Admittedly, the scope of this kind of scheme is limited. Collectively, employees of no-fly pioneer Naturesave have had only 24 no-fly holiday days since 2009. And because a small proportion of people do the bulk of the flying (70% of the flights by UK residents are taken by 15% of the country’s population, according to Climate Perks), two days per year of slow travel may be a drop in the bucket for these frequent, often higher-earning, travellers.
But Climate Perks taps into the growing concern among young people, and not just wealthy eco-warriors, about the environmental toll of air travel. Although only 35% of UK residents in their 70s and older believe that air travel harms the environment, the proportion among those aged 16–34 is twice as high. Projects like Climate Perks may be a useful acknowledgement that business as usual may not work for businesses in the future.
It may also be a nudge to think more creatively about work and travel. Another proposal from advocates of more sustainable and thoughtful travel is to fly less, but to stay longer.
So perhaps once a movement like Climate Perks goes mainstream, the next step would be for employers to become comfortable with staff taking longer, slower, more reflective holidays. For an overworked employee who doesn’t feel particularly refreshed after a rushed three-day weekend spent shuttling around airports, there’s scope to dream.