Amadeus have been working on sustainability since 2009. Lucas Bobes, group environmental officer and head of ESG reporting of Amadeus, shared with Travolution how the pandemic has led to a dramatic change of attention to this topic
Big Interview: A new brand identity brings new purpose
Amadeus is challenging the way B2B businesses look and operate with its approach to sustainability.
Despite not being consumer facing, it still needs to be “alert” when it comes to sustainable efforts.
Its recent rebrand revealed a new sense of purpose for the firm as it continues to adapt and evolve, and sustainability has a part to play in it.
Lucas Bobes, group environmental officer and head of ESG reporting of Amadeus, said that the pandemic “reflected the vulnerability of the industry” and sustainability was seen as a “critical element to provide resilience”.
When Amadeus introduced the information on CO2 emissions from trips in 2009, sustainability was a “nice addition to a value proposition that we didn’t perceive a significant interest in” and customers were more focused on other variables of the trip.
Since then, Bobes reflected on how the pandemic shifted perspectives. He said: “Now, we have seen a clear, dramatic change of attention to these topics and customers, in general your stakeholders.
“Even internally, stakeholders that didn’t know what emission of CO2 were are now asking us very technical questions about where we are, for example, in both sustainable aviation fuel and how can we help corporations to reduce their scope three emissions.
“We have transitioned from trying to show off our sustainability initiatives that make us the best and the leaders in the industry to realising that if we, for example, reduce all our emissions to zero, it will contribute to helping the impact of our own company but we actually we don’t solve any problem.
“We have to acknowledge sooner than later that sustainability is a global topic and that every stakeholder in the industry needs to work together in order to achieve any significant results.
Amadeus is challenging sustainability through a few main focus areas. One being its traditional distribution business, where it processes reservations.
Last year it processed 400 million reservations. Amadeus see this as 400 million opportunities to communicate to travellers and inform them about what sustainable options they have and to encourage this.
“We believe that even if we are only able to influence a fraction of those 400 million, we will make a bigger difference than anything we can return.”
The other is through its IT solutions. Based on historical data, AI and the airline’s network, Amadeus helps decision making of airlines so it can be profitable but also environmentally efficient.
Its operational efficiency offerings in aviation as well as its Sequence Manager for airports all supports more sustainable practices for businesses to execute.
Amadeus also wants to provide customers with a multimodal “holistic approach”, so it can help customers compare the full impact of their trip including ground transportation.
The final initiative and the one the business is keen to highlight as the most important, is through collaboration. It wants to work with the industry, universities, associations, and organisations alike to continue its work on this.
The firm plans to action this through its work with the coalition, Travalyst, among others.
The coalition is made up of industry giants including Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa.
It will target finding a consensus on emission calculators within travel.
“We established one common framework. We are still far from the objective but the idea of working together in this common purpose, in my view, is very unique and it’s why we joined Travalyst last year.”
We can expect a continuation on its three key pillars of work into 2024. The company has committed to science-based target initiatives, that it expects to validate its plan in 2024.
It will improve its portfolio of solutions to have the sustainability components and it “expects” to improve the activity and its intensity of collaboration with players in the industry, “even the competitors”.
Bobes said: “I would even say especially with the competitors, because we must share some common framework to achieve common goals.”
As for the future, aside from Amadeus improvements, Bobes said he expects the industry will come up with technologies that we “cannot even think of today” to provide solutions to improve the status quo and projection of emissions.