Explore becomes first UK tour operator to carbon offset all parts of a holiday
The adventure travel company’s new sustainability strategy includes carbon offsetting flights, accommodation and domestic transport
Tue 14 Jan 2020 12.17 GMTLast modified on Tue 14 Jan 2020 13.34 GMT
Shares 33 [image: Lisbon to Algarve cycling tour run by Explore.co.uk.]
Adventure travel company Explore
The introduction of offsetting through Climate Care
“Offsetting is a not a band-aid solution but there is a climate emergency and we wanted to look at what can we do in the short to medium term as the industry moves towards net-zero territory,” said deputy managing director, John Telfer.
Telfer said calculations are based on a “worst-case scenario” for each trip, to ensure the amount offset is always over-calculated rather than under. For example, flight distances are based on an indirect flight to the furthest point in 15 geographic regions; all trips will be rounded up to seven or 14 days (a four-night trip will be counted as a week; 11 days as a fortnight). Advertisement
“We’ve also applied a multiplier of 1.9 to flights, to take into account the extra impact of carbon emissions released at altitude and allowed an additional 10% buffer,” said Telfer. “I would hate to be accused of undercooking the impact.”
Despite criticism of offsetting, a growing number of tour operators are using it to try to reduce their carbon footprint
“Companies can hope the government does something and hope individuals do something, but we also have a responsibility as a business. We feel this is the right thing to do,” said Telfer. Sign up to The Flyer: weekly travel inspiration, emailed direct to you
Much Better Adventures has gone a step further declaring a climate emergency
Explore and Intrepid are among the 19 travel companies and organisations
Climate Care is partnered with Gold Standard
Explore’s announcement coincides with the appointment of its first head of sustainability, Prue Stone, whose remit covers working with partners in destinations to reduce single-use plastic and swapping domestic flights for rail travel within countries.