Bold statements are easy to make; backing them up with data is how you know a company means business. And The Travel Corporation definitely do, judging by the release of their second annual Impact Report. This is a deep dive into how their positive impacts and progress stack up against the group’s 11 sustainability goals.
The Travel Corporation (TTC) set out in 2008 to support the planet, its people, and wildlife, founding the TreadRight Foundation. This not-for-profit foundation is committed to supporting local communities and wildlife conservation efforts worldwide, showing TTC have long-been focused on the sustainable travel long-game. It’s why they knew it was crucial to create a clear and concise strategy for all 40 of their award-winning travel brands to advance the company’s mission to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®.
Anchored against the United Nations Global Goals, How We Tread Right launched in September 2020 with 11 sustainability goals. Across all the legendary TTC brands including Contiki, Insight Vacations and Trafalgar, Costsaver and Luxury Gold, the company-wide message is clear: their impact matters.
40 brands: one mission
Addressing climate change has been a driver for The Travel Corporation, and with this in mind TTC’s original goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 was replaced with the more ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Alongside addressing how 40 powerhouse travel brands – from AAT Kings to Adventure World to Uniworld – can ensure they are not adding to the planet’s environmental problems, How We Tread Right covers other far-reaching issues. These include strategies around food, waste, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Plus, focus on travel experiences and wildlife, of course.
Make Travel Matter
It’s not only TTC’s employees who can contribute to Make Travel Matter, their guests can, too. Through a range of Make Travel Matter experiences, travellers are empowered and able to contribute as they explore the world.
These experiences open minds, give back, and set new standards for the impact each of us can make when we leave our front door. All while benefiting the communities, lands, and wildlife they pass through.
“Our Impact Report highlights that we now include at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience on 62% of itineraries across our Brands – this represents 571 immersive experiences designed to benefit a destination or community, educate our clients, and support the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development,” confirmed Toni Ambler, Managing Director of TTC Tour Brands, Contiki, Trafalgar, Costsaver, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold.
Net zero matters to Aussie travellers
Karryon founder, Matt Leedham was at the TTC Impact Report media launch and panel last week, getting first-hand insights into all the good that TTC is already doing, and the exciting progress that’s to come.
One nugget that stood out during the event was just how concerned Gen Z is with climate change. A large 54% agree that working towards net zero, by cutting greenhouse gas, is one of the most important sustainable practices travel operators can make.
Contiki is already on it, having been carbon neutral since January 2022. That’s not enough, though. Through a process of validating net zero targets, they identified not only is Contiki an asset-heavy tour operator, but that significant investment is needed to decarbonisation goals.
Rather than being fearful of this, they’re amped, with TTC Tour Brands Oceania MD, Toni Ambler, commenting, “Contiki caters to many younger travellers and has been carbon neutral since January 2022. We did this by purchasing verified carbon credits from our partner, South Pole. However, the process of validating our net zero targets forced us to identify the fact that offsets do not address the fact that we are an asset-heavy tour operator with ambitious decarbonisation goals. These goals require significant investment into the business, thus the shift from the purchase of carbon credits to investing in our own decarbonisation through our Carbon Fund. It’s a very exciting time for us.”
Did you know that in 2022, The Travel Corporation became the first-ever global tour operator to launch a Carbon Fund? This industry-leading fund enables investment in green technologies that assist in decarbonising the business. Not only that, TTC took the lead as the first tour company with near-term, long-term, and net-zero targets.
TTC has also made headway toward its priority, decarbonisation, and therefore will hit a 2025 goal to have 50% of their electricity from renewable sources. This includes zero-emission vehicles and a 50% reduction in food waste.
Foodie for thought
With 58% of Australian travellers stating they look for a foodie adventure that supports locals and producers when booking a sustainable trip, it’s not a surprise that they also want food waste binned, too. Not into the physical bin, but the metaphorical one, with demand for food waste reduction.
Uniworld introduced the Leanpath food waste technologies last year. This year, all fleet will have implemented food waste reduction, saving tonnes of waste. Combined with food waste technologies at 20 additional Red Carnation Hotels, it’s a combined saving of 120 tonnes (or 284,000 meals)! Whoa.
TreadRight with TTC
This is not the first time we’ve heard of The Travel Corporation treading right. Their non-profit TreadRight Foundation works to protect the planet, its people, and wildlife. In 2022, TreadRight once again funded nature-based solutions, GreenWave and Project Vesta. The former is a network of regenerative ocean farmers, the latter a coastal climate restoration initiative.
TTC also contributed to community development and wildlife conservation initiatives.
TL; DR: need-to-know
While we fully encourage you to read the The Travel Corporation Impact Report, you may just need the highlights reel right now.
Here are the need-to-know report highlights:
- TTC has been leading from the front with the introduction of the industry-first Carbon Fund
- They become the first global tour operator with validated near-term, long-term, and net zero targets
- They’ve replaced their original goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 with the more ambitious net-zero targets for 2050
- Up from 2021, The Travel Corporation now sources 44% of their total global electricity needs from renewable sources, up 20%
- There is at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience on over 60% of all TTC itineraries, bringing the collection total to 571
- There is a 50% increase from 2021 in TTC itineraries visiting developing regions
- Five new global partnerships help broaden TTC’s hiring pool to include traditionally underrepresented people
- A focus on six brands on Pride and Women-only itineraries fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion
- A 100% itinerary compliance check was fulfilled against TTC’s animal welfare policy
Keen to read more? Learn more about The Travel Corporation’s sustainability strategy, goals, and progress in their full How We tread right Impact Report.
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