In celebration of Earth Day, Contiki announces a new five-point Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022, plus investment in developing carbon removal projects and appointment of a Sustainability Officer.
As Earth Day approaches and the world prepares to open up to begin traveling again, Contiki Holidays lights the way forward for the travel industry with the announcement it will be going 100% carbon neutral by 2022 – as part of its new five-point Climate Action Plan which also commits to carbon reductions and evolving to support the transition to a low-carbon future.
A leader in youth travel since 1962, Contiki recognizes the need for both travelers and travel businesses to take action on climate change and address its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and has appointed a new Sustainability Officer, Tasha Hayes, to lead the way.
About her new role, Tasha Hayes says: “With our How We Tread Right sustainability strategy, the evolution of Contiki Cares, and now becoming carbon neutral it made sense to have a front person for Contiki’s great sustainability initiatives. During my time with Contiki I’ve always championed sustainability and looked at ways we could do better both on the road and in the office. Contiki becoming carbon neutral is massive, and it’s the perfect opportunity for me to support this direction, as someone who can oversee and monitor to make sure we stay on track to achieving the ambitious goals we have set out.”
Looking forward, Contiki has committed to being carbon neutral by January 1, 2022, this will include investing in carbon credits from offset provider South Pole. This means that all Contiki trips from 2022 will be carbon neutral trips. And travelers won’t need to reach into their own pockets to fund the carbon credits: the cost to offset every trip is being covered by Contiki.
Contiki’s five-point Climate Action Plan is being announced in celebration of Earth Day 2021, as part of its sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right. The Climate Action Plan supports Goals #1 and #2 of the strategy, which targets the carbon footprint of the business – seeing Contiki commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2022, and also to sourcing 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
To further support the transition to a low-carbon future, Contiki is investing in two developing, nature-based carbon removal solutions, Project Vesta and GreenWave.
“Carbon removal and carbon capture technologies are deeply promising,” notes Adam Armstrong, Contiki CEO. “It’s important to us that we support the science developing around every possible solution, in addition to reducing our emissions and purchasing verified carbon offsets. It’s equally exciting to have Tasha on board to lead this for us, the next phase of Contiki Cares.” he added.
The five points of the Climate Action Plan include reducing emissions and setting ambitious reduction targets by mid-2022; and offsetting unavoidable emissions by partnering with leading offset provider, South Pole, to purchase carbon credits from a combination of three meaningful carbon offset projects. These offsetting projects include Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard projects to guarantee carbon reductions are made, while offering co-benefits that positively impact local communities: Forest Conservation in Australia, Biogas Energy in Thailand, andRenewable Energy in the USA.
The idea of sustainable and conscious travel isn’t new to Contiki – the new Climate Action Plan builds on progress made to date and its commitment to continual improvement. Since the launch of its first sustainability strategy in 2015, Contiki has invested in energy conservation and worked to actively reduce its environmental impact. Now, Contiki’s Chateau de Croix and Haus Schöneck properties are powered by 100% renewable energy and it uses the most fuel-efficient Euro 6 coaches throughout Europe, while coaches in other regions meet or exceed efficiency standards. This year has seen the launch of more ‘staycation’ trips that remove the need for long-haul travel, alongside lower-carbon footprint ‘by rail’ itineraries, a new vegan itinerary and options for lower-emission vegan and vegetarian meals on all trips. Contiki is also working with partners to increase the use of local food products to reduce food transport emissions and is assessing the use of biofuels for coaches within Europe.
To share its sustainability strategy, efforts and impact, as well as to guide consumers and travelers on addressing their own carbon footprint, Contiki has published its Climate Action Plan on its website, http://www.contiki.com
To find out more about Earth Day visit https://www.earthday.org/earthday/
Melissa DaSilva, President – “Our TTC Climate Action Plan is not marked by one quick fix, because there isn’t one. It is marked with the need to act now, to learn and adapt as technology and innovation support our need to transition to a low-carbon business. There is much debate as to the right approach when it comes to decarbonizing travel and tourism, and our position is that this must be a process that begins now and commits to evolving as the solutions continue to improve and become available to us”.
Tasha Hayes, Sustainability Officer – “Ignoring the climate crisis won’t make it go away. Our Climate Action Plan is our commitment to learn and adapt as the world moves closer to a lower carbon economy, a goal we care passionately about. It’s in keeping with our philosophy that travelling sustainability and consciously, matters – and we know young people are conscious of and care about sustainability more than ever. Young people will always want to travel – it’s their rite of passage – so it’s our responsibility as a leading travel provider to provide experiences that respect the people, planet, and wildlife that our travelers encounter along the way, and align with our own sustainability goals. This is why it’s so important for Contiki to be making this commitment from 2022 onwards to offer only carbon neutral trips. I’m so proud of our team who has made this a reality, and I’m hopeful that we’re finding ways for the next generation of travelers to continue to travel responsibly”.
Contiki’s Climate Action Plan consists of five points:
Measure the emissions from our business and trips.
Build on reduction efforts and set ambitious reduction targets by mid-2022.
Through our TreadRight Foundation, invest in new technologies and nature-based solutions to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.
Purchase carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions, including phasing in carbon neutral trips between 2022 – 2030.
Continue to learn from others, invest in new technologies and support strategic alliances that enable us and the industry to move to a low carbon economy.
The TreadRight Foundation will action step three of its Climate Action Plan (Capture) in 2021, through an investment of $100,000 USD into two developing carbon removal projects. Project Vesta aims to accelerate the natural process of weathering to permanently store carbon into rock. GreenWave is studying how kelp can be added to soil to increase its carbon storage potential, while decreasing harmful nitrous oxide emissions on regenerative farms.
“Carbon removal and carbon capture technologies are deeply promising and showing signs of acceleration,” notes Shannon Guihan, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer of The Travel Corporation.
“It’s important now, more than ever, that we support science-based pilot projects to explore every possible solution, in addition to reducing our emissions and purchasing verified carbon offsets from our partner South Pole,” she added.
Contiki are the world leaders in travel experiences for 18-35’s. We’re about discovery, once-in-a-lifetime moments, human connections, and making every second of being young count. We run over 300 trips in 50 plus countries, each and every one designed to get to the beating heart of a destination, understanding the local way of life and unearthing No Regrets experiences. A member of the family-owned The Travel Corporation (TTC), we are renowned and trusted for our outstanding quality, service, value, reliability and financial stability. Want to know more? Visit www.contiki.com
ABOUT THE TRAVEL CORPORATION
The Travel Corporation (TTC) is a highly successful international travel group. Our philosophy is simple – to create enriching experiences for our travelers by combining an unbeatable mix of exceptional service and quality at great value, driven by a passionate global team who are driven to deliver memorable experiences. No matter what your taste, whether you are a family or a couple, a group or traveling solo – TTC offers something for everyone. Our multi-award-winning portfolio ranges from luxury hotels and boutique river cruises, to independent holiday package companies and a variety of guided travel experiences. Visit www.TTC.com
CONTIKI CARES, POWERED BY TREADRIGHT
Contiki is a founding partner of TreadRight, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation in 2008 to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of amazing travel brands. The TreadRight Foundation supports projects that help the environment, protect and conserve ecosystems, and benefit communities. See more about TreadRight at https://www.treadright.org