By: Aditi Mohapatra and Tessa Lee

Expedia Group's Continued Commitment to Advancing Sustainability Across the Travel Industry

At Expedia Group, we believe travel is a force for good. According to UN Tourism, international tourism is on track to recover to close to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. It is now more important than ever to reaffirm our commitment to supporting climate action.

This Earth Month, our Global Social Impact and Sustainability team has partnered with our SAGE (Sustainable and Green at Expedia Group) community business group and our internal People Learning Team to launch a self-paced learning module for employees covering climate change in the travel industry, how Expedia Group is powering sustainable journeys, and what Expedians can do to make an impact.

The training builds on our inaugural Climate Action Plan launched last year, outlining Expedia Group's overall climate vision and approach. Because change begins at home, we're working to decarbonize our operations and have set a 2040 Net Zero target, with interim goals of:

  • Reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions 75% by 2030.
  • Continuing to match 100% of our electricity usage with renewable purchases through 2030.
  • Engaging with our value chain to ensure that 75% of our suppliers by emissions have set science-based targets by 2028.

Our Climate Action Plan also commits us to supporting the global travel industry's ability to meet its goal of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching Net Zero by 2050. We see our role as twofold: Expedia Group enables travel suppliers to green their offerings, and we empower travelers to confidently book greener options.

Travel and tourism are inherently place-based: Every trip has a destination, and positive travel experiences hinge on vibrant, prosperous destination communities. Two recent partnerships embody this recognition, demonstrating how sustainability efforts in travel can likewise support equity in local communities.

Nature Positive Tourism Fund

Expedia Group has provided foundational philanthropic support to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to launch the Nature Positive Tourism Fund (NPTF), leveraging WCS's long track record of global conservation in areas of outstanding natural beauty and important wildlife populations. Nature Positive Tourism directly contributes to the protection of these habitats and wildlife by engaging with the people living in regions important for conservation. This form of tourism allows travelers to enjoy global natural wonders and unique biodiversity while ensuring that tourist spending contributes directly to a more conservation-focused and sustainable economy.

The Nature Positive Tourism Fund will:

  • Provide Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities with working capital loans, grants, and access to technical experts, in order to improve infrastructure, services, and overall tourist experience, and to support the transition away from fossil fuels.
  • Identify and improve best practices and standards in Nature Positive Tourism in collaboration with key stakeholders across the industry.
  • Expand Nature Positive Tourism opportunities in the critically important conservation areas where WCS works, including building community-owned and -operated tourism facilities and services.

We're excited to embark on this work with WCS, with initial fund disbursement supporting programs in the Madidi Landscape in Bolivia and the Kulen Prum Tep Sanctuary in Cambodia with future sites under development. Together, we'll help travelers better understand the value of nature while ensuring that nature tourism delivers economic value and benefits to local communities and contributes to conservation efforts in critical habitats.

Destination Climate Champions

Expedia Group partnered with nonprofit The Travel Foundation to launch a first-of-its-kind educational program and peer learning network for destination marketing and management organizations (DMOs). This free, self-guided program equips DMO staff with the knowledge and skills to serve as "climate champions" and incorporate a climate lens into their day-to-day work, while also creating a destination-specific Climate Action Plan and bolstering their ability to communicate with travelers about sustainable tourism in their destination.

DMOs are a key node for climate action in the travel industry, and a destination-specific climate action plan can anchor and coordinate the efforts of travel businesses both large and small as well as governments, investors, residents, and other travel stakeholders. The course will help destinations better meet traveler expectations while building community and industry resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The program is currently being piloted with DMOs from across three geographic cohorts - the EU, U.S. and Canada (Pacific Northwest), and New Zealand. We look forward to launching this program soon to DMOs around the world.

In addition to this new program, Expedia Group has also sponsored the Travel Foundation to convene a coalition of nonprofits and academics to produce a white paper on Climate Justice for the travel and tourism industry, which will be published later this year.

Product Features for Travelers

As we work toward a more responsible travel ecosystem, it's evident there's growing interest in sustainable travel options. A report by our Expedia Group Media Solutions team highlighted that 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when traveling, though 70% feel overwhelmed navigating available options and starting the process of becoming a more sustainable traveler1.

We've prioritized providing credible sustainability information for travelers in our products and via our platforms, leveraging industry best practices and scientific consensus. Expedia Group is committed to working with our peers within the Travalyst Coalition to collaboratively develop many of the methodologies and data standards which underpin our product features.

Existing product features include:

  • Information about relative flight emissions on U.S. point of sale
  • A filter for eco-certified hotels
  • Details about the sustainability-related amenities of hotels and vacation rentals
  • A filter for EV-charging availability at hotels
  • A filter for electric rental cars

Looking Ahead

This work directly correlates with our Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy, which articulates how Expedia Group will advance a travel ecosystem that is open, accessible, and responsible for all. Sustainability and climate action is a core pillar of this intersectional work, and one that engages our employees around the world across all functions of our business.

A sustainable travel industry is essential in building a more prosperous planet for generations to come. At Expedia Group, we know there's more work to be done, and our Climate Action Plan and Open World strategy outline a clear plan forward.

Stay tuned for our 2023 Global Impact Report, and find details on our current plans and progress here.

Data Sources

1 Expedia Group Media Solutions, Travelers' interest in sustainable tourism options increases (Research was conducted in February and March 2022 by Wakefield Research. The study engaged 11,000 representative consumers in 11 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S.)


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Expedia Group Inc. published this content on 09 April 2024 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 09 April 2024 16:10:06 UTC.