Only one in six travel management professionals (16 percent) currently incentivize their business travelers to stay in hotels with sustainable practices, according to a new study released by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association, in partnership with AIG Travel.

Even fewer (4 percent) of respondents said they require travelers to book suppliers with sustainable practices, leaving an opportunity for the industry to adopt and even incentivize more sustainable practices.

The study, Corporate Social Responsibility: Going Beyond Green, also revealed only 5 percent of travel management professionals incentivize travelers to fly direct, 3 percent incentivize travelers to use public transportation where available and 2 percent incentivize travelers to share airport transportation.

“Now more than ever before, companies are taking a holistic approach to improving what many call the ‘triple bottom line,’ comprised of social, environmental and financial factors, or the ‘three P’s,’ people, planet and profits,” said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA research director. “Travel management professionals are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role within their organizations when it comes to making environmentally-conscious travel policies, vendor and supplier selections and options for travelers.”

More than half (53 percent) of travel management professionals reported their companies have a formal corporate sustainability program in place. Travel management professionals already take into account a myriad of factors including price, traveler preference and convenience.

Contracting with sustainability-focused suppliers can signal an organization’s commitment to reducing and counteracting the harmful impact of business travel on the environment, according to the GBTA Foundation.

A free preview copy of the GBTA Foundation’s study is available here. In addition, the full study is available to GBTA members or can be purchased by contacting pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org.