The company said that it will, along with its TreadRight Foundation, invest in two nature-based carbon removal solutions, Project Vesta and GreenWave. TreadRight has also launched a new Impact Hub in an effort to be transparent about the progress made at TTC and its family of brands towards the groups’ 11 sustainability goals. It will also provide tips to travellers on how they can help.
Its goals commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and to sourcing 50 per cent of electricity from renewable sources across the organisation by 2025. This includes TTC’s 20+ offices, 18 Red Carnation Hotels, 13 Uniworld ships, six accommodations/facilities, 500+ vehicles and more than 1,500 itineraries operated worldwide by its 40 brands.
It said that advancements to date include the installation of solar panels in 2020 at the Uniworld head office in Encino, California, the implementation of a 400kW Tesla plant supplying over 95 per cent of Xigera Safari Lodge’s energy, which opened December 2020 as part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection and the recent shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity by Contiki’s Chateau De Cruix and Haus Schöneck as well as Red Carnation Hotel’s Ashford Castle.
TTC has committed to carbon neutral offices and business travel beginning January 1, 2022, through its partnership with offset provider South Pole. On the same timeline, Contiki will move a step ahead to become a completely carbon neutral business, meaning unavoidable emissions from all trips departing as of January 1, 2022 will be offset going forward.
“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,” says Brett Tollman, chief executive of The Travel Corporation. “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.”
The Travel Corporation’s Climate Action Plan consists of five points:
- Measure – Measure the emissions from business and trips.
- Reduce – Build on reduction efforts and set reduction targets by mid-2022.
- Remove – Through the TreadRight Foundation, invest in new technology and nature-based solutions to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.
- Offset – Purchase carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions, including phasing in carbon neutral trips between 2022-2030.
- Evolve – Continue to learn from others, invest in new technologies and support strategic alliances that enable TTC and the industry to move to a low-carbon economy.
TTC’s TreadRight Foundation will action step three of its Climate Action Plan in 2021, through an investment of $100,000 USD into two developing permanent carbon removal projects, it said.
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,” says Shannon Guihan, chief TreadRight and 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.”
Learn more on TTC’s new sustainability Impact Hub