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Carbon Management

Carbon Management

We never forget that travel leaves a footprint. And as a travel business, we want to ensure that everything we do to create and run our trips brings about positive impacts for the natural ecosystems and economic livelihoods in the places we visit and for the people we meet.

We know that carbon is one of the negative impacts of our business and here, we give a little more detail on how we measure and manage it and how we invest in the regeneration and conservation of our natural world.

NB. Please note that when we refer to ‘carbon’ or ‘CO2e’ we mean ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’ which refers to the combination of greenhouses gas emissions we seek to reduce.

What the numbers mean

Each of our trips shows you a carbon footprint that is calculated on a per person per night basis. This is the sum of all the included activities, accommodation, in destination transportation, guide and meals. All our trips are different, so the emissions per trip will vary a lot depending on its type, inclusions and the destination. On average, in 2023, our trips emitted 32kg CO2e per person per night.

Carbon Management

To put that into context:

Carbon Management

276.7 kg CO2e

SINGLE ECONOMY FLIGHT FROM LONDON TO ROME

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33.1 kg CO2E

SINGLE ECONOMY TRAIN FROM LONDON TO ROME

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15kg CO2e

LEVI STRAUSS 501® ORIGINAL JEANS (RINSE RUN)

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31.37kg CO2e

CAN OF COORS LIGHT BEER 500ML BREWED IN THE UK

Note that the flight or other transport to and from our trip start and end point is not included in these figures above. This is a major factor, but as we do not book transport for all our guests, it is difficult to know exactly what these emission figures might be. We are actively looking at ways to help customers choose less carbon intensive transport options such as through our rail partnership with Byway.

Where are our trip emissions created?

Everything on our trips that use energy from fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases. Those different greenhouse gases are then converted into an equivalent impact from carbon dioxide, or CO2e (Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas) and the sum of those activities is our overall trip carbon footprint.
While each trip will have different components, across all the trips we operate, our use of carbon comes from:

Carbon Management

How we measure our carbon footprint

We’ve worked closely with an environmental management company to establish our company’s total carbon footprint including the footprint of our offices (across the UK, North America, South Africa and India) and of our trips. The vast majority of our footprint comes from the trips we operate.

To get a more detailed estimate of our carbon impact across each specific trip element, carbon consultancy, ecollective, helped us establish informed estimates that include all the local transport, accommodation, activities, meals and guides that are included in a trip as well as an amount to account for our office operations.

Having these figures across each trip element helps us understand where we can make real reductions in emissions and gives our customers the information they need to help in their decision-making process.

Our climate action

Exodus takes action on carbon and biodiversity loss in three ways:

  1. Every year we measure our emissions and take action to reduce them. At the same time, we use our core products, offerings and operations to protect and enhance natural environments and empower communities
  2. The Exodus Adventure Travels Foundation exists to facilitate our investment in the regeneration and conservation of our natural world. For every passenger that travels with Exodus, we give £2.50 to the Foundation.
  3. We collaborate with leading organisations and NGOs to invest in carbon sinks and other projects that support the regeneration of communities and nature

We invest in projects that sequester carbon and contribute to the regeneration and conservation of the natural world. A few of these examples include:

Supporting Heathy Oceans

As part of our commitment to climate and nature action, we’ve joined our sister companies across the Travelopia Group to partner with Blue Marine Foundation. Together, we intend to donate at least £1 million over the next 3 years, with an aim to support the conservation and restoration of 7,000 hectares of vital marine ecosystems through seven global projects. 

From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, Kenya to Indonesia, these protected “blue carbon ecosystems” have the potential to remove and store thousands of tonnes of carbon every year. They will also help protect a rich diversity of coastal and underwater wildlife, including endangered species.  Our support will also enable the training and employment of local communities in marine conservation, helping ensure these beautiful places are preserved for generations. 

More information about Blue Marine Foundation projects we are supporting can be found here.

Rewilding the Apennines

We have partnered with leading conservationists, Rewilding Apennines, to help support their vital rewilding work, including a Nature & Carbon Corridors project (read more about this partnership and project here).

For each passenger that travels with Exodus, we make a commitment to rewild 100 square meters of land. Over time, this rewilded land will provide a rich carbon sink, removing many tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

Exodus Travels Foundation

Since 2019, the Exodus Adventure Travels Foundation has supported conservation and community empowerment projects in destinations we travel to. More than £500,000 has been donated to these fantastic causes. One, Free to Roam, aims to allow elephants and other wildlife thrive, by empowering Tsavo communities to give 90% of land back to nature, while increasing food security through permaculture on the remaining 10%. We are looking to expand the reach of the Foundation and continuing to invest in more projects that support the regeneration and conservation of nature.

Our carbon reduction action

Exodus supports the global 1.5 degree Celsius aligned targets that are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting our global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. We commit to report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken. We also will work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions with suppliers and the wider travel & tourism industry.

We are currently working with our carbon consultancy, Synergy, to develop science-based targets for our business together with a pathway to achieving the reductions we need. Our reduction roadmap should be ready to be published in late 2024.

How we are planning to reduce emissions

Our style of trips, in general, have a lower carbon footprint than many other styles of holidays – we travel in small groups, stay in smaller local accommodation, enjoy locally- produced food, and spend time cycling and hiking instead of in coaches and cars. However, any transportation – especially flights and boats – can still have a significant carbon impact, along with other factors such as energy used by accommodation, any imported food provided and so on.

Our carbon management plan focuses first and foremost on carbon footprint reduction. The emissions of our trips will be reduced year on year by measures such as:

  • Increasing take-up of our train travel booking service, which now offers train travel as an alternative to flying to most of our European trips (which constitute around one third of all our trips globally).
  • Increasing the number of ‘closer to home’ trips, such as our UK collection, meaning less reason to fly.
  • Opting for lower impact in-country transportation, for example, swapping internal flights for trains, using public transport where feasible and looking for opportunities to switch to electric vehicles as soon as destination infrastructure allows.
  • Prioritising the use of accommodation that promotes conservation and community initiatives.
  • Aiming to ensure at least 90% of food provided across our trips is locally sourced, meaning it’s not been transported long distances.
  • Increasing the number of plant-based meals included in our itineraries.
  • Eliminating use of single-use plastics across our trips as quickly as possible (plastic contains lots of ‘embodied carbon’).

Our roadmap will continue to track our progress and we hope to learn and share knowledge with many fellow tour operators across the sector to help amplify and scale our company and our industry decarbonisation.

What this means for you

Our goal is to create immersive experiences that help people reconnect with the natural world. This relies on us valuing and protecting that world and taking responsibility for our actions.

By measuring and reducing our negative impact, not just on carbon, but also on other elements that affect biodiversity such as waste and ecosystem exploitation, we are striving to create nature positive travel. At the same time, we are also demonstrating the real and positive economic, environmental and social benefits that each of our holidays creates.

We don’t have all the answers and recognise we have a big challenge ahead, but we’re committed to keeping you updated on our progress. We also welcome your comments, ideas and questions. To get in touch, please email: Sustainablity@exodustravels.com