During the summer of 2020, Impactful Tourism signed up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organizations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions as per the advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.
In signing the Climate Emergency Declaration, the Impactful Tourism Team agrees to these five “Tourism Declares” Commitments.
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’
- Share our commitment to progress publicly
- Cut our Carbon emissions in line with IPCC advice
- Work with others in the travel industry
- Advocate for change throughout the travel industry
Below, is Impactful Tourism’s plan to reduce our carbon footprint and advocate for the urgent changes needed to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism. Our plan includes:
Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
In the Office: As our team works remotely, reducing carbon emissions must be done at both the professional and business level. We have eliminated single use plastics, work in a paperless environment, and use low energy technologies and products. In the coming months we will be focusing on finding sustainable energy providers for our home offices and integrating office supplies and furniture made from sustainable materials. We offer new employees funding to purchase a bicycle as carbon-neutral transportation.
Travel for Work: Due to the carbon footprint created by air travel, we continue to liaison with clients remotely via online technologies whenever possible. When unavoidable, we will select transportation and accommodation options that offer lower emissions and eco-friendly alternatives. This includes direct air transportation routes, combined trips, low-carbon transportation alternatives, and sustainable accommodation options.
Offset Our Carbon Footprint: We offset our carbon footprint from our home offices and travel by purchasing carbon offsets from trusted sources such as Sustainable Travel International. The cost of these offsets will be incorporated into our project costs and explicitly discussed with clients.
Climate Action Advocacy
Create Awareness for Tourism Declares: We will actively promote the mission and goals of Tourism Declares with our collaborators and fellow tourism stakeholders through our social media channels, web publications, and our membership in various sustainable organizations.
Advocate for Change with our Clients: We will incorporate climate change mitigation and sustainable frameworks into our project goals for our consulting and development work. Our consultants will offer educational materials and discussions for our clients on the impact of climate change and mitigating strategies for their business.
Prioritizing Sustainable Projects: Although we specialize in the responsible tourism industry, not all of our projects focus on environmental stewardship and climate mitigation. Moving forward, we will work to more deeply incorporate these frameworks into our community-based tourism and cultural heritage projects.
Our “Impact Initiative” is a volunteer program that provides consulting services to responsible tourism stakeholders that are regularly unable to access professional services due to funding constraints. We will be prioritizing projects that incorporate environmental regeneration and climate mitigation into their business frameworks.
Raise Our Voice: We believe that changing governmental policy is the most important step in mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing society’s carbon footprint. For this reason, the staff of ITC are given 5 paid days per year to attend climate protests, demonstrations, conferences, and organize events.
If you work in tourism and feel similarly about the Climate Emergency, please visit Tourism Declares. The goal is to encourage and enable as many travel companies, organizations and individuals to get involved, declare a climate emergency, and to take action.