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October 12, 2009

ITM names ICARUS Environmental Award winners

The Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) UK & Ireland has announced the results of its ICARUS Environmental Supplier Awards for 2009/10.

The awards, in their third year, were created by the association as part of its corporate social responsibility project, ICARUS. The celebrate companies that have created effective solutions to help travel buyers reduce the environmental impact of their travel programmes.

This year’s judging panel considered submissions from airlines, hotels, rail operators, ground transport operators, travel management companies, consultancies and technology providers.

All submissions were judged against five key criteria: innovation, leadership, time-resilience, scalability/transferability and case study material.

“In the third year of ICARUS’ Supplier Awards, the judges were looking for serious commitment by companies to develop sustainable business practices,” said chairman of the judging panel, Dr Keith Mason, director of the Business Travel Research Centre at Cranfield University. “Evidence was sought in terms of leadership by senior management to their employees and engagement with stakeholders.

“Companies ought to be using suitable metrics to measure the impact of their policies on their trading environment. Setting realistic, but challenging targets to reduce environmental impacts are key in order to drive change. Companies also need to monitor their performance to ensure that targets are being achieved.”

Mason also highlighted that judging considerations were made in light of the quality of the submissions of the winners of the two previous years, with a decision not to award or commend in categories where a consistently high level was not achieved.

The winners are as follows:
 Aviation Winner: Flybe
Accommodation Winner: The Cavendish Hotel (Previous 2008/9 winner)
Rail Transportation Winner: Eurostar (Previous 2008/9 winner)
Agency Winner: CWT (Previous winner across both 2007/8 and 2008/9)

Noting that the airline entries accounted for nearly 70% of UK airline capacity, Mason explained why Flybe had been awarded the aviation award this year, while BA picked up a commendation.

“Flybe’s modernisation of its fleet, using young turbo-prop aircraft, means carbon emissions are low for the sectors that in which they operate,” he said. “Its eco-labelling concept, which has been applied to its flights, uses the easily understood customer labelling notation common to fridges, washing machines, and even houses for sale.

“The judges were also pleased to see continuing commitment by British Airways to developing strategies to minimise its environmental impact within its wider corporate social responsibility programme.”

Full details of the winners and the judge’s comments are available at www.icarus.itm.org.uk

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