Our Climate Action Plan
As a travel company, we recognise the critical role we play in addressing the challenges of climate change. We understand that our business activities contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and have an impact on the environment. As one of the founding partners and signatories of the Glasgow Declaration, we acknowledge our responsibility to act immediately and reduce our carbon footprint.
To fulfil our commitment to the Glasgow Declaration, we have worked with our partners, Terraverde Sustainability, to calculate a baseline year of emissions and develop a comprehensive Climate Action Plan. This plan outlines our strategy to reduce the intensity of our greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable practices across our operations. It focuses on three key areas: measuring and reducing carbon emissions intensity, promoting sustainable travel, and engaging stakeholders.
We believe that transparency and accountability are crucial in sustainability efforts. To demonstrate the legitimacy of our commitment, we have openly and transparently measured and reported our baseline carbon emissions. Without accurate measurement and reporting, sustainability claims can typically amount to little more than greenwashing and lead to confusion and distrust. By providing access to our methodology and baseline measurements, we ensure that every effort is made to accurately track our progress and show our sincere dedication to minimising our impact on the environment.
Our Climate Action Plan includes an analysis of our current carbon footprint, measurable targets, and timelines to ensure we stay on track to achieve our goals. We understand that transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a significant challenge, but we are committed to making meaningful progress. We will regularly review and update our measurements, adopt the latest technologies and innovations, and publish publicly available reports on our progress. Through this approach, we aim to be fully accountable for our actions and provide stakeholders with the information they need to make informed decisions.
By implementing our Climate Action Plan, we hope to inspire other travel companies to take immediate action, be transparent about their real impacts, and contribute to a more sustainable future. We believe that through collaboration, we can achieve a low-carbon economy and preserve the environment for future generations.
Our Carbon Footprint for 2022
1.09 tCO2e per full-time employee
46.7 Kgs CO2e per pax / per day
We are proud to report our first-year baseline measurements for both our corporate emissions intensity and product emissions intensity for the full calendar year, 2022. We have conducted a comprehensive assessment of our carbon footprint using the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard methodology, and the results demonstrate our genuine commitment to measuring and improving the sustainability of all our activities.
Our total CO2 emissions for all our corporate activities throughout 2022 was 1.09 tCO2e per full-time employee. This figure will serve as our baseline measurement, against which we will measure future progress in reducing our carbon footprint.
The average CO2 emissions for each of our programs operated in 2022 was 46.7 Kgs CO2e per pax / per day. This baseline measurement will help us identify areas where we can reduce the emissions from our tours, such as promoting low-carbon transportation options and using more energy-efficient accommodations.
Our scope 1 & 2 emissions equated to 12.75% of our total CO2 emissions, while the remaining 87.25% of our footprint was attributable to scope 3.
Emissions Sources by Scope
As our inaugural baseline measurement, we recognise that our operations have an impact on the environment, and we are committed to taking action to reduce our carbon footprint. However, as a very early-stage and fast-growing start-up, we begin our climate impact journey from a position of very lean efficiency with our impact on the environment being a key area of focus since our very inception. While the efficiencies and initiatives that we have built into our company from the beginning would make it impossible to achieve a 50% reduction of absolute emissions and continue to grow as a company, we do aim to significantly reduce our emissions intensity (measured on a per pax, per full-time employee, and per $m revenue). Our approach does not rely on carbon offsets as an excuse to continue with a ‘business-as-normal’ mentality, and instead focusses on real-terms reductions to our carbon emissions intensity, in line with IPCC recommendations. We will continue to implement initiatives to reduce our negative impacts and accelerate our positive ones, by promoting sustainable practices across all our operations.
Overall, our baseline measurements establish a foundation for measuring and reducing our impact on the environment going forwards. We will continue to track our progress and identify opportunities for improvement as we work towards our sustainability goals.
We utilised the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard methodology for calculating our footprint. This methodology follows rigorous international standards and has been accredited by several international organisations. The GHG Protocol stems from a collaboration between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It was developed through a multi-stakeholder process and is based on scientific principles and internationally accepted methodologies.
The methodology has been adopted by numerous governments, organisations, and companies worldwide, making it a globally recognised and widely accepted methodology for measuring and reporting carbon emissions.
The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard is a reliable methodology to follow as it provides a transparent and comprehensive framework which includes guidelines for assessing direct and indirect emissions from different sources, such as energy use, transportation, and waste management. The methodology also provides guidance on setting emission reduction targets, tracking progress, and reporting emissions data.
As a tailor-made travel specialist, calculating the footprint of our tours presented a significant challenge, since every tour is personalised to our visitors interests and preferences. Therefore, no trip that we operate is ever the same.
In order to overcome this obstacle and still make meaningful progress within the scope of our limited resources and bandwidth, we calculated the footprint of our tours in the most accurate way we can at this time. This involved collating a representative sample from all the itineraries we sold and operated during 2022.
Along with this sample, we also considered the total number of pax that travelled with us in 2022, the number of room nights sold, and which accommodations were utilised, the number of day tours and transfers sold, and other key metrics. Allowing us to derive an average footprint of total CO2 emissions measured by intensity on a per pax / per day basis.
Additional Efforts and Shortcomings
We have made a number of efforts to go above and beyond with our calculations, including accounting for emissions from tour guide commutes to the tour departure locations and other detailed metrics that we haven’t yet seen employed within some of the most common emissions calculators. We also considered the unique footprint of our electric Tuk Tuk’s, and we account for all domestic flights regardless of if they are sold by Tripseed or booked directly between our partners and the airlines.
While this approach may make our trips appear to have a higher carbon intensity level than some other brands using more rudimentary calculators, or not including flights that they do not sell, we believe details like this are vital to accurately reporting on our real-world impact.
The one exception to this, and often the elephant in the room, is long haul international flights – to which we followed advice that it has become the industry standard to not include these as a destination operator that does not include the sale of international flights in our packages. Part of the reasoning behind this also lies in the fact that there are unique complications to calculating these flights accurately as a country operator, since we rarely receive complete flight data other than arrival times and flight numbers from our partners. This information does not typically account for layover routes or transit flights on route and would require multiple assumptions to be made which would impact the accuracy of our calculations. We will, however, be evaluating our booking processes to determine if this is a metric we can accurately account for in future reporting.
Our Stance on Carbon Offsets
While we will be offsetting 100% of our total emissions via carbon credits and verified emission reductions through Gold Standard, we do not believe offsets should play any role in our Climate Action Plan. Offsets, even when conducted completely above board and with verifiable reductions to global emissions, only serve as a transitionary step or to minimise the impact of unavoidable emissions, and are not a solution to the immediacy of the climate crisis that we face. Too often they are employed as an excuse to kick the can down the road and carry on with business as usual.
We will announce all our carbon offset activity as a completely separate endeavour.
Our Climate Action Plan and commitment to emissions reduction will remain based solely around real-terms reductions to the environmental impact of our operational activities and products.
Our Action Plan
Looking to the future, we anticipate a 14.5% reduction of our corporate emissions intensity by 2030, as our business grows.
Part of the reason for the lower potential reductions in our corporate emissions intensity is that we unfortunately expect to see a significant increase in our air footprint from 2024 onwards, as we begin to attend important international trade shows such as WTM London and ITB Berlin, in order to remain competitively positioned in the marketplace. If these major industry events are able to provide a compelling virtual offering in future years, this would allow us to make further reductions.
Therefore, for our corporate operational footprint, our goal will be to find efficiencies in our non-air emissions intensity and reduce these by 41.8% by 2030. This will be achieved through numerous initiatives such as transitioning to low energy equipment for our office and employees, from low-energy LED lighting, to moving all employees to low energy computing equipment such as Apple’s M-series ARM chips. We will also be evaluating areas in which we can utilise more renewable energy in all of our activities, from our off-site web hosting, to our office space.
2022 Baseline Year
2030 Target Year
2030 Target Reductions
Non-Air Footprint Per FTE tC02e
Air Footprint Per FTE tC02e
Total CO2e Per FTE
Corporate Emissions Footprint Showing tCO2e Per FTE and 2030 Targets
The biggest reductions to our overall footprint, however, will be found within our product emissions intensity, since this accounts for 87.25% of our total footprint.
2022 Baseline Year
2030 Target Year
2030 Target Reductions
Total Avg. CO2e Per Pax / Per Day (Kgs)
Product Emissions Footprint Showing tCO2e Per Pax (Kgs) and 2030 Targets
In a similar fashion to our corporate footprint, the reductions that we can realistically make to our product footprint intensity is challenging due to the efficiencies we have already adopted into our business as we’ve been starting up. In addition, the vast majority of our product emissions sources are found in Scope 3, and are outside of our direct control. This includes emissions sources such as accommodations and domestic flights. We do, however, intend to achieve significant reductions in this area through making improvements to our supply chain and our product offering, and we are confident that we can realise a 30% reduction in this area by 2030.
The biggest opportunities for reductions here are through utilising more environmentally-friendly transportation and accommodations, since these are the most significant emissions sources by a large margin.
This will consist of multiple initiatives like our standardisation of electric Tuk Tuk’s on our urban city Tuk Tuk tours. We are working collaboratively towards the inclusion and encouragement of traditionally styled solar-powered boats and transitioning away from the emissions-heavy, second-hand automotive engines commonly found on longtail boats. We also have our eyes on the future of the electric vehicle industry when it comes to long-range MPVs that can replace older ICE powered transfer vehicles within our supply chain and offerings.
We will continue to promote and advocate for trips that have a smaller carbon impact and encourage our partners to promote more sustainable transportation and accommodation choices, such as including an overnight train ride instead of a domestic flight.
We believe our Carbon Action Plan provides significantly more transparency and meaningful data than most of our competitors provide at the time of publishing, and we hope this demonstrates our sincere commitment to taking an honest and pragmatic approach to our carbon reduction strategy. As well as highlighting how upfront we are about the shortcomings of our measurements and the obstacles we face.
We welcome and encourage challenges and questions regarding any of the measurement and reporting in this document. Please feel free to submit any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.