Friday 31 January 2020

60 Seconds With… Earle Thomas, associate director – procurement manager, Buro Happold

What’s keeping you awake at night?
Traveller tracking system accuracy and reliability

Because the Duty of Care for our staff is my top-priority.

What is the most important thing you do to look after your travellers' wellbeing? 
The implementation of our traveller tracking system through our TMC. We also provide a great deal of support and ‘local knowledge’ via various media and networking.

Is it possible to have an ethical travel programme? 
I believe so but it requires mandates from the top (with consequence) and full engagement across the business to make it work.

And what would it look like? 
Well, it would need to have simple high-level drivers that users can easily see themselves supporting with their actions.

How 'ethically conscious' is your travel programme? 
It tries to be, but we lack mandate with consequence. We also rely on market actions, too, from the airlines, for example.

Should air miles be banned for encouraging unnecessary travel? 
No. Corporate air miles are a benefit to the company. Justification for a trip should be robust enough to manage unnecessary trip requests, but we could use them to carbon off-set.

How has Brexit impacted your travel programme?
It’s actually had very little impact as the EU travel is only a small part of our programme.

What's the best thing about travelling on business? 
Being able to work with fewer distractions.

And what's the worst? 
Definitely time away from my family.

Why do you attend the Business Travel Show? 
To keep up to date with market developments and keep my network current.

Earle Thomas, Associate Director - Procurement at Buro Happold, is on the Business Travel Show Advisory Board making sure our content in bang on every year. Register for a free visitor pass at

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