Lupine Responsible Travel Policy
As we establish more and more tours around the world; many of which are to remote places that are off the usual tourist track; we are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact we have on the planet. We are dedicated to the climate cause and try to work in an environmentally conscious way as much as possible, with the hope to inspire this in others. We hold a great deal of respect for the suppliers and guides we work with and also the communities we have the privilege to engage with. We have therefore put together our own dedicated policy which we aim to constantly evolve and improve and we invite collaboration from all of our clients.
- Our tour leaders are instructed to act with an environmental awareness at all times. For example, they are expected to lead by example and to instil a “leave no trace” consciousness in the group. They will also work closely with the guides to ensure that environmentally friendly resources and activities are prioritised, whenever possible.
- In our tour documents we provide advice on how to travel in a sustainable way.
- We have made a conscious decision to gradually eliminate the provision of individual bottles of water for clients on our tours, in order to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic. Where possible our tour guides and leaders will make special efforts to provide a water dispenser or larger water bottles for those who have a reusable bottle. Please be aware that at present it is not possible to deliver this in every destination; however, we will endeavour to change this so that all of our destinations are “plastic free”, by encouraging local authorities and the hotels we use.
- We advocate the use of a refillable, filtered water bottle from a reputable brand. Some popular brands include Brita and Water-To-Go.
- We invite our clients to share ideas and to give feedback on their environmental concerns that may have arisen from any of our tours. Please email our Responsible Travel team on firstname.lastname@example.org to report any concerns or to share any thoughts on making our tours more environmentally friendly.
- We share our concerns about the environment to our suppliers and guides. The contracts between us and our suppliers ensure that mindfulness of environmentally friendly travel is adopted and that we “leave no trace.”
- We offset the carbon footprint of the flights our tour leaders and tour developers take and encourage our clients to do the same.
- Any behaviour which deliberately harms the environment, wildlife and ecosystems on our tours is seen as a serious offence and may lead to a ban from joining future tours.
- Our office strives to work in environmentally friendly ways. The ethos of reduce, reuse, recycle is important to us and we have systems in place to implement this, such as:
– Paperless ways of working within our company. We aim to limit the use of paper and send all documents digitally, wherever possible .
– An in-office recycling system.
– Our aim for 2020-2021 is to use environmentally friendly goods such as, recycled paper, non-toxic ink and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Environmental Project Pledge
- Starting in Summer 2020, we will plant a tree in Burundi for every person who books onto one of our tours. This is part of an ongoing local project called “Greening Burundi” with the aim of planting 50 million trees by 2040.
Wildlife and Animals
- We make sure all wildlife reserves and sanctuaries we visit are registered and are run professionally, have been vetted for compassionate practice and seek to protect and care for the animals held within them.
- We believe in the fair treatment of all animals. Any perception of cruelty or suspicious activity will always be taken seriously, shared with the guide and ultimately reported. We also urge all our customers to report anything they see, which gives them reason to believe any animal is being kept in unfit conditions and treated cruelly.
- We are respectful of the environment and all living beings and will not inspire any activities which seek to cause deliberate harm to animals, the environment and any living thing.
- We actively encourage our tour leaders and clients to behave in a socially responsible manner and are respectful of the local people and their culture and heritage.
- We aim to use local guides on all of our tours. For example, on our multi-country tours we try to use a different local guide in each country, rather than one for the whole region. This helps to ensure the economic benefit of our tours is spread across all the places we visit.
- Whenever possible we use local businesses for the purchase of all meals and snacks, and also use locally owned hotels, as opposed to multi-national chains; again aiming to keep the spend from our tours in the local community.
- We aspire to create long term relationships with our partners in every country we travel to and will continue to develop our tours in collaboration with them.
- We respectfully engage with local communities and promote their enterprises and endeavour to use services that help them, whenever possible.
- On every tour we encourage experiences and events that actively involve local communities; such as music and traditional culture shows, participating in family celebrations, eating local cuisine etc. Our hope is that this will help to generate economic and cultural empowerment and aid in breaking material and psychological poverty cycles in the community.
- When road or train routes are available, we try to use these rather than air travel, to aid with reducing carbon emissions.
- We aim to add more tours via train to our repertoire over the next few years, to provide more sustainable tour options.
- We specialise in small group travel to help quash over-tourism from destroying the destinations that we visit.
- Over the coming year we aim to provide all office management staff the option of completing sustainable travel courses, to further develop their knowledge of new methods and changes, and best practices that we can utilise at Lupine Travel to keep us at the forefront of sustainable travel.
- We aim to set up affiliate schemes with sustainable travel merchandise suppliers, so that we can confidently recommend these companies in our “suggested packing lists” for each tour.
We at Lupine Travel agree that the best way to travel in a sustainable way is to be more mindful. As Responsible Travel’s Justin Francis sums it up, “There is just one key point to keep in mind: respect the fact that you’re holidaying in someone else’s home, and think about how you can make a positive impact while you’re there.”