We live in a world where ever more people have embraced travel as an essential part of their lives and self-expression to living a fulfilling life. Travel has played an undeniable part in global warming and we feel we have an important role in offering our clients low-impact ways to travel and explore the world. We take our responsibilities seriously and RAW Travel is continually assessing its operations and taking action to minimize its carbon footprint and emissions that come as a result of our activities.
Whilst we are fortunate in that our core activity of walking trips is generally speaking the lowest impact form of traveling, there are still effects we must take into account as we provide vehicle transfers, accommodation and meals for our walkers. In addition, there are our behind-the-scenes operations to organize the trips and looking at how we can provide the most efficient and least wasteful way of delivering this service without compromising the experience for our travelers. We believe in a journey of continuous improvement and we take pride in matching our traveler’s desire to explore the world in a sustainable way that’s good for people and the planet.
As part of our climate-positive commitment, we are a founding signatory of Tourism Declares (link: www.tourismdeclares.com), a network of leading travel companies and individuals around the world coming together to declare a climate emergency. Together we are publicly committing to accelerate our emission reductions in line with the advice from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which calls for a 55% cut in global carbon emissions below 2017 levels by 2030.
We look forward to welcoming you on this journey with us!
Dave & Melinda Reynolds
Carbon Zero by 2024
We are aiming for RAW to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024 and thereafter to become carbon positive: by removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than what we emit. Like any journey worth taking there are a number of steps we need to take to reach the destination and these are outlined on this page. The first step is always in measuring what impacts we are having with our operations.
This is something we had started with audits in 2019 but the Pandemic’s severe impacts and disruptions to travel meant we have to start again in 2022. Not only could we not travel on the International trips we’d audited but we had to invent over 40 new trips in Australia and New Zealand to compensate! We are however still confident we can achieve carbon neutrality by 2024 by measuring and carbon offsetting all our operations.
How and what do we measure?
Greenhouse gas emissions are categorised into three groups or ‘Scopes’ by the most widely-used international accounting tool, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, heating and cooling consumed by the company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.
- Scope 1: Our vehicles used to transport customers and their luggage.
- Scope 2: The electricity we purchase for company operations and office heating/cooling.
- Scope 3: The accommodation we use, meals purchased, any documentation produced to support a trip.
Reducing our impacts timetable
How do we cut our emissions?
In 2019 we start measuring our impacts and taking actions to reduce waste and emissions:
- Our head office operations were all assessed and comprehensive recycling introduced, green power and power saving devices.
- We began assessing our trips with carbon audits through Tasman Environmental
- We eliminated single-use plastics in every instance save one (where a small plastic wrapping could not be replaced with a less impactful alternative)
- Garbage bags were replaced with compostable alternatives and we helped sponsor a ‘plastic-free’ places in our hometown of Mount Martha, Victoria along with staff volunteer days to clean up local beaches.
- We began our native tree planting campaigns in our local area
- Clean up trip with customers promoted for the Camino
- We attained B-Corp certification in late 2019
We implement a 2-year plan to eliminate documentation across all our trips and further reduce emissions:
- We have developed an in-house Walking App that takes the place of the printed paper documents we formerly sent clients ( which on a 45-day self-guided trip could be substantial). We also eliminated the document holders, luggage tags, phrasebooks and postage pouches which also accompanied these documents and replaced them with electronic solutions with less waste. We have stopped printing and posting brochures.
- After COVID suspensions we continue planting native trees , one for every client carried each year
- Our head office operations from 2020 have been replaced with remote working for our staff which has meant no daily commuting journeys for each staff member.
- Monthly talks which involved domestic business travel have been stopped
- We saw a retrograde step with the re-introduction of single-use plastic wrappers and bags from some suppliers due to covid concerns.
- Encouraging local suppliers to use less plastics, making changes where we could not effect these reduction requests
- January 2020 RAW Travel joins ‘Tourism declares a climate emergency’.
We aim to achieve carbon neutrality by fully offsetting all trips in all regions and our back-end operations.
- All trips are accurately audited and emissions paid for with a verified offset, which bring additional economic, social, and environmental benefits, including habitat and biodiversity protection
- Native tree planting program starts to take us towards carbon-positive territory, removing more C02 than we emit.
- Looking to purchase electric powered passenger van for local operations once they are available in Australia
- Head office operations re-established with green power, recycling of waste, energy efficient lighting and heating.
Climate emergency alliance
Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency All signatories have committed to these five actions:
- Develop a ‘ClimateEmergencyPlan’
- Share your commitment and progress publicly
- Cut carbon emissions through transparent, measurable and increasing reductions per trip
- Work together to encourage suppliers and partners to make the same declaration
- Advocate for change across the industry and call for urgent regulatory action to accelerate the transition towards zero carbon air travel.