Carbon offsetting is not enough. Humanity will not achieve the 2030 or 2050 goals without eliminating emissions.
We know the majority of emissions in travel come from transportation. For us that means finding alternatives for internal and short-haul flights, offering more hybrid and electric vehicles, helping customers find the most direct way to get from A to B, and working with partners to promote rapidly accelerating sustainable aviation.
Emissions are not the entirety of sustainability though. We need to eliminate poverty, provide quality education, achieve gender equality, and provide decent work and economic growth while reducing emissions. We need to focus on clean water, marine life, life on land, and climate action too. We included all of these UN Sustainable Development Goals in our long-term sustainability vision. This year we have focused on establishing initiatives for gender equality, education and climate action.
For Tourlane, sustainability means that we are equitable, diverse and community-driven. We foster and support continuing education, and encourage and support activism among our people.
It means that our product helps customers toward climate-friendly options. This includes potential customers - we want everyone to be more knowledgeable about a better form of tourism when they leave our website and to know what to look for in their next trip.
We choose our partners based on their alignment in terms of people and product. We work with partners who are committed to animal welfare, fair business practices, and keeping profits local.
Sustainability means asking at every meeting, purchasing decision, or planning session: What can we do to make this more sustainable? And: How do we measure its impact?
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is a globally recognised standard for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions from companies and their value chains, as well as for emission reduction measures. It classifies the GHG emissions in three scopes. Scope 1 and 2 are mandatory to report, whereas Scope 3 is voluntary and is the most difficult to monitor and manage. It is a calculation guideline for emissions used by industry associations, governments, non-governmental organisations, cities, companies and other organisations worldwide. National emissions programs are also developed based on the protocol.
Since January 2019, we calculate and offset all of our Scope 1, 2, and 3* carbon emissions. This includes all company as well as customer trips and flight emissions (*see FAQ at the bottom of this page).
Our office electricity is 100% renewable energy from Polarstern.
Since 2019, we have eliminated over 83% of the materials and documents we physically mail out to customers.
We use Rail&Fly tickets in an effort to avoid carbon-intensive car or taxi trips and short-haul flights.
We have a robust and simple animal welfare policy: We do not promote or sell activities where wild animals are ridden, fed, or caged.
We have supplier standards focusing on labour conditions, equity, human rights, and customer and staff safety that are written in every supplier contract.
For more notable efforts, please see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.
This year in 2022 we will set Science Based Targets and commit to reduce our Scope 1 & 2 emissions in line with the 1.5°C Paris Agreement near-term target. We will also measure and reduce our Scope 3 emissions (see FAQ section at the bottom of this page). For context, as of this writing, only a handful of tourism companies in the world have set this ambitious goal.
Additionally, this year we will provide all our customers with the details of their carbon footprint per trip. We already calculate this internally. Our goal is to enable them to measure the specific environmental impact of their trip and reinforce our strong belief that travel must be meaningful and sustainable.
Heat pumps will be installed in our office by 2023, this will reduce our fossil fuel consumption by up to 50% in the winter.
Keep your money local - The majority of Tourlane’s top accommodations and activities are run by people who live in that community; meaning that money stays in the local economy. Your choices in restaurants, souvenirs and spontaneous activities also make an impact.
Rent an Electric Vehicle or Hybrid - We have them available in most destinations. Depending on where you go and how far, it can reduce your fossil fuel use by up to 60% for a Hybrid and up to 100% for an Electric Vehicle.
Limit internal flights - Flights are the most carbon-intensive part of your trip. Shorter flights have a higher carbon intensity per kilometer than longer flights and there are often practical alternatives available. Let our experts know you are interested and we will take care of the rest.
Bring your favourite reusable water bottle - Many countries do not have a high rate of plastic waste recycling. Reducing the amount of water bottles you buy on holidays reduces the likelihood of them ending up in the ecosystem of the country you visit.
Bring your favourite reusable shopping bag - It is a small gesture but it adds up over a big trip. Some countries also have plastic bag bans which means you will end up buying a bag anyway that you may just throw away at the end of your trip or it ends up in the drawer at home with the others. Bringing your own saves you money and reduces unnecessary consumption.
Choose a destination that is keen on renewable energy and conservation (see below).
Advocacy is one of the more impactful tools we, as individuals and companies, have at our disposal. It could be going to a global climate strike, signing a petition, involving your network, or writing your elected representative to urge them to do more for the climate. It is also where you spend your money, where you invest your time and resources, and who you choose as your partners.
Julian Weselek, founder and CEO of Tourlane, is also a flagship supporter of Leaders for Climate Action. Leaders for Climate Action is an initiative from over 100 founders and managing directors of start-ups, corporations, and agencies. The aim is to introduce accurate CO2 pricing, expand renewable energy, and reduce company and personal emissions.
Together with 400 other companies, Tourlane has launched a joint campaign for simple climate protection measures on this year's Earth Day. Under the slogan "Time for Climate Action," we want to reach more than 100 million people and thus do something for our planet together. Initiated and organized by the non-profit organization Leaders for Climate Action, the campaign will take place in honour of Earth Day on April 22, 2022. Learn more about the campaign here.
Tourlane is a signatory to the Future of Tourism organization's Guiding Principles for Tourism's New Future. These include the application of sustainability standards in travel design, collaborative destination management, and the guarantee that investments benefit local communities and that all tourism costs are also weighed in terms of local tax burdens, environmental and social impacts.
When our CEO became a Flagship Supporter of Leaders for Climate Action in 2019, we were introduced to ClimatePartner and their Corporate Carbon Footprint calculation tool. We have been using ClimatePartner to calculate our carbon footprint every year since. We are excited to use the calculations to support our industry-leading Science Based Targets initiative.
Carbon offsetting is only an interim measure while we work to eliminate our environmental footprint. This requires knowing the details of our footprint and analysing where measures would have the greatest impact. For more transparency and accountability, we take an individual calculation approach while encouraging others to do the same. Planetly is the ideal partner for this. Learn more about our collaboration with Planetly.
Tourlane's Travel Promise
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