Sustainable Travel Policy

We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint in line with our three-year vision to set a new standard for high-impact responsible business and our commitment to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. Minimising our business travel emissions is one key part of that.

Travel hierarchy

Travel hierarchy to illustrate the below bullet principles

Travel hierarchy (thanks to Edinburgh University for their original version)


  • Consider alternatives to travel, especially international travel e.g. virtual collaboration tools and whether someone more local can carry out the same process
  • Only travel where there’s a business benefit e.g. it's important for client or team relationships*
  • When you travel, consider the travel hierarchy to make climate-smart travel decisions e.g. taking the train is much more environmentally friendly than driving alone.
  • If you have to travel, maximise the value of the trip e.g. don’t just do one meeting, consider other local clients, events, sales opportunities etc.
  • Consider productivity when travelling e.g. train travel is better than driving because you can work whilst travelling.
  • Car share if possible when driving This is incentivised with an increased mileage allowance of £0.55 per mile rather than £0.45 per mile.
  • Driving alone is discouraged. As a rule of thumb, driving alone is only a good option where public transport increases the journey time significantly (>75% of the journey time again?). Car journeys of more than four hours each way should be avoided for well-being, environmental and productivity reasons.
  • All flights must be authorised by the Chief Planet Officer
  • Torchbox may provide additional guidance around particular events e.g. organising coaches
  • We offset emissions centrally (including travel-related emissions) as part of our policies around environmental sustainability, so you do not need to offset when booking.

Visiting our offices and in person events


Unfortunately, it is no longer compatible with our emissions reduction targets for us to fly co-owners or long-term contractors to our offices or to team events**.

Travelling to offices via sustainable transport

While we should always consider the need to travel, it is particularly important when travelling long distances and losing more than half a day’s work. As well as the environmental impact, we need to consider the commercial impact (lost working time and cost of travel against the benefit of attending in-person events). If in doubt and there is no remote participation option, discuss with your Team Lead.

Driving to the offices

We encourage carpooling wherever possible. This can often be organised via the relevant #bristol or #charlbury Slack channels. This is incentivised with an increased mileage allowance of £0.55 per mile rather than £0.45 per mile.

Bristol is a Clean Air Zone, please check your car before travelling. Please avoid driving into Bristol in a car that does not qualify (71% do). To support the Clean Air Zone's drive to shift behaviour, Torchbox will not pay for Clean Air Zone charges.

Commuting to work

We encourage you to consider walking, cycling, bus, train and other forms of public transport before travelling by car or taxi to work.

To promote more sustainable commuting, we offer:

  • Cycle to Work Scheme for UK co-owners
  • Complementary electric car charging at the Charlbury office
  • An electric car salary sacrifice scheme for UK co-owners

Conference travel

If you are considering flying to training events or conferences please read and consider the Principles and Flying guidance.

There needs to be a very strong and clear ROI to the business for taking a flight to a conference. We will consider flights if someone is making a speaker appearance, but not just to attend a conference.

See the Conferences, Training & Resources page for more information.


  • We minimise Torchbox flights as air travel is a very substantial contributor to carbon emissions.
  • We very rarely fly long haul (over four hours) and only ever for business-critical meetings. These might include meetings with high-value clients where the account is at risk or when we are presented with an opportunity that will move us significantly closer to delivering on our 2026 Vision.
  • We do not fly within mainland UK.
  • We should never take flights to places we can reach by land or sea in near comparable total journey times (think 1.5 - 2x as a rule of thumb). For example, this would mean we couldn't fly from London to Paris on the Eurostar, but could from London to Palermo (in Sicily).
  • If you have to fly, we will compare the emissions of flights and choose the lowest carbon option (within reasonable financial limits) e.g. direct flights rather than flights with connections - Google Flights helps with this.
  • Flying Economy is more environmentally friendly. Premium Economy may be considered for health or disability reasons or for social welfare where an employee has to arrive and be ready for a long day of work.

Accommodation and staying over

If travelling more than 2.5 hours to or from a meeting or event outside of office hours, Torchbox will pay for overnight accommodation, if desired. For example, you have a client meeting that doesn't finish till 7pm and you can't get home till 10pm, in this scenario, Torchbox will arrange accommodation, if desired.

If returning home overnight (whilst attending a two-day event or meeting) would require over an hour's travel after office hours, Torchbox will arrange overnight accommodation, if desired.

For business meetings, co-owners will be booked in single rooms. For social events, co-owners are expected to share twin rooms unless there are special circumstances, although you can choose to pay for a single-room supplement yourself.

If you decide to stay with a friend locally or make your own accommodation arrangements, we'll thank you with a £40 bonus, which will be subject to the usual taxes. Alternatively, feel free to purchase a ‘thank you gift’ for yourself worth up to £25. To reimburse you for this expense, please ensure you retain and submit the receipt with an expense claim.

Booking & expenses

  • All travel booking requests must be made via the expense request form. One of the People or Operations team will pick up your request and process it for you. The request will go to the Expenses Requests Monday board and you will be able to see all your own requests and any you are named as the approver against. Please keep any follow-up discussion or change of details on the expenses request in Monday.
  • Check the expenses policy page for details of what you can claim on expenses.


*Here are some other examples of where there is a business benefit:

  • There's a clear networking value e.g. it's not just that you might meet some people at a conference, but that you've identified people who will be at an event that will benefit Torchbox for you to meet.
  • It would help to meet in person to resolve a difficult situation.
  • You will create marketing content about an event that multiplies its value.
  • There's a clear team-building benefit. This can be hard to validate, but it is valuable to at least consider it rather than assuming it.

**Where co-owners or long-term contractors are making personal trips to the UK we'd love to see you in person, and in such cases, we'll cover your work-related travel and accommodation expenses within mainland Great Britain.