by Matt Alderton | June 18, 2012
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation has re-launched Project ICARUS, which it calls "the first global travel management sustainability body, representing the interests of the global travel and meetings industry," it announced this week. The new, expanded program will include a Global Advisory Board to provide leadership and guidance on sustainability issues, as well as recognition and awards programs highlighting sustainability achievements.

A GBTA Foundation initiative, Project ICARUS was started in 2006 by the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM) in the United Kingdom. Now a widely recognized and respected Corporate Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility program, its goal is to be "the definitive source of information, education and support" for a wide range of sustainability issues in the corporate travel and meetings industry.

"Sustainability is an issue of strategic importance for corporations and organizations in the business travel industry," says GBTA Foundation Executive Director Daphne Bryant. "Project ICARUS and GBTA's expanded program on sustainability sets the bar for the entire industry, providing the research, guidance and now awarding recognition for those looking to develop or improve a global sustainability program."

Project ICARUS' new Global Advisory Board will include representatives from buyers, suppliers, academics and subject matter experts in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia/New Zealand and Latin America. Its new recognition programs, meanwhile, will include the Project ICARUS sustainability Gold Medal recognition program and the Outstanding Achievement Awards program. The former will recognize organizations dedicated to serving the needs of the business travel and meetings industry who are willing to "learn, share, lead and above all take action" in the drive to greater sustainability. The latter, on the other hand, will be made annually and on a regional basis, recognizing buyers, sellers, intermediaries and sustainability organizations that have made special contributions to sustainability within the industry.

"GBTA has always been on the forefront of key business travel issues and we are thrilled to recognize fellow leaders that improve sustainability best practices through these awards," says Project ICARUS Head of Sustainability Bernard Harrop.