Friday, November 07, 2008

Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service

The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment has issued a Request for Proposal for "Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service and Govt3 Agencies". There are two document for the RFP: Travel management framework,
Business travel reduction projects for CNPS and Govt3 Agencies.

A target in the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation strategy (NZEECS) requires Government departments to prepare workplace travel plans that reduce business travel. Reducing kilometres travelled for business travel will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry for the Environment (MFE) coordinates the Carbon Neutral Public Service (CNPS) and Govt3 programmes. These programmes are working together to assist government organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and take actions to become more sustainable.

MFE has developed a package of projects to accelerate improvements in government organisation transport sustainability and reduce kilometres, CO2 emissions, and costs. To implement this package, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) seeks a contractor to:

  • undertake travel audits of central government organisations with high air travel

  • prepare guidelines outlining practical methods for achieving reductions in business travel, and

  • provide expert travel planning advice to selected central government organisations


The NZEECS has set a target for public service departments to have a workplace travel plan in place, and achieve a 15 per cent reduction in kilometres travelled, by the end of 2010.

The CNPS programme aim is for the six lead public service departments1 to be retrospectively carbon neutral by 2012. The other 28 core public service departments2 will be on the path towards carbon neutrality by 2012.

The carbon neutrality process has three parts:

Measure – agencies will firstly measure their greenhouse gas emissions

Reduce – agencies will implement emission reduction activities

Offset – any unavoidable emissions will be offset through New Zealand based offset projects.

There are currently 57 Govt3 members (which include the 34 core public service departments). The Govt3 programme provides tools and guidance to assist government organisations to take practical action to become more sustainable across a range of different areas, including transport, buildings, waste, office consumables and equipment, and procurement. The delivery of the Govt3 programme helps achieve carbon emissions reductions under the CNPS programme.

In 2007, as part of the transport Govt3 programme, fleet audits were undertaken of 21 government departments with fleets larger than 50. As a result, the sustainability and fuel efficiency of government agency vehicle fleets have been improving as their fleets are reviewed and replaced.

The transport Govt3 programme is now focusing on travel planning. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), in partnership with MFE, have developed a travel planning process that Govt3 organisations follow to fulfil the requirements of the CNPS and Govt3 programmes, whilst helping to achieve the NZEECS target.

MFE have run six training workshops on the travel planning process aiming to build capacity of government organisation representatives to prepare travel plans. All Govt3 organisations have also been provided with templates, tools, case studies and guidance. See for an example of some of this material.

Each government organisations travel, and therefore transport footprint, is different depending on its respective role and operational requirements. Business travel is typically split between the use of fleet vehicles (leased and owned), rental cars, taxis and air travel. While some government organisations have large fleets, air travel comprises the largest proportion of business travel.

This request for proposal focuses on reducing government agency business travel (air travel in particular), and is to assist individual organisations to prepare their travel plans by providing targeted assistance on specific tasks as part of the wider workplace travel planning process.

Workplace travel planning

Workplace travel plans take a holistic approach to organisational travel to develop a package of initiatives to improve travel choices, and reduce travel and its associated environmental impacts. Travel planning follows a five step process (see Figure 1) and covers both commuting and business travel. For the purposes of these projects, the key focus is on reducing business travel (It does not include the employee commute). ...

Agencies are at various stages in the travel planning process, but many have not yet commenced their travel plans. Some government organisations have implemented sustainable transport initiatives outside the travel planning process, such as installing video conferencing equipment.


There are three projects in this request for proposal. You are welcome to submit a proposal for all three projects or for one or two of the projects. MFE reserves the right to select one or more consultants for the projects to ensure best value for money and outcomes:

Project 1 – Travel audit of selected government departments with high air travel

Project 2 – Guidelines for business travel reductions

Project 3 – Expert travel planning advice for selected government departments

These projects will link into, and build on, the wider travel planning programme to:

  • provide targeted expert advice to organisations with the highest travel footprint

  • help accelerate progress of organisations towards the travel planning target and CO2 emission reduction

  • fill gaps in the current travel planning resources

  • build capacity within organisations on how to manage business travel

  • meet the goals of both the Govt3 and CNPS programmes.

The key outcome of this work is to reduce government organisations kilometres travelled and CO2 emissions. This will also likely lead to a reduction in government travel costs, improvements in the supply chain and make available guidance to the private sector.

Project 1 – Travel audits of selected agencies with high air travel

A travel audit is part of step two of the travel planning process: data collection (see Figure 1). A travel audit is a stocktake of:

  • the extent and reasons for an organisation’s business travel, and

  • the effectiveness of organisational travel policies, procedures, and procurement practices from a sustainability point of view.

The quality and objectives of an organisation’s travel policies, procedures, and travel related decision making are a key factor determining the efficiency and extent of business travel, particularly air travel. Therefore, focusing on how to improve these policies and procedures has the potential to deliver considerable kilometre, carbon and cost reductions.

An in depth travel audit would contribute valuable information and analysis to the data collection stage, and provide a sound base to develop a workplace travel plan. By involving a consultant with specialist skills and experience in travel management3 and sustainable travel (including travel reduction), the outcomes of the travel planning process will be improved.

Project 2 – Guidelines document on reducing business travel

The Govt3 travel planning programme has largely drawn on the resources developed by Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) (now New Zealand Transport Agency). These resources have a strong focus on commuting. There is a gap in the travel planning toolkit in terms of practical guidance on how to reduce business travel.

The CNPS and Govt3 programmes focus on business travel, and the NZEECS has set an ambitious target for reducing business travel, so MFE is seeking to take the lead in this area. The guidelines would be relevant to all government organisations (and other sectors) and would provide practical advice and guidance to government organisations with their travel plan development.

These guidelines would be owned by the Ministry for the Environment.

While there are a number of international resources that provide good reference material on business travel reduction, guidance tailored to the New Zealand situation is needed because of our unique travel profile (i.e. higher air travel, geography, distances between cities), and also to consolidate the most relevant and useful information into one document.

The document should be a ‘how to guide’ so should contain less description and more practical advice, tools, and techniques. The document should be concise and easy to read.

Project 3 – Expert travel planning advice to selected government organisations

The time and cost of travel audits for medium sized government organisations is not cost effective given the relative size of their transport emissions. However, all government organisations are required to prepare travel plans and work towards the NZEECS target. Therefore MFE wishes to fund up to 10 hours expert travel planning advice to eight organisations, to assist them to progress their travel planning.

The aim is to give government organisations a kick start by providing expert advice that can be used to inform the travel planning process, as opposed to completing it for them.

The selected government organisations will have the option to choose the best use of this time for their organisation within certain parameters.

Selected organisations would be required to formally commit to the travel planning process.

1 The lead six agencies include the Ministry for the Environment, Inland Revenue Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Development, Treasury and the Department of Conservation.

2 For a list of the 34 public service departments, see

3 Travel management is the practice of approaching corporate travel strategically. Managed travel programmes balance employee needs with corporate goals, maximize the value of every travel dollar, ensure cost tracking and control, facilitate travel policy adherence, create savings through negotiated discounts, and mitigate risk by centralising all employee travel information. ...

From: Request for Proposals For Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service and Govt3 Agencies, New Zealand Ministry for the Environment , 5 November 2008

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