In its continued work to transform tourism to the benefit of people, communities, and the planet, The Wilderness Group has released a ‘Carbon Emissions Framework Methodology,’ designed by the carbon consultancy eCollective, that outlines how the company calculates a highly accurate carbon footprint per guest. The goal is to not only demonstrate accountability on its pledged efforts to reach ‘true net-zero’ by 2030, but to also engage, inspire, and assist other tourism businesses in reducing their overall carbon footprint.
Measuring the greenhouse gas emissions of the business, the scope of the methodology covers everything from office emissions, staff business travel, websites, and staff commuting, to virtual and hosted, in-person events, along with, of course, the various components (transport, accommodation, activities, food, and guides & trip leaders) of the adventure trips offered by the Wilderness Group, including Wilderness Scotland, Wilderness Ireland, and Wilderness England.
Looking at the tourism industry’s overall carbon footprint, in November 2021, the award-winning adventure travel group introduced Carbon Labelling across all of its itineraries, providing guests with rigorous calculations and true transparency of the carbon impact when they travel, helping adventurers make more informed travel decisions on where and how to travel.
“Together with our colleagues in the travel and tourism industry, we believe carbon tracking across the industry can become standard,” says Paul Easto, CEO and Founder of The Wilderness Group. “With the release of this new methodology as an ‘open source’ document, our hope is that others can use it as a guide in their own sustainability initiatives, with an end goal of making the industry as a whole a force for good in the conservation of our planet.”
Carbon Reduction Strategy
Through their work with eCollective, The Wilderness Group has developed one of the world’s first carbon labelling schemes for travel. Like reading the nutritional information on a box of cereal, each itinerary now has a carbon label, or score, indicating the amount of kilogrammes of carbon attributed to each trip, with an average of 142kg CO2e per traveller per trip across the whole business (compare this with a week at a Maldives resort at 603kg CO2e, or a Caribbean cruise, which is 445kg CO2e per day). These labels were determined based on an analysis of the carbon footprint of over 5,000 services such as food, accommodation, transport, and activities.
This project is integral to the Wilderness Group’s efforts to reach ‘true net-zero’ 2030. This will involve a 90 percent reduction in emissions over the next decade alongside long-term investment in carbon removal with charity Trees for Life on its Highland estate. In addition, the Wilderness Group will continue their work with local rewilding, wildlife, and conservation charities through their Conservation Contribution Scheme.
Over the next decade, the Wilderness Group’s carbon reduction strategy will involve complete electrification of their vehicle fleet, deeper partnerships with low carbon accommodation and restaurants, and innovative product design to further reduce the carbon footprint of its itineraries.