The Government has launched a campaign designed to encourage organisations to consider alternatives to business travel (Public Sector Travel).
The ‘Anywhere Working’ campaign follows a call for evidence, issued by the DfT in spring 2011, to identify the perceived barriers to greater use of new technologies to reduce the need for travel, while promoting ‘greener’ means when travel is essential.
According to the Public Sector Travel news report, many public and private respondents are keen to explore these concepts, but there was a widespread lack of knowledge on how to do so.
In ‘Alternatives to Travel, the Next Steps’, a report which sets out the Government’s approach, Norman Baker, transport minister, says: “Ours is an age that has given rise to communications technologies of dazzling sophistication. An era that did more than merely reduce the distance between A and B but, thanks to innovations like teleconferencing and instant messaging, removed it altogether.
“Yet, to date, our approach to alternatives to travel has not kept pace with the benefits available.”
Mr Baker said his main purpose was to “challenge inflexibility” over working practices and business travel, adding that Whitehall would set an example as a flexible employer.
The report says that the Government has set out business travel policy principles, which were not compulsory for departments but should be seen as target as to work towards. The DfT has implemented these principles at all levels, with ministers frequently pre-recording video speeches, rather than travelling to actual events.