face the challenge of creating and managing cost-effective travel programmes that are environmentally sustainable and socially accountable."

Buckman added: "BCD Travel's CSR Principles reflects our owner BCD Holdings' commitment to leaving a legacy for the 'next next' generation."

BCD Travel's CSR Principles focus on four key areas: ethical business practices, people, the environment and privacy/data protection. Positioning statements from the Principles are excerpted below.

• Ethical business practices. BCD Travel obeys the laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates, and conducts all business in an ethical manner.

• People. BCD Travel provides a workplace free of discrimination where all employees can fulfill their potential based on merit and ability, and is committed to being an agent of positive change in the community.

• The environment. BCD Travel works to protect the environment and the health and safety of its employees, and continuously looks for ways to more efficiently use resources to reduce the environmental burden of waste generation and emissions to the air, water, and land.

• Privacy and data protection. BCD Travel is committed to user privacy in its products and services and seeks to provide a secure business environment for the protection of employees' and customers' private information.

Corporate Social Responsibility has taken root in the corporate travel industry. Sustainable development terms such as "carbon footprint" and "carbon off-set" have moved into the everyday business travel vocabulary. BCD Travel is intent on broadening its clients' perception of the role business travel can play in furthering their organisations' CSR goals.

Mary Ellen George, general manager of Advito and executive sponsor of BCD Travel's CSR initiative, said: "Our internal CSR Principles integrate environmental, ethical and social components. Similarly, for clients, our Responsible Travel Management solutions move beyond 'green travel' to look at the areas of both sustainability and accountability travel management, which focuses on issues like traveller well-being and ethical travel procurement. We help clients pave the way to programmes that integrate with their company-wide CSR programmes and address all stakeholder requirements. "

The formalization of BCD Travel's CSR Principles is in part a response to clients' growing desire to know more about the suppliers they are dealing with. Mike Buckman said: "Over the past six months, we've seen a significant increase in tenders, for example, that require detailed information about our CSR stance and initiatives -- especially in European bids, this is no longer a 'check the box' throwaway."