Biden administration issues guidelines for sustainable federal travel

President Joe Biden last week issued guidelines for U.S. federal employee travel aimed at increasing use of sustainable travel options.

The guidelines include directing federal employees to rent electric vehicles while traveling on government business when the cost is less than or equal to the most affordable nonelectric option. Similarly, employees should use electric vehicle options for taxis and rideshares when the cost is competitive, according to the guidelines.

Additionally, the guidelines instruct federal employees to use rail instead of air for trips less than 250 miles when it is cost-effective and to use public transit for local travel when possible.

Both the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. General Services Administration have issued memos directing federal agencies to ensure employees are able to book sustainable options easily when making travel arrangements, according to Biden’s announcement. Agencies have 120 days to report on their plans to carry out that policy.

The White House announced the guidelines as part of a list of “new public and private commitments to boost access to electric vehicles, save taxpayer dollars and tackle the climate crisis.”

Among the private commitments listed are new software by American Express Global Business Travel to prioritize electric vehicle booking and help find hotels near EV charging stations. The travel management company on LinkedIn confirmed it had launched a “new software solution enabling companies to increase the adoption of electric vehicles by prioritizing them over gasoline cars when travelers are booking trips.” 

The White House additionally cited Delta Air Lines’ commitment to electrify its ground service equipment and IHG’s and Marriott’s commitments to make more charging stations available at their properties, as well as Enterprise’s and Hertz’s commitments to increase EV availability. 

It also cited the Global Business Travel Association’s commitment to releasing new global procurement criteria for sustainable travel by the end of 2024.

Source: Business Travel News

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