Here, There and Everywhere

Giving While On Business

From BBC – The Passport Blog
by Nick Easen
11 April 2012

Business Travel Gives Back

For many, the only time charity plays a role in business is when executives think about the deductions they can make from their taxable income.

But giving has never been easier for road warriors, thanks to several travel companies that are keen to counteract their environmental impact and donate to charitable causes.

Qantas, American Airlines and seven other international carriers place UNICEF envelopes in their seat back pockets. Travelers can help the United Nations children’s organization by donating their small change – including unused overseas currency. In 25 years, UNICEF has raised more than $70 million just by collecting unwanted coins and notes from air passengers. There are similar onboard initiatives with Virgin Atlantic’s Change for Children and British Airways’ Flying Start program.

Many credit cards and frequent flier programs allow you to earn points for good causes or convert your miles into charitable donations. American Express, for example, gives you access to more than one million worthy organizations. Many hotel loyalty cards, such as InterContinental and Starwood, also allow you to donate points to charity.

Hotels are involved in other schemes as well. For instance Best Western, Carlson, Mandarin Oriental and others have teamed up with Clean the World, an initiative that recycles your partially used soap from the hotel room. The soap is cleaned and reformed into new blocks, then sent to people in Haiti and other third-world countries.

Clean the World also created a program specifically for corporate meeting planners. When conferences and their respective organizers sign up to participate, soap from the entire hotel gets recycled. Since its launch three years ago, the charity has distributed more than 10 million bars of soap to people in 45 countries, from Zimbabwe to El Salvador.

In North America, several convention centres, including those in San Francisco and Denver, donate leftover food to a program called Network for the Needy. It was founded by the US Professional Convention Management Association to donate excess food from meetings and special events.

Read entire story and other news at BBC.

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