Large share of all business travel unnecessary

Tens of thousands of business trips every year are unnecessary – this is the result of a new survey by Telia among 1,710 people at companies throughout the country. Four percent of the respondents said that all of the business trips they took last year could have been replaced by telephone or Internet meetings.

According to Statistics Sweden, approximately 1.1 million business trips are taken every year. Half of the people in Telia’s survey say that several of their business trips – in some cases more than half – were unnecessary.

“Enormous amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the air as a result of business trips. Many companies do not have a policy for when meetings should be held in person and when they can be held over the Internet. Our survey indicates that many people take business trips despite the fact that they could have easily held the meeting over the telephone or via Internet,” says Erik Hallberg, head of Broadband Services at TeliaSonera in Sweden.

One-fifth of the companies with more than 500 employees have established guidelines for when meetings should be conducted over the telephone or the Internet. At the same time, Telia’s survey indicates that employees at these companies have the highest rate of unnecessary travel. Two-thirds of the employees at the companies with more than 500 employees say that they make unnecessary business trips several times a year.

“At TeliaSonera in Sweden, we decreased our carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent between 2001 and 2006. We decreased the number of business trips by 30 percent, which, in addition to decreased emissions, also has naturally led to a decrease in travel expenses. Our own results show that it is not only the environment that wins if we travel less,” says Erik Hallberg.

In Telia’s survey, 1,710 people at companies throughout Sweden answered questions about their business travel. The companies vary in size from less than 10 to more than 500 employees. The respondents work at companies that are Telia customers. The survey was conducted May 16-24.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in the press release relating to future status or circumstances, including future performance and other trend projections are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements due to many factors, many of which are outside the control of TeliaSonera.