Experienced Perspectives on Climate Strategy for Your Adventure Business in 2021

25 March 2021

Climate action is top of mind for businesses these days, and with good reason. Acclimate yourself with key principles and practical tips shared at Tomorrow’s Air Convene by Eli-Mitchell Larson, one of the authors of the Oxford Principles for Net Zero Carbon Offsetting, and Rachel Bouton, Program Manager, group and co-branded experiences from Atlas Obscura.

The Academic Perspective:

One of the key ideas underpinning the Oxford Principles is the importance of a global shift towards long-term solutions for carbon storage. The current focus on carbon offsets and emission reduction, although a positive one, should evolve to one that includes long-lived storage of carbon dioxide.

Consider the principles below as you develop your business’s climate strategy.

  1. Reduce emissions wherever possible, consider conversions to renewable and electric energy, adapting meal plans to reduce meat. Use your business website to share information about your climate action to inspire and educate guests. See State of Climate Action in Adventure Travel for ideas from other companies already taking action.
  2. Make sure that carbon offsets purchased are high quality: check for high environmental integrity and transparency. (ATTA’s Neutral Together program in partnership with South Pole provides an easy and affordable way to offset, supporting reliable projects)
  3. Support the development of net zero aligned offsetting, and join in the global shift towards carbon removal. In order to make permanent storage a feasible solution, we need industry support. This helps to mainstream the technology and bring down costs. Tomorrow’s Air is a resource for carbon removal information and offers a simple way to help support the scale-up of direct air capture carbon removal technology with permanent storage.
“In the short-term, we can afford to use short-term carbon dioxide storage (e.g carbon storage in soil or forests) but due to the lifespan of carbon dioxide, it’s important to start thinking and acting with the long term in mind now,” summarizes Eli.

The Practitioner’s Perspective:

An industry leader in climate action in the adventure travel industry, Atlas Obscura uses what Rachel describes as “A Holistic Approach to Positive Impact Travel” to create the greatest impact using available resources. This includes a move towards trips with lower carbon emissions, such as single destination adventures and “Wonder From Home” trips that encourage travelers to explore their backyard. This provides a stronger connection with destinations while reducing their carbon footprint. Atlas Obscura employs local climate-conscious guides, researchers, and conservationists in their trips and a portion of the proceeds go back to funding initiatives.

At Convene, Rachel reinforced that sharing with your customers that you care about the climate, shows them you share similar values and that you are operating responsibly, noting, “The conversation about climate action is not going away anytime soon; being a part of that movement puts your business at the front of this discussion.”

Rachel shared that from Atlas Obscura perspective, incorporating carbon removal (Atlas Obscura is the first Tomorrow’s Air Education Partner) is a smart business move now because it:

  • Offers brand differentiation
  • Showcases leadership and stands out from typical offsets
  • Invites Atlas Obscura guests and audiences to engage with the company’s other responsible travel initiatives
  • Locates Atlas Obscura at the center of a conversation that’s happening now in the travel and wider world
Tomorrow’s Air Convene registered nearly 1000 passionate travelers and travel company representatives for networking, learning and inspiration. View the full session and learn more about how ATTA’s Climate Action programs can support your business.

Photo by L.W. on Unsplash