Climate Action - Our commitment 2021

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SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL We’re dedicated to integrating sustainability and ethics across all aspects of our trips. Ensuring a better future, for people and planet.

CLIMATE ACTION PLAN In 2021 we became a launch partner for the Glasgow Declaration for climate action in tourism. Our climate action plan outlines the steps we’re taking to reduce our impact on the climate crisis.




We measure our full carbon footprint by calculating the emissions of each of our trip itineraries and flights, and by recording the emissions generated by our offices and staff teams.

We’ve set ourselves the goal of reducing the emissions generated by our trips, staff and offices by 50% by 2028. In doing so we will exceed guidance set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by two years. To achieve this, we are: •

Reducing the amount of travel our staff undertake by running our pre-departure programme digitally and utilising online collaboration to work effectively as a global team

Swapping remote training expeditions for training days at client schools to reduce the emissions generated through transport and accommodation at these events

Using only green energy supplies to our UK Head Office

Conducting annual itinerary reviews to reduce trip emissions by transitioning to more efficient route, transportation, and accommodation options

When it comes to the emissions generated by our customer flights, we’re aware that the aviation industry has targets to reduce these, aligned to developments in alternative, more sustainable fuel sources. Whilst we eagerly await progress in that industry, we’re taking steps within our control to reduce the emissions generated by these flights, this includes: •

Offering flight-free itineraries from the UK to Europe

Offering short-haul, domestic itineraries in Australia and New Zealand for schools located in this region

Including emissions as a key point for review, alongside cost, timing, and availability, when selecting the most viable route option for each team

As technology advances and availability expands, we will begin to prioritise bookings with airlines which are using sustainable aviation fuels


From 2022 we will not provide any single-use plastics on our trips* and will continue to implement initiatives to reduce waste •

Maintaining our Travellers Against Plastic pledge, we have removed all single-use plastics from the equipment provided to our teams* and have removed single-use plastic water bottle provision from all of our activities

We provide travellers with plastic-free kit lists to promote sustainable packing choices

We have adopted rent and reuse policies for our tents to reduce the number of new pieces of equipment utilised by 60% from 2019 to 2022 * Unless


required for hygiene, medical or safety purposes

We offset 100% of our emissions through gold standard, certified programmes

In addition to offsetting, we plant 5 trees for each of our travellers, making us carbon negative

We collaborate with 40 conservation organisations worldwide to support reforestation and environmental regeneration programmes


All participants on our trips have access to pre-departure learning on climate change and other topics relating to global citizenship including how to travel sustainably

We will continue to share our progress and initiatives with our network of partners to raise awareness and provide support to others embarking on their own sustainability journeys


We will report on our emissions annually, transparently sharing our footprint, the results of our reduction strategies, and the quantity of emissions removed through offsetting

We will continue to direct the required resources to fulfil these aims

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HOW WE MEASURE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT We measure all of the emissions generated by our business, including those from our flights, our trips, and our offices and staff. Our calculations are externally verified by Carbon Footprint who approved our carbon neutral status in 2021. Here is how we measure each area:


• We use the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) carbon calculator to compute the emissions for each of our international flight routings • When offsetting we multiply this by 2 to account for radiative forcing, the additional impact which results from the emissions taking place at high altitude


We use conversion factors to measure the emissions resulting from the operation of our trips. Where data is not available, we have created bespoke methodology to estimate emissions for certain activities based on factors and information available to us. This accounts for: Transport - calculating emissions based on the distance travelled and type of vehicle used for all journeys including optional activities, cultural sightseeing and extra’s such as trek support Accommodation - using tools to calculate the emissions of hard accommodation based on the standard and style, number of rooms and location. For camping, we include the use of shared facilities (where available) and even make an allowance for campfires Meals - where meals are expected to be taken in a restaurant, we account for additional emissions generated by the operation of the facility Training days - we account for the distance travelled by our Leader to the training day and an overnight stay if this is required Guides - where we have the support of guides or porters on our trips we include allowances for their accommodation and travel too


As with our trips we use conversion factors to measure our footprint including: • Energy and water consumption at our offices and warehouses • Staff travel including mileage, aviation, public transport and overnight stays • Waste to landfill and recycling • Whilst we are remote, an allowance for the energy consumption of each staff member working at home 05


We work with our expert partners Ecologi to offset our emissions through a combination of reforestation and offsetting projects

We don’t rely on reforestation completely because it can take many years before a tree is mature enough to reach its full carbon removal potential. The reforestation projects we do support are well monitored and protected to ensure they make a lasting impact. They also plant a variety of species, including lots of mangroves, which creates a greater impact!



The offsetting projects have a more immediate impact, for example, by installing clean energy generation – check out some examples on the Ecologi site

All offsets are Gold standard verified –the highest standard of offsetting available to ensure they are effective

ETHICAL COMMUNITY INITIATIVES We’re devoted to leading the way when it comes to our ethical approach to community initiatives. Through these experiences we aim to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to engage with key global challenges that affect people and planet.


Experienced local partners run all the initiatives. We’re a travel company, not development experts, so we handover to the specialists for this part of the trip

Partner-driven initiatives respect local priorities and ensure that longterm plans are well managed by those who understand them best

Audits are completed by all our partners to ensure ethical standards are upheld

A balanced approach means that travellers can learn, and partake of fun experiences, whilst accelerating progress towards the aims of the initiative, with both outcomes considered equally important

Appropriately skilled tasks are selected, and we don’t participate in activities we’re not qualified for

Time-conscious schedules include a range of activities, learning and engagement that are suitably aligned to the duration of the visit

Economic benefit is created for communities by reimbursing fairly for services supplied and employing skilled local tradespeople to complete professional tasks where required

Non-disruptive schedules respect communities’ routines. If activities occur at a school, interaction with students will only take place outside of lesson time to ensure learning continues as planned

EDUCATING RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLERS We equip our travellers with educational resources about global issues, empowering them to make responsible decisions about living and travelling sustainably.


We pioneered our first Responsible Travel Workshops, reaching over 5000 participants by 2020


Our Global Citizenship modules launched to provide students with interactive learning about important issues such as travelling responsibly and understanding climate change prior to their trip departure


CHILD WELFARE As some of the most vulnerable members of society, children are disproportionately impacted by human rights violations around the world. We’re committed to promoting children’s rights, most notably their right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation, as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We believe in the potential of tourism to empower local communities through employment and economic opportunities, as well as by building connection. Exposure to tourism can, however, increase the risk of harm for children and their vulnerability to human rights violations.



We have a comprehensive Child Protection Policy and require all staff, including our Ground Teams to follow a code of conduct for interactions with our young travellers, and the young people they meet on the road

We ask our travellers to observe the same code when they meet children in their destination communities

We don’t publish photos of children in our marketing materials without permission from their parents or guardians

We don’t condone child labour and require the same legal compliance from our supply chain

Liz - link to our Child Protection Policy here or more info?


We recognise that institutional care can be harmful for children, and that tourists have no place in that setting, so we don’t visit or support orphanages

We don’t visit schools without a purpose beyond ‘sightseeing’ and ensure than any activities at local schools don’t take local students away from their learning

We advise travellers not to give to child beggars or buy souvenirs from children, acknowledging that this can perpetuate a cycle of demand, negatively impacting the education and welfare of those children

We ask travellers to get permission before taking photographs of local people, especially children, and to make sure they check with the subject and, for young people, their parents/guardians, if they plan to post the photo on social media


ANIMAL WELFARE Visiting an animal attraction on a trip is more than just a fun, unique experience, it can also play a role in educating our students about the natural world and contribute to conservation initiatives. At the same time, animals in captivity are extremely vulnerable to exploitation if such experiences are not well managed. We won’t offer activities on our trips if we feel there is a risk that they might negatively impact the welfare of the animals involved. As such, we’re committed to assessing wildlife attractions to ensure that animal welfare is always a priority.


How we assess experiences that interact with animals

WILDLIFE IN CAPTIVITY We only visit attractions where animals live in captivity if: •

The wildlife is captive for purposes of rehabilitation or conservation, not just to create the attraction

The living conditions are well maintained, efforts are made to mimic the animals’ natural habitat, and animals have privacy from visitors

Wildlife are not required to perform or elicit unnatural behaviours for visitors enjoyment

We don’t visit any attractions where wildlife are required to engage in physical contact with visitors


We require providers to monitor group sizes and regulate distances between viewers and wildlife – animals should never be cornered or trapped

A trained guide or ranger must always be present to ensure safety and standards are maintained

Visitors should not physically interact with wild animals in any way

Animal welfare is always prioritised over visitor experience


e.g mules on treks

We require providers to ensure - Animals only work within their physical capabilities, never being over-burdened - Time spent tethered, whilst not working, is limited, and adequate food, water, shelter, and shade is always available

Young, old, pregnant, ill, or injured animals should not be used for working purposes

Equipment should fit appropriately and not cause discomfort or pain


EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Travel offers opportunities for human connection on a scale that is difficult to achieve through any other medium. As we explore, we engage with those we encounter on the road, building awareness, empathy and understanding for different social and cultural environments. Our trips specifically aim to enhance travellers’ understanding of their place in the world, challenging them to step outside of their comfort zone and grow as individuals. We believe that these opportunities should be available to anyone, regardless of their background, and that those who participate in our trips should be able to enjoy an experience free from discrimination against any personal characteristics. Our commitments to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion for our travellers, apply to all the protected characteristics outlined by The Equality Act 2010. These include age, sex, disability, race, gender reassignment, family status, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. We do not condone discrimination against any of these characteristics under any circumstances and are committed to acting on any reports to the contrary.



All our staff and Ground Teams are trained on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy and the importance of ensuring the expected standards of compliance throughout our supply chain

Any individual with special requirements who wishes to travel with us will be provided with tailored support from our team, who will make all possible adaptations to enable their participation

Implementing processes to monitor the diversity of our travellers, and using this data to identify barriers to inclusion, from which we will develop an action plan to outline our next steps in advancing this position