If you’re excited and anxious to travel again but worried about the sudden environmental impact of making up for lost time, Explore has been providing small-group travel experiences for the past four decades with over 500 trips spanning 120 countries that range from cultural to adventure, walking and cycling holidays.
The UK-based company recently uncovered that 76% of people would like greater transparency when it comes to their environmental impact1. As the world calls for greater knowledge around the carbon impact of goods and services, Explore has labeled every one of its trips with highly accurate, individually calculated carbon emissions.
The company was ahead of its time as a founding signatory of the Glasgow Declaration and with one of the leading Climate Action Plans in the industry. All trips are Gold Standard Carbon Offset, including flights booked through Explore. Carbon is just one part of Explore’s Sustainability Strategy and commitment to sustainable tourism.
Explore has unveiled carbon ratings for 500+ tours across its website in the largest carbon measurement project of its kind in the travel industry to date. The company has worked with ecollective to measure carbon emissions of every one of its 515 tours – including transport, accommodation, activities and leaders – as well as all operational activities involved in running the businesses in the UK and globally.
It has been a huge undertaking. The product team at Explore, responsible for designing the company’s itineraries all over the world, have added almost 10,000 lines of data to be processed and fact-checked by ecollective. They’ve individually calculated almost 2,000 accommodation types and 24 types of transport all over the world.
“I’m so proud of our team, who have worked tirelessly for months to get accurate, scientific measurements for carbon across our entire global program,” said Michael Edwards, CEO of Explore. “And this is just the start. Now, with a clear understanding of how our trips impact the planet, the hard work continues, as we work alongside our partners and suppliers to start bringing these totals down.”
Carbon Measurement is one part of Explore’s three-step Climate Action Plan to measure, reduce and mitigate carbon across its operations. With clear calculations now in place, the company is on a mission to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% before 2030.
The company has today launched a Clear on Carbon campaign, educating the public on the carbon measurement of holidays and urging other tourism businesses to follow suit. “We really need this to be an industry-wide initiative,” said Edwards. “Working together as an industry, we’re stronger and more able to bring about change. We know the methodology is there, so really there’s no excuse now not to be completely transparent with our customers.”
Explore openly invites the industry to look into their methodology at explore.co.uk/carbon and to get in touch with any questions or requests for advice in this area. And, they are calling on the industry to declare the carbon footprint of ALL trips to enable informed holiday purchasing and encourage carbon reduction by travel companies.
FACTS: Explore Worldwide’s average trip carbon footprint is 632kg. Its lowest-footprint trip, Walk the South Downs, has 59kg per person, while the lowest 7-night trips are Cycle Canal de Midi and Active Turkey at 79kg per person.
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 436kg per person
Feel the wind rush past your face as you freewheel towards the northern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Pedal through red-rock valleys, cruise past lush almond groves and meet local Berber farmers tending to their crops of barley, olives and figs.
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 190kg per person
Hike through a dewy cloud forest, and ascend mountain valleys towards the infamous Inti Punku (Gate of the Sun). As the ancient temples of Machu Picchu come into view, your heart skips a beat, and the lush green terraces of this sacred Lost City entice you in for a closer look.
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 184kg per person
A relaxed walking holiday along spectacular Amalfi Coast trails, from cliff top hikes to woodland walks. There’s time to discover Amalfi, Positano and the island of Capri. Stay on a peaceful farm overlooking the Mediterranean and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals.
3 nights. Carbon Footprint: 59kg per person
A short break with beautiful walks and panoramic views exploring the South Downs National Park. From a comfortable hotel in Bramber, walk through pretty villages and rolling landscapes which have inspired literary greats such as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.
The completion of this measurement project, which has taken a total of 413 people hours, is not in itself a goal reached.
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