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New figures released by some of the UK's leading companies, including Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, and Marks & Spencer on June 15, 2012 have indicated that they have reduced their business flights by 41 percent, as part of a WWF-run scheme.

WWF's "One in Five Challenge" is a five-year programme designed to help companies reduce their reliance on business flying and transform the way they meet and travel.

The programme has introduced its latest set of results, showing that member companies have, on average, cut their flights by 19 percent in the first year, saving £1.5 million and reducing emissions by 1,500 tonnes CO2. It also aims to cut flights by 41 percent over two years, saving £2.4 million and reducing emissions by 3,600 tonnes CO2.

Companies have achieved these results by using a variety of measures including questioning the need for travel, including flights in corporate carbon reporting and increasing their use of rail, video and audio conferencing.

Members say that lower carbon ways of staying connected are actually helping them to increase their efficiency, citing less time spent out of the office, faster decision-making, productivity gains and increased collaboration to be the main benefits from using technology to replace the need to travel.

The "One in Five Challenge" aims to help companies and government departments to cut 20 percent of flights within 5 years. Members include some of the UK's leading companies representing over 300,000 employees and taking over half a million flights. Within two years, more than half of members have already achieved the Challenge and are remaining in the programme in order to make further flight reductions. Lloyds TSB is the latest to achieve the Challenge, cutting 26 percent of their flights in a single year.

"Our members have discovered significant commercial and environmental benefits from flying less. If these progressive companies can cut their flights by 41 percent, others can too," Jean Leston, Senior Transport Policy Advisor for WWF-UK, stated. "Members say that lower carbon ways of staying connected are actually helping them to increase their efficiency, citing less time spent out of the office, faster decision making, productivity gains and increased collaboration to be the main benefits from using technology to replace the need to travel."