We’ve worked closely with an environmental management company to establish our company’s total carbon footprint baseline, including the footprint of our offices (across the UK, North America and Australia) and of our trips. The vast majority of our footprint comes from the trips we operate.
For our 2022 trips, we wanted a more detailed estimate of our carbon impact across each specific trip element. For this, carbon consultancy, ecollective, helped us establish informed estimates for our trips that include all the local transport, accommodation, activities, meals, guides and 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.
Exodus takes action on carbon and biodiversity loss in three ways:
- We are reducing our emissions and using our core products, offerings and operations to protect and enhance natural environments and empower communities
- The Exodus Travels Foundation exists to facilitate our investment in the regeneration and conservation of our natural world
- 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.
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 Travels Foundation has supported conservation and community empowerment projects in destinations we travel to. Nearly £400,000 has been donated to these fantastic causes. One of them, 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%. In the next 12 months we are looking to expand the reach of the Foundation with an even greater focus on investing in projects that support the regeneration and conservation of nature.
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, along with many others in our industry, have signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism committing to:
- Support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
- Deliver climate action plans within 12 months from becoming a signatory (or updating existing plans) and implement them.
- Align plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonise, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and co-ordinate climate action in tourism.
- Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken.
- Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information to encourage additional organisations to become signatories and supporting one another to reach targets as quickly as possible.
Our target is to halve our carbon footprint by 2030. This encompasses an almost 50% reduction in the carbon footprint of our ‘scope 1 and 2’ emissions (primarily the fuel and energy we use across our offices) and a 50% reduction in the carbon footprint of our ‘scope 3’ emissions (primarily the trips we run), per passenger, by 2030, based on our 2019 baseline.
This target currently excludes the transport to and from our trips, given the level to which the decarbonisation of aviation falls outside of our control. However, we will still be measuring and reporting the carbon impact of this transport, and implementing actions to actively reduce this impact, such as the launch and expansion of our train travel offering. See more on this below.
Our carbon consultancy, Synergy, is currently supporting our parent company, Travelopia, to develop Science Based Targets for our entire business. Aligned targets will then be set for Exodus, together with a pathway to achieving that target.
Over the course of the year, as the work with Travelopia continues, we will be developing and publishing our own carbon reduction roadmap.
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 reduction goal is ambitious, and our roadmap towards the 2030 target will continue to evolve in the years ahead as we progress, learn and share knowledge with many fellow tour operators across the sector.
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.