LONDON – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Cvent, a leading travel and transient sourcing technology provider, have created a new set of sourcing questions to help drive corporate responsibility within the business travel and meetings sector.
The new questions aim to standardize and increase the availability of sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) data shared by hotels and other venues. The initiative, developed by GBT’s Global Business Consulting (GBC) team and Cvent, in cooperation with participants across the industry, makes the process of collecting and exchanging pertinent information more efficient as corporate travel managers and suppliers enter the 2022 sourcing season. Hotels will benefit from a reduction in the hours needed to respond to custom requests for related information.
Nina Marcello, a Principal within GBC, first proposed the initiative. She said: “As we accelerate the return to travel and events, customer requests for supplier data on corporate responsibility issues are soaring. Together, GBC and Cvent worked with stakeholders across corporate and meetings travel to deliver a solution that will increase the availability of relevant sustainability and DE&I data. This initiative reflects our own environmental, social and governance commitments, and enables suppliers and travel managers around the world to further their corporate responsibility goals.”
To develop the questions, Cvent and GBT’s GBC team spoke to corporations, global hotel brands, travel management companies (TMCs) and consultancies. The work involved more than three months of interviews to determine what information stakeholders would find most helpful in addressing sustainability and DE&I goals. The resulting questions supplement the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) module in the GBTA 2013 RFP format and will be supported in Cvent Transient for use by corporate buyers. The questions, which include requests for details about carbon emissions and leadership demographics, provide an opportunity for the industry to support broader corporate strategies around environmental sustainability and diversity along the entire supply chain.
Hotel suppliers answer the 47 supplemental questions in a special section in their property profile within the Cvent Transient solution. Hotel chains can also work with properties to collect information and import it into their respective property profiles. Travel managers can then use Cvent’s reporting functionality to evaluate supplier answers alongside the bid information received during the RFP process, to better align purchasing decisions with their organization’s corporate responsibility goals.
Brian Sullivan, Senior Director of Product Management at Cvent, said: “As an industry leader, Cvent is committed to advancing corporate responsibility efforts by bringing sustainability and DE&I to the forefront of the procurement process.
“The speed at which we developed these questions reflects the significance of this work, and they are already being used by our hotel clients. This initiative benefits the entire corporate travel supply chain by facilitating the sharing and reporting of important topics that impact every organization.”
The updated CSR questions were released to hoteliers in July and will be available to buyers in Cvent Transient from September for use during the 2022 sourcing season.