TORONTO — The Travel Corporation has redoubled its commitment to sustainable and regenerative tourism, alongside its 40 brands.
The company’s How We Tread Right (HWTR), is a brand new 5-year sustainability strategy that includes 11 goals designed to advance TTC’s efforts to address climate change, overtourism and animal welfare.
The strategy outlines initiatives to strengthen efforts that address sustainable food production, responsible consumption and diversity and inclusion.
“Our comprehensive How We Tread Right strategy is the progressive commitment to sustainability and the planet that TTC and our travel brands must make right now to achieve our 11 goals and be accountable for our impact,” said Brett Tollman, chief executive of TTC.
“Never before has our industry been faced with so many challenges, many of which are directly tied to the heavy environmental footprint on the planet. At TTC, we believe that sustainability is critical to the return of our business post-COVID-19,” he added.
A core component of the strategy is the launch of the industry-first Make Travel Matter (MTM) Experiences. This proprietary assessment tool measures each experience against criteria that take direction from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Most importantly, TTC’s brands including Insight Vacations, Trafalgar, Contiki, Uniworld, Luxury Gold and Red Carnation can use the MTM Experiences tool to focus precisely on tour experiences that have a positive impact on destinations and directly advance the UN’s SDGs.
The tool has been endorsed by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and enables TTC teams to identify which UN Global Goal a potential MTM Experience aligns with as an assurance to travellers on the positive impact of the experience. An experience must meet the criteria associated with at least one Global Goal in order to be labelled a Make Travel Matter Experience and can advance up to two Global Goals. The complete set of qualifying criteria is available on TTC’s MTM Experiences webpage.
The ultimate aim? TTC says it is committed to integrate at least one Make Travel Matter Experience on 50% of all itineraries by 2025, ensuring that TTC’s return to travel is mutually beneficial to both travellers and hosts.
TTC’s guided travel brands alone offer in excess of 1,500 unique itineraries worldwide which have laid the foundation for the company to integrate these new experiences benefitting people, the planet and wildlife around the world – TreadRight’s three focus pillars.
“Our personal choices matter and travel connects directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, so with this tool you can really make a difference and see the positive impact of sustainable tourism in the environment, protecting our ecosystem, our assets, and especially wildlife, while at the same time providing a significant positive social impact,” says Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC.
The TreadRight Foundation’s launch of How We Tread Right (HWTR) includes Céline Cousteau, activist and filmmaker; Sarain Fox, Indigenous storyteller and activist and Ami Vitale, National Geographic photographer – to share how travel has impacted their lives, as travellers look to them to learn how they can make their travels matter. The video is available on TreadRight’s YouTube channel here.
Among the 11 HWTR goals included in the strategy, one critical step is the company’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner. TTC says it intends to drawdown its direct emissions through conservation and technology, investing in clean energy, low-emissions transportation and innovation.
Leading the charge is Xigera Safari Lodge, part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, which will open in Botswana in December 2020 and run on nearly 100% solar power, while TTC’s guided travel and FIT brands, such as Contiki and Trafalgar, have measured the carbon footprint of their trips and will announce roll out plans later in the year.
In its entirety, HWTR has committed to achieving the following by the close of 2025:
- Goal 1: Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner
- Goal 2: Source 50% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025
- Goal 3: Reduce food waste by 50% across all hotels and ships by 2025
- Goal 4: Increase use of local and organic products in our supply chain by 2025
- Goal 5: Reduce printed brochures by 50% by 2025
- Goal 6: Eliminate as many unnecessary single use plastics from our operations and itineraries by 2022
- Goal 7: Include at least one Make Travel Matter Experience on 50% of all itineraries by 2025
- Goal 8: Achieve a 20% increase of itineraries visiting developing regions by specialist brands by 2025
- Goal 9: Increase employee and market sentiment regarding diversity and inclusion across our brands
- Goal 10: Complete 30,000 volunteer hours by 2025
- Goal 11: Ensure all wildlife experiences across TTC brands adhere to our Animal Welfare Policy by 2021