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Accelerating Sustainability in Travel and Transport: Leveraging Data for a Greener Future

By Nalini Parmar, Industry Sustainability Leader – TCS Travel Transportation Hospitality, UK-EMEA
By Sridharan Vilva Kumar Alwar, Chief Technology Officer – TCS Travel Transportation Hospitality, UK-EMEA
By Sachin Gangwar, Product Owner – TCS, Intelligent Urban Exchange, Digital Software Solutions
By Nirmal Singh Tomar, Sr. Solutions Architect – AWS

Connect with TCS-1

The global travel and tourism sector accounts for 8-11% percent of the world’s emissions, and this is set to increase due to a rise in demand, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTCC).

Travel and transport companies are trying harder than ever to keep up with their net-zero commitments, per the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Further, regulatory commitments (EU’s Fit for 55), investor pressures, and consumer preferences are increasingly driving companies’ decarbonization strategies.

On the other side, individual travelers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their travel habits and seek to contribute their bit for the environment. Yet, though 40% of travelers globally say they are willing to pay at least 2% more for carbon-neutral flight tickets, only 14% have actually paid more for sustainable options when they travel, according to a McKinsey study.

The reason for this “Say-Do” gap that exists among travelers can be attributed to two reasons: lack of clear sustainability related information offered to them during booking and flying, and consumers’ own priorities to price and connections.

Today, travel and transport enterprises heavily rely on defined levers such as electromobility, alternate fuels, demand, and efficiency strategies. However, there’s a need for these strategies to converge and align with committed targets. Digital and data will be key enablers that help measure enterprises’ environmental impact.

This post provides insights on how travel and transport companies can use data to expedite their sustainability efforts. Enterprises can utilize TCS GreenMiles Mobility to measure the environmental impact of their operations, extract valuable insights, and take actions that positively affect travelers and other stakeholders.

TCS GreenMiles Mobility aims to bring measurability into the core of sustainability initiatives. Its robust data-engine builds discoverability, control, and predictability on the sustainability impact of every business activity, and uses data to offer a gamified experience to travelers that helps them make their travel greener.

An IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and Managed Service Provider (MSP) that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last 50 years.

Staying on Path to Meeting Net-Zero Targets

As companies make progress on their efforts to meet their sustainability commitments, new tools and technologies can help. These efforts can result in siloed initiatives with limited visibility. The need is to understand the hotspots and plan initiatives and reductions for the same. A data spine is a consolidated data view that enables discoverability on activity hotspots and enables intelligent planning is necessary.

Secondly, measuring sustainability efforts is a challenge due to data unavailability at large. A system that brings in measurability with visibility on data quality is required and will help in closing the process gaps for data collection.

Thirdly, reports and metrics are hard to translate into actions by people who part of the value chain. Measurability should be used to encourage travelers to declare and plan their travel or shift to rail.

TCS GreenMiles Mobility Overview

The TCS GreenMiles Mobility solution helps enterprises set up a data core for measurability around sustainability. Enterprise users, travelers, and partners can draw insights from the data and take actions from them.

The solution specifically enables:

  • Discoverability: Provides pre-built dashboards and reports for travel and transport companies, with configurable metrics aligned with reporting frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, providing insights for better operational planning, including flight planning.
  • Control: Enables deeper insights into operational parameters that impact emissions, such as baggage weight or weight of waste. The insights and analysis perspective can be leveraged for recommendations to the traveler or any stakeholder in the value chain to shift to a sustainable behavior.
  • Predictability: Enables alignment to net-zero pathways and assessment levers for reduction with cost-marginal abatement cost curves.

Figure 1 – Conceptual view of TCS GreenMiles Mobility.

The solution comprises the following functional blocks:

  • User block: Enables the onboarding of data owners, data providers, and consumers to leverage the features based on their roles. Users span across the enterprise, including end customers as well as partners.
  • Consumption block: Comprises the dashboards, reports, and data APIs that drives actions from data. Emissions dashboards, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dashboards and self-service analytics such as flight-route emissions or last mile emissions are supported.
  • Data block: Comprises of the data spine as well as the associated capabilities for data ingestion, processing, orchestration, and consumption. Enterprise data sources for travel and transport—such as flight operations data, parcel operations data, data from HR systems—can be ingested along with external data (emission factors, weather data) in a variety of ingestion modes and formats. This is accelerated with the help of adaptors specific to the source systems. The data block forms the data core of the GreenMiles mobility solution, powered by TCS Intelligent Urban Exchange (TCS IUXTM).
  • Data processing: Enables data to conform to a travel and transport-specific data model. This ready-to-use data model is scalable to enterprise subject areas and adjacent ecosystem data sources in the value chain.
  • Data orchestration: Supported through semantic models for multiple consumers.
  • Data consumption: This is supported to and from operational and analytical systems. Granular emissions, such as emissions per km or emissions per kg, are exposed as a service to be able to be used in metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Data and analytical consumption are through query or SQL gateway, and operational consumption are through data APIs which can be leveraged for actionable insights.
  • Industry systems block: Comprises various enterprise and external source systems that hold business activity data and their impact on climate and sustainability at large.

Technical Deployment Architecture

Datasets from various sources are securely ingested, transformed, and stored in the predefined data model. The data engine automates calculations of emissions and other sustainability metrics. The pre-built dashboards and reports are able to use the transformed data.

Figure 2 – Technical deployment architecture.

Here is how AWS services are used in the GreenMiles solution to meet sustainability requirements for enterprises including speed and agility:

  1. Amazon Route 53 routes internet traffic to application.
  2. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) controls access to services and resources with minimum access.
  3. Elastic Load Balancing is used for load distribution and to secure access to external applications.
  4. Solution deployed on a Kubernetes cluster leveraging Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as worker nodes.
  5. Amazon EMR is used for scalable data transfer and transformation across data layers.
  6. Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) stores the processed data.
  7. Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail are used for monitoring, auditing, and governance.
  8. All datastore used in the solution, encrypted at rest using AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS).
  9. AWS Data Exchange is utilized for accessing third-party datasets, such as emission factors.
  10. AWS WAF applies security rules and protects application from common exploits.
  11. Amazon CloudFront is used for static content delivery for the GreenMiles portal.
  12. Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) is used as the shared storage of various data across containers deployed.
  13. Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) is used for application deployment.

This solution can be hosted in a customer’s AWS account along with the necessary configurations and changes required to connect to sources.

Key Benefits

TCS GreenMiles Mobility aims to bridge the gaps and pain points through its core data engine based on a travel data model. It accelerates the setup of a data spine for sustainability that can be used by the stakeholders interacting with the value chain.

The advanced analytical engine ensures data completeness, quality, and preparation, providing actionable insights for a dynamic user experience.

Primary benefits of the solution are:

  • Accelerate measurability on sustainability through pre-built modules contextual for the industry:
    • Create mandatory reports aligned to reporting frameworks.
    • Measure emissions in operations such as flight route emissions and last mile emissions.
  • Build sustainable experiences through data through gamified journeys:
    • Make the impact of various activity on carbon visible for stakeholders like travelers, crew, and partners.
    • Inspire actions through data – 25% of carbon is saved if 50% of economy travelers chose to carry 40% less of their allotted baggage weight.
    • Allow what-if analysis for better operational planning.
  • Cater to the purpose of travel with an aim to offer sustainable experiences:
    • Opportunity to bring an end-to-end travel option through multiple modes.


Travel and transport enterprises are focusing on a net-zero journey, with digital and data solutions becoming key accelerators. The TCS GreenMiles Mobility solution offers measurable operations and aligns efforts to help enterprises transform and embrace change with sustainability as a key driver.

TCS GreenMiles Mobility provides the foundations for this transformation, and can be leveraged by the core sustainability business function team, operations team, and end consumers like travelers or consumers.


TCS – AWS Partner Spotlight

TCS is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and MSP that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last 50 years.

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