The Travel Corporation Unveils Plan to Go Carbon-Neutral By 2030

In celebration of Earth Day (April 22), a slew of travel companies has shared their plans to become more eco-friendly. This week, The Travel Corporation announced a five-step “Climate Action Plan” to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“As members of the global travel industry, The Travel Corporation (TTC) recognizes its role and responsibility in creating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through its trips and operations. The need for both travelers and businesses to take action to address GHG emissions and climate change becomes clearer and more urgent every day,” the company said in a press statement.

To further support the transition to a low-carbon future, TTC and its TreadRight Foundation are investing in two nature-based carbon removal solutions, Project Vesta and GreenWave. TreadRight has also launched a new “Impact Hub” in an effort to be transparent as to progress made at TTC and its family of brands against the groups’ 11 sustainability goals, while also providing tips to travelers on how they can help.  

Climate change is directly linked to an increase in GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Globally, a reported 51 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions are emitted annually.  TTC’s “Climate Action Plan” addresses Goals No. 1 and No. 2 of its five-year sustainability strategy, “How We Tread Right,” which target the carbon footprint of its business. The goals commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and to sourcing 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources across the organization by 2025. This includes TTC’s 20-plus offices, 18 Red Carnation Hotels, 13 Uniworld ships, six accommodations/facilities, 500-plus vehicles and more than 1,500 itineraries operated worldwide by its 40 brands including Contiki, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Uniworld.

Since the launch of its first sustainability strategy in 2015, TTC has invested in energy conservation and reducing its environmental impact across its portfolio of brands. The new “Climate Action Plan” builds on TTC’s progress and its commitment to continual improvement. Advancements to date include the installation of solar panels in 2020 at the Uniworld head office in Encino, CA, the implementation of a 400kW Tesla plant supplying over 95 percent of Xigera Safari Lodge’s energy, which opened December 2020 as part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and the recent shift to 100 percent renewable electricity by Contiki’s Chateau De Cruix and Haus Schöneck, as well as Red Carnation Hotel’s Ashford Castle, which sits on a 350-acre property. 

Looking forward, TTC has committed to carbon-neutral offices and business travel beginning January 1, 2022, through its partnership with offset provider South Pole. On the same timeline, Contiki will move a step ahead to become a completely carbon-neutral business, meaning unavoidable emissions from all trips departing as of January 1, 2022 will be offset going forward.

The Travel Corporation’s Climate Action Plan consists of five points:

  1. Measure – Measure the emissions from its business and trips
  2. Reduce – Build on reduction efforts and set ambitious reduction targets by mid-2022
  3. Remove – Through the TreadRight Foundation, invest in new technology and nature-based solutions to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere
  4. Offset – Purchase carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions, including phasing in carbon neutral trips between 2022 to 2030
  5. Evolve – Continue to learn from others, invest in new technologies and support strategic alliances that enable TTC and the industry to move to a low-carbon economy

TTC’s TreadRight Foundation will action Point Three of its “Climate Action Plan” in 2021 through an investment of $100,000 into two developing permanent carbon-removal projects. Project Vesta aims to accelerate the natural process of weathering to permanently store carbon into rock. GreenWave is studying how kelp can be added to soil to increase its carbon storage potential, while decreasing harmful nitrous oxide emissions on regenerative farms.

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