Amadeus research reveals technology seen as important to achieve ESG goals

Amadeus research reveals technology seen as important to achieve ESG goals

ESG decision makers call for more widespread technology adoption

Amadeus has unveiled its commissioned research among 896 senior sustainability decision makers, across nine markets and seven segments of the travel industry, to gain insight on ESG ambitions, priorities, and challenges.

The study revealed optimism for the global travel industry about hitting the UNWTO-proposed goal to reach net zero by 2050. 

89% of ESG decision makers believe the industry can reach its target. Of that 89%, 36% believe it is possible to reach without any adjustments, while 53% believe it is possible, but progress needs to be accelerated urgently.

90% of those surveyed have a step-by-step strategy in place to help them achieve environmental sustainability objectives or are planning to implement one in 2024. 

94% of respondents are either currently active or plan to be actively involved in social sustainability initiatives that impact beyond their organisation. 

This commitment was matched by increased investment, with 46% of respondents anticipating investing more in 2024 than last year.

Despite the optimism, the study identified barriers to delivering on environment, social and governance initiatives.

It found that 40% cited cost as the biggest barrier for environmental commitments, followed by lack of technology and knowledge (30%) as well as C-suite buy-in (25%). 

For social initiatives, the biggest barriers include lack of technology (32%), cost (31%), lack of knowledge (28%) and C-suite buy-in (27%).

For governance initiatives, the barriers highlighted include lack of knowledge (31%), cost (31%), lack of technology (29%) and C-suite buy-in (25%).  

Notably, the study highlighted a "clear and recognised" role for technology to help the industry reach its ambitions. 

92% of respondents indicated technology is important to help organizations achieve environmental sustainability objectives, with 91% saying the same for social objectives. 

Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality were particularly important with 33% of respondents highlighted generative AI initiatives as the technology with the highest potential to accelerate environmental sustainability as it can guide travelers to more sustainable options across the traveler journey. 

31% said technologies that generate operational efficiency improvements as well as access to data for true personalisation would be important, while 38% said they can help to drive social progress by improving access to travel through integrated accessibility technology on public transport, at the airport or on a flight. 

Ultimately, there is work still to be done for the industry to deliver on its sustainability ambitions; 37% of ESG decision makers recognised that more access to technological solutions is needed. 

Those that felt it was unlikely they would meet their targets within the timeframe set highlighted the need for further collaboration across the industry (33%). 

Jackson Pek, SVP and group general counsel of Amadeus, said: "As the travel industry continues to navigate the complexity of delivering on ESG targets, I’m encouraged by the optimism and the commitments being put in place – from investments to strategic planning to technological solutions. 

"At Amadeus, we’re working to embed ESG at the core of our business, supporting travel players on their journey to becoming more efficient and enabling travelers to make more informed choices. Together, we can make travel more sustainable."