OUR CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
We're in the midst of a climate and biodiversity emergency.
And like all travel companies, despite our efforts to build the world's most positive impact adventure company, we're heavily implicated.
Current IPCC advice tells us that, by 2030, we need to cut global carbon emissions to at least 55% below what they were in 2017, to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming.
That's why we declared a Climate Emergency
...and called on the rest of the industry to join us.
Our Climate Action Plan is broken down into 4 main areas: measure, reduce, remove and campaign.
Every year we update the plan to include our goals for the coming year, and publish a transparent report sharing our carbon footprint for the year, and assessing our progress against the goals we set.
We measure and transparently publish both our annual footprint, as well as a carbon footprint label for each of our trips.
We’ve also openly shared our methodology, in the hope other companies will be able to more easily follow suit.
Our carbon analysis includes an estimate of all local transport, accommodation, activities, guides, staff and office operations, and food. The only major thing it doesn’t include is flights and travel to the destination.
However, as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include them in the figures on display for now.
We aim to fix that, so that when a customer books, we can measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by each individual customer's travel plans too.
Our carbon footprint measurement confirms what we had long suspected: compared to the industry average, the trips are relatively low carbon (once you get there). We typically camp and kayak, hike and stay in mountain huts.
This does not stop us continually looking to make improvements, however. Our trip-by-trip footprint analysis gives us the framework from which we can work with local hosts to identify ways to go even further in reducing carbon across their trips, and that informs our future activity.
1. Through extensive consultation with our local hosts and industry partners, and further extensive data collection, we aim to develop a carbon reduction strategy and framework for 2023-2030 that will support our local hosts to phase out higher carbon accommodation choices, adjust menus and transport choices in particular.
2. Continue to expand the range of adventures that are accessible by train, and an ever wider range of big adventures designed to encourage customers to fly less, and stay for longer.
For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. This is part of our commitment to channelling 5% of our revenues via our foundation into reforestation and rewilding projects that have the highest potential for carbon removal and reversal of the biodiversity crisis.
Maintain this commitment. Upgrade our carbon measurement tools so that when a customer books we can measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by each individual customer's travel plans too.
Given the relatively small size and carbon footprint of our business, the biggest carbon reduction gains are likely to be had by focussing our efforts on campaigning.
In 2020 we co-founded the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement. In 2021 we collaborated with the United Nations Environment Program, United Nations World Tourism Organisation, The Travel Foundation and Visit Scotland to see this original climate emergency declaration successfully adopted as the central tourism industry framework for climate action, launched at COP26 in November as the Glasgow Declaration.
For the first time, mainstream global tourism leaders are unifying around a strong commitment to action that is aligned with the need to cut carbon at least in half over the next decade.
We will continue to support, advise and advocate for climate action through these frameworks we have established.
"One of the best travel companies committed to climate action"
We do not claim to know all the answers. As we go, we’ll transparently share our progress and our learnings in the hope others will learn from our mistakes. We’ll talk openly, invite criticism and collaborate with partners and competitors alike. Only by doing so do we have a chance of getting to our goal, not just as a company, but as a society.
NO GRAND CLAIMS
While we fund conservation and re-wilding work that has the potential to remove many times more carbon from the atmosphere than enters it as a result of our trips, we do not formally ‘carbon offset’ in order to claim carbon neutrality or carbon positivity.
We consider this to be misleading, and a dangerous distraction from the critical work of reducing carbon emissions.
INVITATION TO CRITICISE
By nature our adventure travel style is relatively low carbon - think hiking, kayaking and camping compared to luxury hotels and bus tours. See details of our carbon footprint analysis for more on this. However, as a travel company reliant on customers flying round the world we recognise that just by publishing this policy, we are opening ourselves up to accusations of greenwashing.
If traveller numbers are going to continue to increase as forecasts suggest - and few would argue otherwise - it’s our responsibility to engage with the challenges we face head on.
We’ll do everything we can to cut the carbon emissions we have any say over, encourage others to do likewise, and campaign for the wider system changes needed to move travel and aviation especially towards a low carbon future. Our plans are evolving continuously based on learning and sharing. If you have suggestions or insights that can help us improve, just email [email protected] anytime.