We have a heightened focus on all aspects of sustainability that impact the environment in our destinations and in our offices. Our passion for exploring the planet goes hand-in-hand with our desire to protect it.
As a result, we’re committed to carbon reduction and mitigation, wildlife protection and animal welfare, preserving habitats and landscapes, encouraging green transportation options where possible and reducing plastic usage, waste and energy consumption. To help with this, in addition to our Audley Sustainability Policy, we have specific policies that hold our business to high standards in these areas.
Animal Welfare Policy
Working with animal welfare experts, at ANIMONDIAL, we’ve extensively reviewed the experiences we offer involving animals. As a result, we’ve created and implemented a comprehensive set of policies to ensure your trip doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the welfare of working, captive or wild animals. This has included phasing out a number of experiences that didn’t meet our animal welfare standards and introducing ethical alternatives.
Where possible, animal encounters that we offer will have a positive effect, either on the individual animals you’re seeing or on the species as a whole. For example, proceeds from visiting a well-run animal sanctuary will help to support its work, while seeing wild animals in their natural environment encourages local people to conserve species and their habitats as they themselves see the benefits from wildlife tourism.
As well as actively avoiding experiences that exploit animals, we’re always trying to encourage our local partners to improve animal welfare standards.
Alternative elephant experiences
There are real concerns over the welfare of captive elephants in the tourism industry. With that in mind, we no longer offer elephant riding as an activity. Instead, we’re keen to offer alternative experiences that place elephant welfare first. We have stringent policies to ensure that elephants are:
- genuinely rescued and not sourced from the wild or commercial trading, or through captive breeding
- kept in conditions that meet their physical and behavioural needs, including social interaction with other elephants and the opportunity to forage, as well as constant access to clean water, appropriate food and shelter
- not subject to physical or verbal abuse
- not trained to perform unnatural acts, such as circus performances or elephant polo
Responsible travel is a part of Audley’s DNA. That’s why we are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint in our offices, through our supply chain, and on our staff research trips. However, even as we continue to reduce our carbon footprint, we know that we can do even more with carbon offsetting.
Audley therefore works closely with Climate Impact Partners, a specialist in carbon market solutions for climate action. Through Climate Impact Partners we offset our own emissions and offer our clients the same offsetting opportunity by including an optional carbon offsetting payment in our quotes.
Climate Impact Partners provides finance to projects which reduce emissions and support the transition to a low carbon global economy. All projects are independently validated and verified to recognised global standards to guarantee emission reductions are occurring. This ensures the highest environmental integrity in our commitment to having an immediate, positive impact on the climate.
Whilst Climate Impact Partners help with our offsetting programme, our Carbon Strategy reiterates our commitment to reducing emissions internally. Our focus is to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, from a baseline year of 2019, in-line with the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels. Having calculated our Scope 3 emissions, with the help of eCollective, we’ll continue to focus on carbon reduction, and only use carbon offsetting on the residual emissions.
What projects does your carbon offsetting support?
Having reduced emissions as far as we can, we offset what remains through projects that help combat climate change, with clear goals developed according to the UN Sustainable Development guidelines.
By offsetting your flight emissions with Climate Impact Partners, you’ll support projects such as Orb Rooftop Solar, which provides rural Indian communities dependent on fossil fuels for energy and lighting with high-quality solar energy systems. In addition to emission reductions, this project reduces indoor air pollution, lowers electricity bills by more than 50%, creates skilled job opportunities, and provides reliable light children to study. So far, Orb Rooftop Solar has brought over 160,000 reliable solar power and solar water heating systems to customers, while cutting around 55,00 tonnes of CO2e a year.
Another project we’re proud to support is the Gyapa Efficient Cookstoves Project, which enables the production and distribution of efficient cooking stoves in Ghana, where 80% of the population use solid fuels. These stoves require 46% less fuel, release less CO2, and reduce exposure to toxic fumes. This allows families to save money and protects Ghana’s dwindling forests. The project’s key outcome, however, is to create jobs by enabling the stoves to be made and distributed locally. Almost 1.5 million stoves have been sold so far, stopping the release of over 4 million tonnes of CO2.