The results from Green October are in

In October we challenged ourselves to reduce travel costs and expenses by working in a different way. We saved £75,000 compared to October 2017, and while this is progress in the right direction, we also missed some opportunities, as you’ll see from the numbers below.

Green October successes

85% of bookings were made online in October (up from 69% in September) which saves us money compared to phone bookings. It also means we know where you are in an emergency, so it is the only way people should be booking tickets and hotels. As a reminder, any hotels booked out of policy, and not through Clarity can’t be claimed back through the expenses system.

We also reduced the amount we spent on hotels compared to last year by 16%, through a combination of fewer nights (8% fewer) and choosing less expensive rooms. This is great news.

Where we missed our targets

Disappointingly the number of train journeys and flights taken in the month increased compared to last year. So as well as not saving as much as we could have done – we didn’t manage to reduce our carbon footprint at all, which was another aim of Green October.

One positive from this, is that while we took 31% more train journeys in October, the cost decreased by 2% – showing we are booking cheaper tickets.

Budget implications for you next year

The need to save on travel and expenses doesn’t stop here. I’ve reminded you all before, that we all face a 20% reduction in travel budgets next year. This is so we can keep making savings into 2019 – an important part of Fuel for Growth.  

We know that travel is an essential part of the job for many people here, so the only ways we’ll stay within budgets next year are by:

  • Travelling less – really thinking if travel is needed, sending fewer people to a event or meeting, and using technology to connect virtually
  • Booking travel and hotels well in advance of your travel date. In October 87% of rail tickets were booked within four days of travel – book early to get the cheapest rail fares

Thanks for your support during Green October.

David Roberts
MD, Co-op property / CCO for travel and expenses