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Global Travel Technology Company Sabre Expands Sustainability Team: 4 Things to Know

August 24, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Sabre Corporation has named Jessica Matthias (pictured above, left) as global director of sustainability, and the company hired Travalyst veteran Tess Longfield (pictured above, right) as head of sustainability communications. The moves reinforce Sabre's growing focus on expanding the company's ESG team.

Here are four things to know about Matthias, Longfield and Sabre's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scale and Scope: Sabre, based in Southlake, Texas, originally was an airline reservation system built by IBM and American Airlines. These days, the company offers travel and hospitality solutions. Sabre's travel marketplace manages more than $260 billion in global travel expenses annually. The company had roughly 7,500 employees at the end of 2022, but the company in early 2023 confirmed plans to cut roughly 15% of its workforce, according to Skift.

2. Sustainability Strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Sabre plans to publish an ESG report later in 2023. The report data will align with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards as well as the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the company indicated here. In the meantime, a 2023 ESG executive summary is posted here.

Among the recent milestones: Sabre integrated carbon emissions data into its point-of-sale tools for corporations and travel agencies. The effort, announced in June 2023, taps into Google's Travel Impact Model (TIM) -- allowing the Sabre system to display the carbon footprint of flights on its systems.

Kristin Hays, chief communications & corporate responsibility officer, Sabre Corp

3. Responsibilities and Previous Experience: Matthias and Longfield report to Kristin Hays, chief communications and corporate social responsibility officer, the software and technology company for the travel industry said.

Matthias will be responsible for growing Sabre’s sustainability program and cementing its commitment to playing a leading role in enabling sustainable travel. Matthias has spent nine years at Sabre, previously serving as global director of communications. Prior to joining Sabre, Matthias held key posts at United Nations International Telecoms Union, solar energy company BBOXX, the Vienna Tourist Board and Tribal Group.    

Meanwhile, Longfield will help build Sabre’s reputation as a purpose-led organization among key stakeholders, the company said. Longfield previously was chief marketing officer at sustainable travel non-profit Travalyst, a coalition that includes Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Trip.com and Visa. 

4. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about her new role, Matthias said: “Establishing a dedicated ESG team will help us to set science-based goals in the climate space and give us more freedom to think big about how Sabre can contribute towards solving global challenges. Purpose is already at the core of our brand, but we want to go further – we want to unlock more innovation in the ESG space and use our technology and expertise to enable the world to make more sustainable travel choices.  I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity – we have huge potential to help our customers, stakeholders and travelers put sustainability at their core.” 

Added Longfield: “Sabre is an innovator at the heart of the travel industry and is in a unique position to drive real change towards more sustainable travel. It’s great to be part of the new ESG team and I’m eager to bring my experience across sustainability and communications to advance the important efforts underway.” 

Sabre Expands ESG Team: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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