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Contiki spotlights its sustainability journey to achieve carbon neutrality

Contiki spotlights its sustainability journey to achieve carbon neutrality
April 21, 2022

Ahead of Earth Day tomorrow (22nd April) and as a leader in youth tourism since 1962, Contiki is spotlighting its five-point Climate Action Plan aimed at achieving carbon neutrality, alongside highlighting their investment in developing carbon removal projects and appointment of a Sustainability Officer.

As the world prepares to open up and tourism operators are busy getting back to business, Contiki has announced that all Contiki trips from 2022 are carbon neutral trips. And travellers won’t need to reach into their own pockets to fund the carbon credits: the cost to offset every trip is being covered by Contiki.

Contiki recognises the need for both travellers and tourism businesses to take action on climate change and address its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and has appointed a Sustainability Officer, Tasha Hayes, to lead the way.

Hayes advises “with our ‘How We Tread Right’ sustainability strategy, the evolution of Contiki Cares, and now becoming carbon neutral it made sense to have a front person for Contiki’s great sustainability initiatives.  During my time with Contiki I’ve always championed sustainability and looked at ways we could do better both on the road and in the office.  Contiki becoming carbon neutral is massive, and it’s the perfect opportunity for me to support this direction, as someone who can oversee and monitor to make sure we stay on track to achieving the ambitious goals we have set out.”

Contiki’s five-point Climate Action Plan is part of The Travel Corporation’s sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right. The Climate Action Plan supports Goals #1 and #2 of the strategy, which targets the carbon footprint of the business - seeing Contiki become carbon neutral and also commit to sourcing 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

To further support the transition to a low-carbon future, Contiki is investing in two developing, nature-based carbon removal solutions, Project Vesta and GreenWave.

Adam Armstrong, Contiki Chief Executive notes “Carbon removal and carbon capture technologies are deeply promising. It’s important to us that we support the science developing around every possible solution, in addition to reducing our emissions and purchasing verified carbon offsets. It’s equally exciting to have Tasha on board to lead this for us, the next phase of Contiki Cares.”

The five points of the Climate Action Plan include reducing emissions and setting ambitious reduction targets by mid-2022; and offsetting unavoidable emissions by partnering with leading offset provider, South Pole, to purchase carbon credits from a combination of three meaningful carbon offset projects. These offsetting projects include Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard projects to guarantee carbon reductions are made, while offering co-benefits that positively impact local communities: Forest Conservation in Australia, Biogas Energy in Thailand, and Renewable Energy in the USA.

The idea of sustainable and conscious travel isn’t new to Contiki - the new Climate Action Plan builds on progress made to date and its commitment to continual improvement. Since the launch of its first sustainability strategy in 2015, Contiki has invested in energy conservation and worked to actively reduce its environmental impact.

Now, Contiki’s Chateau de Croix and Haus Schöneck properties are powered by 100% renewable energy and it uses the most fuel-efficient Euro 6 coaches throughout Europe, while coaches in other regions meet or exceed efficiency standards. This year has seen the launch of more ‘staycation’ trips that remove the need for long-haul travel, alongside lower-carbon footprint ‘by rail’ itineraries, a new vegan itinerary and options for lower-emission vegan and vegetarian meals on all trips. Contiki is also working with partners to increase the use of local food products to reduce food transport emissions and is assessing the use of biofuels for coaches within Europe.

Hayes continues “Ignoring the climate crisis won’t make it go away. Our Climate Action Plan is our commitment to learn and adapt as the world moves closer to a lower carbon economy, a goal we care passionately about. It’s in keeping with our philosophy that travelling sustainability and consciously, matters - and we know young people are conscious of and care about sustainability more than ever. Young people will always want to travel - it’s their rite of passage - so it’s our responsibility as a leading travel provider to provide experiences that respect the people, planet, and wildlife that our travellers encounter along the way, and align with our own sustainability goals.  This is why it’s so important for Contiki to be making this commitment from 2022 onwards to offer only carbon neutral trips. I’m so proud of our team who has made this a reality, and I’m hopeful that we’re finding ways for the next generation of travellers to continue to travel responsibly”.

Contiki’s Climate Action Plan consists of five points:

1. Measure
Measure the emissions from our business and trips.

2. Reduce
Build on reduction efforts and set ambitious reduction targets by mid-2022.

3. Remove
Through our TreadRight Foundation, invest in new technologies and nature-based solutions to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.

4.Offset
Purchase carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions, including phasing in carbon neutral trips between 2022 - 2030.

5. Evolve
To share its sustainability strategy, efforts and impact, as well as to guide consumers and travellers on addressing their own carbon footprint, Contiki has published its Climate Action Plan on its website

Read the Climate Action plan 

Find out more about Contiki’s global goals 

Find out more about how Contiki is going carbon neutral 

A carbon neutral trip can now be booked for travel in 2022 at contiki.com

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