Organizations still have a long way to go to to fully integrate the social web to connect to their customers. Here are some great examples, curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center). Their book Connectivate! is a collection of real world stories from 54 innovative companies whose breakthroughs are changing the world.
By leveraging today’s confluence of technological and analytical breakthroughs, these companies connect people, businesses, governments and entities in novel and meaningful ways, capturing win-win propositions on the value chain. These companies have created a new economic context, increasingly accessible in a space-time singularity called Always Available.
Real world stories about innovators and innovative companies are an important way to learn, and we place high value on them at Innovation Excellence. The next case study in our Connectivate! series is:
Manage my travel expenses, and reduce my carbon footprint
WHO NEEDS IT?
The global voluntary market for carbon offsets needs tools to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions generated by transportation, electricity use, and other sources. Companies that want to pursue voluntary offset of travel-related emissions as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and investor relations programs.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTIVATION?
The AirPlus Company Account automatically offsets carbon emissions incurred on business flights and processes climate protection credits. Creates an automatic marketplace between travel-buyers and offset providers, linked digitally together by a single transaction. A sustainability dashboard allows corporate travel departments to track CO2 emissions and climate protection premium per plane ticket.
WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE?
Participants in the voluntary carbon offsets market connected in ad-hoc, one-to-one relationships. The diversity of players in the carbon offsets market made it difficult to interact–from providers of various types of offsets, to developers of quality assurance mechanisms, to third party verifiers, and business travelers.
AirPlus has more than 900 employees worldwide and over 35,000 business clients. To date, the $700 million global voluntary market for carbon offsets has generated about 123.4 million metric tons of CO2 reductions, with 40,000 metric tons of reduction resulting from the AirPlus Company Account and about €1 million in revenues.
Meets the clean carbon offsetting needs of a growing market of frequent fliers, high-volume travel buyers, and carbon offset providers.
BASIC HUMAN NEEDS
· Community: People like to feel a positive bond to their environment. AirPlus allows companies and employees to affirm their connection to and responsibility for the global community.
· Simple: People value ease of use. Through AirPlus, all carbon offset amounts are automatically settled flight booking.
WHY THEY ARE WINNING
Connecting bulk travel purchasing with automatic purchasing and reporting of offsets empowers AirPlus customers to control financial and environmental costs seamlessly.
Market Maker: AirPlus simplifies the carbon offset payment by offering audited offsets and expense-controlled travel procurement through an automated process while offering offset providers access to large-volume purchasers.
AirPlus proprietary dashboard and benchmarks. Offsets arranged in proprietary marketplace.
Offsets purchased automatically with bulk travel transactions on behalf of company. Statistics displayed on an interactive dashboard — expenses, carbon impact and offsets.
Flight bookings are made as usual with offset payments automatically processed by AirPlus through clients’ chosen climate protection organization. Clients can view performance on a web-based dashboard.
Companies around the world that consider a carbon offset strategy to be critical to environmental sustainability.
· Offset providers are audited and approved by local government or international organizations, e.g. the UN.
· Airline partners: Air China, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Continental, Lufthansa, Swiss International, TAP Portugal, Singapore Airlines, and Luxair.
image credit: airplus.com
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Dr. Hitendra Patel, Ronald Jonash, Steve Wyatt and Victor Fernandes are co-authors of Connectivate! Companies Innovating in New Ways to be Always Available; and members of leadership and the team at IXL CENTER, the Center for Innovation, Excellence & Leadership at Hult International Business School.