Monday 28 January 2019

GUEST BLOG: FCM shines a light on energy poverty

As one of the largest global travel management companies, FCM isn’t just striving to take the lead in developing innovative technology and give our clients the best possible service. Not only are we setting the agenda for industry topics like NDC and distribution of travel content. We are also aiming to set an example in terms of our approach to CSR. Giving back to the community is a core ingredient of our corporate culture. 

Our latest initiative is to partner with SolarBuddy, a charity dedicated to illuminating the future of those living in energy poverty.

Approximately 18% of the world’s population has no access to electricity which equates to 1.4 billion people living in the dark. This severely impacts education, health, the economy and the environment. SolarBuddy’s mission is to help break this cycle and improve the educational opportunities of six million children living in darkness by providing them with solar lights to study after dusk.  The gift of a SolarBuddy solar light helps children living in energy poverty to continue studying long after the sun goes down improving their education outcomes and overall health and wellbeing.

Over the last year, delegates and staff attending various FCM conferences and events have been building SolarBuddy lights as part of the conference programme.  Each kit comes with instructions and takes around 15-20 minutes to build using a basic screwdriver.

For example, staff at our global conference last year in Berlin built 2,000 SolarBuddy lights which were shipped to children in Papua New Guinea and South Africa. And at FCM’s recent Focus conference, delegates made 400 SolarBuddy lights which have been sent to children in Madagascar.

At this year’s Business Travel Show we aren’t just shining a light on travel buyers’ corporate travel programmes. We are also inviting visitors to FCM’s stand to do their bit towards shining a light on energy poverty. We have a special area on the stand where you can sit down and spend 15 minutes assembling a SolarBuddy light. Our goal is to build a total of 500 lights over the show’s two days which will be sent to children in Papua New Guinea.

We are also encouraging our clients to join SolarBuddy’s corporate programme, via cievents, our sister division that specialises in global event management. Cievents can arrange for a SolarBuddy light assembling session to be included within a corporate’s conference programme or teambuilding event. The SolarBuddy light kits are branded with the corporate’s company identity. The activity of building a light not only fosters more meaningful experiences for participants but also inspires them to spread the word about energy poverty.

Early stage evaluations indicate that children with a solar light are studying up to 78% longer. Solar lighting is a sustainable option that minimises the reliance on the burning of toxic kerosene, dangerous campfires, and expensive battery-powered torches, enabling  children to do homework after dark, as well as supporting small businesses and improving safety and security of local communities.

Please join us on stand B130 and help us to take whole communities around the world from darkness to light.

This blog was posted by Jo Greenfield, UK General Manager, FCM Travel Solutions ( For more information on SolarBuddy visit

No comments:

Post a Comment