Contiki Holidays has announced it plans to be 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2022 as part of parent company TTC’s new five-point Climate Action Plan.
The company, which specialises in youth travel, says its recognises the need for both travellers 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.
The five points of the Climate Action Plan include reducing emissions and setting reduction targets by mid-2022; offsetting unavoidable emissions by partnering with leading offset provider, South Pole, investing in carbon credits from a combination of three carbon offset projects. The news has been announced on Earth Day, which raises awareness of environmentalism.
It said that these Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard projects will guarantee carbon reductions are made, while offering co-benefits that positively impact local communities: Forest Conservation in Australia, Biogas Energy in Thailand, and Renewable Energy in the USA.
All Contiki trips from January 1, 2022 will be carbon neutral, with the offset costs covered by Contiki. It will also source 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 – part of TTC’s wide sustainability commitments that you can read about here.
“Carbon removal and carbon capture technologies are deeply promising,” says 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.”
Tasha Hayes added: “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, making sure we stay on track to achieve the ambitious goals we have set out.”
The company said that since the launch of its first sustainability strategy in 2015, Contiki has invested in energy conservation and worked to actively reduce its environmental impact. It noted that its Chateau de Cruix and Haus Schöneck properties are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and it uses the “most fuel-efficient Euro 6 coaches throughout Europe, while coaches in other regions meet or exceed efficiency standards.”
It said it has launched ‘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. It 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.
Donna Jeavons, director of sales and marketing, Contiki UK & Europe: “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 decarbonising 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”
Contiki has published its Climate Action Plan on its website here