When we started The Adventure Connection, sustainability was at the heart of what we wanted to achieve as a company (hence the colour green at the centre of our logo).
Our purpose as a company is to connect amazing travel experiences with relevant markets. And in doing this, we have a built a fantastic network based on real relationships which reach far into into the industry. Given the quality and depth of this audience we can have a far reaching and positive influence for the good.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was in a precarious place (and still is) and we believe that unless action is taken by more of us now we could genuinely be heading for catastrophe; for humans and for much of the wildlife and nature of the world. We’ve all seen the documentaries and read the stats. Politicians are failing us everywhere around the world. Many of the people in power cling to old industries and methods which serve their own short term interests.
Now, individuals and companies in the private sector need to be proactive and take action. We can no longer wait for the politicians to do the right thing. We have to lead the way. We can combine purpose, experience and knowledge to educate, inspire and influence with a view to driving positive change. We all share responsibility for how we live and how we travel. And we can all make a positive change to make a difference.
Our company aims to have a positive impact on the environment by becoming a leading voice, an educator and influencer of the industry on relevant sustainability issues. We do this by raising and sharing information with our audience* on topical issues, by providing practical tools and advice, making relevant connections and by innovating and challenging outdated ways of thinking.
*Our audience (those where we have strong relationships and contacts which we can influence directly) covers tour operators, airlines, DMCs/local operators, travel PR and social media, airlines, trade associations, tourist boards and service providers to the industry.
In 2021, the issues we are focussing on are:
Reducing carbon emissions
Transparency on carbon emissions
Reducing single-use plastic
We approach all of these on three levels:
1. Personal - what I can do as an individual
2. Company - what we can do as a company
3. Industry - what we can do to educate and influence the travel industry
Everyone can do a little to make a difference - even the smallest of steps can add up over time. And especially when lots of other people follow your example and start doing them too.
5% of our profits go to projects which support our sustainability policy through donations, support and campaigning. In 2021 we have donated to re-wilding and tree-planting projects to offset carbon emissions.
Our Climate Emergency Plan
At the beginning of 2020, we became one of the first signatories to sign up to the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement. As part of that, we committed to publishing details of our plan. Here is that plan!
1. Measure our emissions
We measure our emissions as a company and encourage our team to do this personally too. It's taken time (and we had to take professional advice as to how to do this), but we finally produced a figure for the year. We can advise other companies if they want to know how to get started on this so please get in touch...
So we now know approximately how much carbon our company emits (see below) and we understand much more about how to reduce and offset emissions.
We also launched a domestic tourism brand called Natural Britain in 2020 and became the first UK wide tourism company to carbon label every trip (showing the CO2 equivalent on every tour sold).
2. Publish our emissions
Our carbon emissions from 01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 were 2,077kg of CO2. Due to lockdown our team travelled very little in the year and we worked from home for most of the year (which we measured and took into account in the calculation - verified by eCollective). We realise that our emissions were much lower than they might be in a 'normal' year. Some of our team drive electric cars or chose to travel by train to help reduce emissions.
3. Offset 150% of our 2020 emissions
How to do this was not immediately straightforward as we read with dismay over the course of 2019 and 2020 about unregulated offsetting companies. Please contact us if you would like any advice about this - we are happy to help. We are in discussion with a reliable offsetting company and will publish details of our actions here soon.
4. Reduce our emissions each year
We will set targets for continued reduction in emissions every year and publish progress towards those targets. 2020 was exceptionally low for emissions but we will still aim to reduce in 2021.
5. Support relevant projects and spread the word
We don't have a bottomless pit of money but we will do whatever we can to support and spread the word about relevant projects which help to reduce carbon emissions or reliably offset them.