This tour company will be sporting a bit more green come St Patrick’s Day. Ireland’s award-winning active travel company, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, has been committed since its inception in 2002 to what it calls respectful tourism initiatives. Their efforts have proven successful.
For its dedicated focus on best practices supporting a healthy environment, Vagabond Tours recently won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards 2018. The 10th annual awards were presented in late February in Dublin. And in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the “wearin’ o’ the green,” the company had also been shortlisted for both the Green Small Organization of the Year and the overall Green award.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” says Rob Rankin, owner of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland. “We were up against some very strong competition. The award is great recognition for the time, thought and energy that our Vagabond team have put into making sure that all aspects of our business are carried out in the most environmentally positive and sustainable way possible.”
In 2017 Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism, Gold Level Certification from Eco Tourism Ireland.
Rankin noted that Vagabond’s environmental initiatives in some instances have led to significant cost savings for the company while other initiatives are viewed as company investments that “we hope will have a long-term benefit to the environment.” These include:
- Offsetting the company’s total annual carbon emissions and restoring Ireland’s lost woodlands with a program of replanting indigenous Irish hardwood trees.
- Offering free compostable cups to guests to use in local coffee shops instead of non-recyclable cups.
- Giving each guest an aluminum water bottle to use instead of single use plastic bottles.
“We estimate that by using our aluminum water bottles our guests, over the year, will save using over 30,000 plastic bottles when visiting Ireland.”
For details on Green Awards 2018 please see leanbusinessireland.ie/green-awards-2018-winners.
For information on Vagabond environmental initiatives please see vagabondtoursofireland.com/sustainable-tourism-ireland.
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