In January 2020 a group of tourism companies, organizations and individuals signed Tourism Declares, thereby joining together different players in the tourism industry to declare a climate emergency. This means not only showing commitment in word, but also in taking action to reduce their carbon emissions and environmental footprint.
We — Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll — have also signed this declaration, and thereby agree to the following five commitments.
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’
- Share my commitment and progress publicly
- Cut my carbon emissions in line with IPPC advice
- Work with others in the travel industry
- Advocate for change throughout the travel industry
What does this mean to us?
We have been advocating for and working in sustainable tourism at Uncornered Market for over a decade. We believe in the power of travel to be a force for good, to benefit not only the travelers, but also the communities and environments they visit. Through our advisory with travel organizations and brands, as well as the writing we do for travelers, we aim to steer companies and travelers towards more sustainable choices.
The climate crisis is real, as is travel and tourism’s contribution to global carbon emissions. Therefore, it’s up to all of us – from the individual traveler to the big companies – to do their part.
Our Climate Emergency Plan
We plan to reduce carbon emissions — and our environmental footprint as a whole — each year by being selective about when and how we travel, both professionally and personally. We also look at our work with the tourism industry and travelers as a way to advocate and influence behaviors. Our Climate Emergency Plan includes:
- Aim to exchange flights for alternative transport or virtual options. Much of our work and projects require us to be on the ground, so it’s unlikely that we will be able to avoid all flights altogether. However, we will work with clients to see if it’s possible to use other options like virtual meetings or using alternative transport. If that is impossible then we will try and combine multiple projects, conferences and/or personal travel together into one trip so as to reduce the number of flights required.
- Influence consumer behavior. We will continuing to advocate for and educate through our projects, website/social media channels and speaking opportunities how travelers can reduce their carbon footprint through decisions and actions around transportation, accommodation, food, activities and souvenirs/shopping. This includes raising awareness about the choices they have to reduce their environmental footprint – not only when they travel, but also at home.
- Work with tourism industry to change behaviors and reduce carbon emissions: For travel brands and tourism companies, this includes incorporating sustainability and climate change mitigation activities into the tourism development consulting, product development creation and marketing work that we do. We will continue to advocate for more environmentally friendly operations and the use of the Ecotourism Footprint calculator (or similar tools) to monitor the carbon footprint of their tours and other activities. This provides a better understanding of how adjusting accommodation, food, transport and activities can reduce emissions in their tours and offerings.
- Prioritize work with sustainability-focused companies and organizations: This includes projects that have a focus on conservation/environmental protection, socio-economic benefits and cultural preservation to local communities and people. We will promote travel experiences and companies that invest back into the community and contribute to the local economy, culture, conservation efforts and projects that contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
- Select travel options and destinations that don’t involve flying, and promote alternative transportation options and flight-free travel. We will share information about and promote alternative transportation so as to raise awareness in consumers of their options outside of flying, and also the fun of rail travel.
- Offset flights we cannot avoid through carbon removal or tree planting programs. Although our priority is to avoid as many flights as possible, when it is required for us to fly we will invest into carbon removal and storage or support reforestation, tree planting or forest protection initiatives via the Trillion Tree Campaign or similar. Encouraging our community and readers to do the same.
- Reduce carbon emissions as individuals and as a business. This includes using tools like the Environmental Calculator (or similar) to understand and monitor the carbon footprint from travel, business and lifestyle decisions. In practical terms, this means aiming to eliminate single use plastics, choosing a renewable electricity provider for our home and office, using low-energy bulbs and electrical products, minimizing the use of printing and paper, and using bicycle or public transportation as much as possible for local transport.
Want to get involved?
If you work in tourism and feel similarly about the climate emergency, please visit Tourism Declares. The goal is to to encourage and enable as many travel companies, organizations and individuals to get involved, declare a climate emergency, and take action.