Only 1% of UK business travellers observed their employer's new environmental guidelines to reduce work-related travel last year, with confusion rife over who exactly should be taking responsibility and how.

The 12th Barclaycard Business Travel Survey, which canvassed the views of 3,400 chief executives, chairmen, company directors, managers and executives in December 2007, found that the vast majority (78%) travelled without reference to any corporate environmental policy - with a further 81% saying that their business had no means to measure their work-related carbon footprint.

Opinion was divided on where environmental responsibility for business travel lay. Overall 35% felt that it lay with the government - rising to more than 40% among the 238 company chairman surveyed - while only 18% believed it fell to the employer. Around 40% of those surveyed favoured an environmental tax on airlines - of which 55% believed it would be passed on to the passenger.

"There is very little evidence of any significant shift in behaviour of business travellers in 2007 - despite the volumes of media coverage given to this area and the corresponding level of comment by business on a broad range of environmental initiatives," says Barclaycard Business's Denise Leleux.

"One of the major issues arising is a lack of consensus among employers and employees about who should be taking responsibility and how. If we are to move forward and achieve significant change this should be the focus of attention - in the meantime we are seeing individuals taking action where they can."

Source: Flight International