Our business was created to share our passion for the inspiration, spirit and value of the natural environment. What we didn’t know when we started out running tours many years ago was how significant the threat of a changing climate would become. While we have always sought to run an environmentally sustainable business (and have been independently recognised several times for doing so), we feel the time has now come to ramp up the action, work harder and act more creatively to respond to the climate emergency with renewed focus and energy.
The Tourism Industry
Alongside other industries, tourism plays a contributing role to the climate crisis and we acknowledge this requires an urgent need for change across the industry. The paradox is that travel and tourism can be an amazingly positive force for good. Well managed, sustainable tourism supports local economic development, sustains local communities and traditions and shines a light on nature and wildlife conservation.
Built upon this philosophy, our mission is to maximise these positive benefits of tourism while seeking to minimise the negative impacts. As part of our Climate Emergency Declaration, we aim to evolve our low carbon approach to business further and become climate positive by the end of 2022. What does being “climate positive” actually mean and is it even possible?
Becoming Climate Positive
Our work over the past two decades has taken us a long way to this “climate positive” goal already but there remains a lot of work to be done. The recent design and development of our own carbon-neutral Wilderness HQ, powered by renewable energy on a brownfield site in the Cairngorms National Park is a sign of our commitment. Over the next 12 months, we’ll continue to push harder and respond faster to make further reductions to both our direct and indirect carbon emissions based upon the most extensive measurement and benchmarking exercise we have ever done.
Further reduction is our first and overriding priority and we will continue to seek out innovative methods and approaches to achieve this across all aspects of our business. However, where reductions simply cannot be made, we will be working with Climate Neutral Now – the United Nations Carbon Offset platform to purchase carbon credits in projects which reduce, avoid or remove certified emissions from the atmosphere. Our aim by the end of 2022, is to purchase credits which not only offset our unavoidable emissions but additionally invest in projects which deliver a positive carbon impact.
This is an ambitious goal which will challenge our commitment, creativity and collective resources. In making the commitment to be climate positive, we are not totally sure it’s achievable but we are 100% focused on trying. Even if we are successful, we recognise that the overall contribution in global terms will be absolutely minute. However, as a business that feels passionately about our planet, we don’t doubt for a minute that it’s absolutely the right thing to do. We commit to updating on our progress regularly and reporting on our website on an annual basis.
Find out More at Tourism Declares