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Carbon Footprint

We are very aware that every trip we do has a carbon footprint which adds to the climate crisis. The necessity for action is both clear and urgent. We all need to act immediately to reduce our carbon footprint.

Our Progress So Far

Since starting our business 20 years ago, we have always been committed to sustainable business. From the design of our products to deciding who we work with, where we travel to and where we work from. In any event, talk can be cheap, so let’s show you the numbers:

2020/2021 figures impacted by the temporary cease of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

How Our Numbers Compare

These numbers are based on average capacity and standard itineraries


Knowing Our Impact


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Our local and often human-powered adventures have, by their very nature, a low carbon footprint. However, this is no excuse to sit on the sidelines and think we’re doing our bit. We recognise we need to reduce our emissions further. To allow us to do this, we have measured the carbon footprint of our entire business with the aim of improving it year on year. This measurement is critical to not only monitoring progress but identifying ways in which we can continue reducing our impacts.


Our Reduction Targets


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We are one of just a handful of companies in the world (and there really needs to be more) to have set ourselves science-based emission reduction targets. While most governments, businesses and other organisations have set themselves the goal of a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, we want to go further.

Our target is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 90% per traveller over the period 2020-2030. This equates to a 9% year on year reduction, each year for the next decade and includes those emissions arising from our offices, our vehicle fleet, staff travel, website hosting and every element of the trips that we provide – accommodation, meals, transport, activities and guides. We recognise that achieving such significant reductions isn’t going to be easy and we will have to work hard and creatively to make this happen. We have already made some good progress, investing in a Net Zero business HQ on a brownfield site in the Cairngorms National Park. This building which is ultra energy efficient and powered by on and off site renewable energy has saved 14,616kg of carbon per annum.

Future challenges in reaching our target will include looking at how we can reduce road travel in our itineraries, how quickly we can introduce electric vehicles into our fleet and deciding which hotels we choose to work with.

For those residual emissions which we cannot eliminate, we also commit to removing the equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere by 2030. This will be done via investment in reforestation and afforestation projects in Scotland, with particular support channelled to our long-time conservation partners, Trees for Life. This strategy of 90% reduction and carbon removal will support our objective of achieving “True” Net Zero status by 2030.


Accountability


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We partnered with ecollective to help us measure and improve our carbon footprint. Calculating your own carbon footprint can be a little complex as almost everything in our day to day lives has some sort of footprint. Our calculation system is not perfect, but it is highly accurate. It allows us to see what we can improve by calculating every element of the business, showing us where to focus our attention.

For this project, we followed the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and applied emission factors provided by DEFRA and other data sources. We also conducted a detailed survey of over 300 accommodation partners to individually calculate the carbon footprint of those hotels, lodges and other providers we work with.

To keep ourselves accountable, open to criticism and to support the movement to a net zero economy, we are very happy to share our methodology. Just email us or ecollective to find out more. Carbon calculations are never perfect but our aim is to make the measurements better each year.

Achieving Net Zero

While we will aim to reduce our emissions each and every year in line with science-based targets, we realise that our business will still have a carbon footprint and it is our responsibility to act on it. By the end of 2022, we will be offsetting all of those emissions we are unable to reduce through the United Nations Carbon Offset Platform by investing in projects which remove, avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. In combination, we will deepen our relationship with the conservation charity, Trees for Life, by investing in carbon removal at their Highland estate at Dundreggan.

Between 2022 and 2030, we will aim to reduce our carbon footprint to as close to zero as possible. Where unavoidable emissions still exist, our goal by 2030 will be to only invest in those projects which remove carbon from the atmosphere rather than avoid or reduce it. In this way, our objective is to reach True Net Zero 2030.

Sustainability

Learn more about our commitment to sustainable tourism.

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