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Major Tourism Brands Form Promising New Sustainability Initiatives

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Consumers care more about sustainability now. They choose brands that offer sustainable or eco-friendly options. Travel is a big industry that can benefit host nations and communities if managed sustainably. Sustainable Tourism International reports that the travel industry accounts for approximately 8% of the global carbon footprint

Therefore, interest in sustainable travel is growing significantly. An estimated 87% of tourists want to travel more sustainably.

We have shared a number of tips on lowering your carbon footprint when traveling on this blog. Unfortunately, locals often miss out on the biggest opportunities. Consumers worry about the negative impact of tourism. They know air travel causes huge emissions, over-tourism harms society, and tourist infrastructure can damage the environment, especially in sensitive areas.

A number of travel companies are doing their part to lower the carbon footprint. This makes it easier for tourists that want to travel more sustainably through Europe or other parts of the world.

Exodus has launched a new walking tour with rewilding expert Mario Cipollini in the Italian Apennines. The trip is part of Exodus’s climate plan, Planet Promise. The plan includes a partnership with Rewilding Europe and a goal to be nature net positive by 2024.

Exodus will rewild 100 sq meters of Italian Apennines land for every customer who books a trip, regardless of destination. The plan also aims to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. It will increase access to plant-based food, offer more trips closer to home and offer transportation options that rely on eco-friendlier vehicles such as trains.

VistaJet is the latest travel company to develop an eco-friendly initiative to help the planet. This companies trying to be carbon neutral and has recently announced a new partnership that will help it reach that goal.

VistaJet Pledges New Commitment to Being Carbon Neutral with New Parntership

VistaJet, a private jet charter specialist whose fleet includes the famous Bombardier Global 5000, has sparked conversation in recent years thanks to a series of green pledges. The company has gained a lot of publicity for these initiatives.

In December, a press release talked about some of the many sustainability initiatives that the company has taken in recent months. Reporters point out that the company has done a lot to further sustainability goals. Among its initiatives is a partnership with ocean-cleaning bottle manufacturer Ocean Bottle. So, is this an exercise in greenwashing, or is there some environmental merit behind all of this?

Carbon Neutral by 2025?

VistaJet aims to make its operations entirely carbon-neutral by 2025. It will do this through a combination of actions. First, it will offset its carbon emissions. This is a process of investing in carbon-reducing initiatives, in order to counteract the unavoidable emissions caused by air travel. According to a white paper released by the company, the location of the emissions, or lack of them, doesn’t matter from a global perspective – so, if you’re flying over Texas, you might offset those emissions by planting forests in Rwanda.

Also playing an important role here is Sustainable Aviation Fuel. This is a form of biofuel that can be blended with traditional fossil-based jet fuel. This has the potential to reduce overall emissions by 85%. That said, realising this potential in practice will require some significant research and cross-industry collaboration.

VistaJet partners with Ocean Bottle

So, how does the partnership with Ocean Bottle figure in all this? Well, it amounts to the collection of around 22,800kg of ocean-bound plastic. This works out to around two million plastic bottles that will be prevented from reaching the ocean.

Since it’s much more cost-effective to prevent plastics from reaching the ocean than it is to seek them out and remove them, it follows that this is the more environmentally-friendly strategy. Once the source of the problem is dealt with, we can move on to dealing with the symptoms.

Ocean Bottle’s business model is built around offsetting of a different kind. For every reusable bottle released, the company funds the collection of around 11.4kg of plastic equivalent in rivers and waterways. At the time of writing, the company claims to have collected more than eight million kilograms of ocean-bound plastic.

Interestingly, the company makes explicit mention of greenwashing practices at the top of its list of things that it will never do. The company includes its results in its annual Impact Report, which is available for public consumption.

The company’s activities are concentrated in parts of the world where plastic pollution is at its worst, including: India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Haiti, and more. The company was founded by British entrepreneurs William Pearson and Nick Doman, and has captured the imagination of a whole range of big names. If you were to envisage a company that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, then it would surely look a lot like this one!

More Travel Companies Are Doing their Part to Promote Sustainability

A growing number of travel companies are taking new steps to promote sustainability. Companies like VistaJet are forging partnerships with other brands to help advance sustainable tourism. This can do wonders to help the planet in the future.

Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living.


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