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 behavioral 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’re 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 use, we know that we can do even more with carbon offsetting.
Working closely with our long-time partner, ClimateCare, we’ve offset our own flights since 2007. We’ve also offered clients the opportunity to carbon offset their flights since 2009. ClimateCare’s verified Gold Standard carbon credits lessen the impact of emissions, something that’s vital to preserving the places we visit. The credits go towards supporting projects aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We encourage you to offset your flights, too, and have included an optional carbon offset in your quote. You can choose to pay when you book.
What will your carbon offsetting support?
Your credits support projects that help combat climate change, with clear goals developed according to the UN Sustainable Development guidelines.
For example, BURN enables the production and distribution of efficient cooking stoves in Kenya. These stoves reduce fuel consumption by up to 45%, release less CO2, and help to decrease deforestation caused by the collection of firewood. They also allow families to save money and cut the amount of unhealthy smoke particles released by fires. Additionally, they’re made in a solar-powered factory in Nairobi that employs 400 local people, 60% of whom are women.
This is just one of the many projects we support through ClimateCare. Your funds contribute to the projects that need them the most at that moment. To learn more about the different projects, go to https://www.climateimpact.com/projects/.
Other projects we’ve supported include LifeStraws for families in Kenya. These ingenious water filters take away the need to boil water to purify it, reducing the use of firewood and other carbon fuels and lowering the spread of waterborne diseases. Our support for these filters has provided millions of liters of clean water for well over 1,000 families.
In Ranthambhore, India, Kenya’s Masai Mara and South Africa’s Kruger National Park, biogas and solar stove projects have reduced the need for villages to collect firewood, in turn helping to reduce deforestation, limit conflict with wildlife and tackle health issues related to smoke inhalation.
Solar lighting introduced to ranger stations and checkpoints in a number of India’s national parks has replaced ineffective and more polluting kerosene lighting to allow better policing of the parks.