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Big Step Towards Carbon Neutral

WE ARE KEEPING OUR PROMISES

As a signatory to the Climate Action Leaders in Travel Pledge of the ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association), and Tourism Declares Climate Emergency in July 2020Hike and Sail announced our Climate Emergency Plan in August 2020.

Tourism activities are responsible for about 8% of global carbon emissions. So it is imperative that everyone in the travel industry their part to take responsibility by minimizing our carbon footprint wherever possible by reducing emissions in our operations and offsetting them if they are unavoidable.

CALCULATING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

In the first look, calculating the carbon emissions seems like a challenging task. Everything we use or consume has a carbon footprint, one way or the other. There are the questions to answer:

  • How much precision do I need? Should I calculate the carbon footprint of every single item, such as the toothpick I used after lunch, or the entrance ticket to enter a museum?
  • How much time and energy should I invest into this work?

There is not a super user-friendly tool out there to make things easy for tour operators. There are several tools, prepared by experts for various industries, and adopted for tourism, but each of them requires some work.

As an active member of ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association), we decided that the most practical and reliable way to become CARBON NEUTRAL is to join the NEUTRAL TOGETHER program of ATTA.

Then, in coordination with South Pole, we educated ourselves and figured out the most practical way of implementing the carbon emission calculator to our itineraries. In the end, we didn't only calculate but also integrated the system into our cost analysis, so we will be able to know automatically the impact of every single itinerary on the environment, and how to offset it.

Simply, this is what we did. We focused on the activities which have the biggest impact on the carbon footprint, such as flights, and other means of transportation, hotels, and meals. These are rather easy to calculate. The tools provide average values for the major factors, and then we added %10 on top of the total, which seems fair to cover, lots of other small things.

Long before we started to calculate our carbon footprint, we have already put our minds into responsible and slow travel and creating new itineraries more locally, and spending 2 or more nights at each location. We will keep emphasizing slow travel.

The Cycle Of Neutral Together

All Hike'n Sail Itineraries At A Glance

WHAT IS NEXT?

  • Keep spreading the word to create awareness. Participate in the action.
  • In the light of the new data, re-evaluate our itineraries. We already made some modifications.
  • Be transparent and share the carbon footprint and the offset of each trip on our website. 
  • Explain to the clients why some trips have a higher carbon footprint and encourage them to choose a lower footprint, or reason, why they have a higher carbon offset.
  • Produce more slow tours, with a minimum carbon footprint. Promote trains where they are available. Plan, 1 or 2 centered itineraries. Encourage the clients for longer trips.
  • Every year re-visit every itinerary because there are always new opportunities to reduce our carbon impact in better operations and by utilizing new technologies in transportation, accommodation management, and other operational improvements.
  • At the end of every year, we will offset our operation in order to maintain the Carbon Neutral status.
  • We already reduced the use of plastic water bottles. Move forward and aim zero-plastic.
  • Train the staff and providers who deliver the services.
  • Train ourselves and communicate and collaborate.
  • Support the sustainable service providers, such the bike-friendly hotels, green hotels, establishments certified by Green Travel Guide, or similar.

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IS NOT A MARKETING STRATEGY, IT IS A MINDSET.

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