Portman scoops green award

A series of sustainability initiatives has won Portman Travel a leading global award.

The travel management company's Responsibly Portman programme has received the Supplier Gold Medal for Sustainable Practices from the GBTA's Project Icarus. It is the first time the award has gone to an independent TMC in the UK.

Portman was singled out for its social, environmental and economic sustainability efforts. The programme centres on four key areas: Portman's own staff, the environment, charities and communities and its clients.

A key part was the partnership with ManageCO2, whose software is used to calculate Portman's carbon emissions. The company aims to be carbon neutral by 2020 and supports offsetting projects.

On a more day-to-day level, office waste that cannot be recycled is sent to an energy plant, saving more than 1,100 litres of landfill a week from the head office alone. A 90% reduction in paper usage was achieved in 12 months.

As well as incorporating best practices into its own business, the TMC's own clients are given the opportunity to take part in Responsibly Portman.

Portman's chief executive Steve Allen said he was "extremely proud" of its achievements. "It's particularly pleasing after also winning the Project Icarus Intermediary Outstanding Achievement Award for in November last year," he said.

Bernard Harrop, Project Icarus's head of sustainability added: "The global advisory board was impressed with Portman's industry leadership, dedication to continuous improvement, innovative products, online services and target achievements across all three aspects of sustainability; social, environmental and economic."