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The next big step on our Responsible Tourism journey

Posted by Jess Pitman on 05-Apr-2024 09:13:26
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Hopefully, you know by now that we've always believed that sustainability isn't just a trend—it's a fundamental principle that guides everything we do. Today, we're excited to announce a huge step in our continued journey of sustainability, or more accurately, responsible tourism. Through our partnership with SCB Group, we will offset not just some but all of our carbon emissions, including flights.


In a world where the climate crisis looms large, we understand the urgency of taking meaningful action. That's why we embarked on a comprehensive carbon review, leaving no stone unturned in our quest to understand and mitigate our environmental impact.

The results were eye-opening. In 2023 alone, our operations emitted 1,629 tonnes of carbon (roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 354 cars). Looking into the details, 89% of these emissions came from flights (which applies to less than a third of our participants overall)—a stark reminder of the significant carbon impact of flights (not that we needed it!) This leaves just 11%, which accounts for all on-trip emissions and the emissions of our office and HQ team. 

But we didn't stop at mere awareness. Armed with this knowledge, we've set ambitious goals to reduce our emissions and offset the unavoidable ones. We're committed to reducing our tour emissions each year, working hard to minimize our impact on the planet.




Flights remain a vital component of modern travel. However, we often find ourselves at the mercy of carbon emissions beyond our direct control, which offers a complex carbon conundrum for the travel industry and businesses like ours.

We've considered the possibility of removing flights entirely from our challenge packages, which would reduce our carbon footprint calculations. Still, we know our customers, and we know this just wouldn't work for them. We acknowledge that there are some viable travel alternatives for our European trips, but for our long-haul destinations, this becomes more complex.  We need flights to reach these beautiful destinations within a sensible time frame, enabling you to take on the adventure of a lifetime. 

We're committed to advocating for change within the aviation industry, from lobbying for sustainable practices to actively supporting initiatives aimed at reducing emissions. We monitor airlines' progress, evaluating their efforts to minimise their environmental impact and improve onboard sustainability measures.

And offsetting? By partnering with SCB Group, we're not just offsetting our carbon footprint—we're actively investing in projects that make a tangible difference. From supporting improved land management in Inner Mongolia to preserving vital ecosystems in the Cordillera Azul National Park, our offsets aren't just numbers on a balance sheet—they're real, impactful initiatives that benefit communities and the environment alike.

Let's break it down. This year, we've already offset 400 tonnes of carbon (for Q1 2024). That's equivalent to the power of 640 average UK homes for an entire year.

But perhaps most importantly, our commitment to offsetting every emission, including flights, sets a precedent for the travel industry. No more greenwashing or half-measures—just genuine, holistic, responsible tourism that puts the planet first.

We're also additionally protecting 30+ acres of habitat with our World Land Trust Buy an Acre Partnership, which you can read more about here

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Travel: A Force For Good

We've echoed this mantra time and again, and for good reason—it's at the core of our beliefs. Travel is a force for good—a catalyst for positive change, a bridge between cultures, and a powerful reminder of the beauty and fragility of our shared home. 

We've always been confident that our trips have minimal environmental impact yet are incredibly positive for the local communities and economies that we visit and work with. Our audit confirmed this. We are very proud of this and continue to work hard to improve wherever possible. 

But travel isn't just about reducing our impact—it's also about expanding horizons. We firmly believe that travel opens minds, breaks down barriers, and fosters a deep appreciation for our planet's incredible diversity and beauty. It's a reminder that there's a whole world out there waiting to be explored, cherished, and protected.

Whether you're embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure or simply dreaming of far-off destinations, rest assured that your travels with Discover Adventure fall comfortably into responsible tourism and are a step towards a more sustainable world for generations to come.