At Tourlane, we want to make travel more sustainable. This is important to us as we are convinced that through travel people get to know other cultures and understand each other better – one of the prerequisites for growing together as a global society and standing up for a more sustainable world.
Broadly sustainability refers to meeting the present's needs without limiting future generations' opportunities. For us at Tourlane, being ecologically focused and socially responsible involves the following:
Being a member and frequent contributor of the “Leaders for Climate Action” Community, we are joining forces with other leaders to push sustainability efforts in the travel industry, work on roadmaps, case studies, and campaigns.
Supporting Climate Changemakers Europe, we hosted an activist event to learn and advocate for the EU Green Deal specifically on sustainable mobility, biodiversity, clean energy, and sustainable industry & finance.
Living up to our responsibility as a company, we encourage and support our team members to participate in climate strikes, and climate neutrality campaigns, collect signatures and donations for causes, make each other aware of local projects that push positive change, join clean-up programs, and jointly donate for selected sustainable development projects around the world.
We are using Imagine for recruiting and have team members acting as career coaches for this NGO that is trying to overcome the problem that talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
We are the first Travel Provider in the EU to set approved 1.5°C Science Based Targets by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement.
By the end of 2022, we have eliminated 51% of our Scope 1 & 2 emissions, from a 2019 base year. To get there, we are using 100% renewable electricity for our office from Polarstern.
At the end of 2022, around one-third of our local partners are tracking their carbon footprint and holding sustainability-related certifications.
Since 2019, we have eliminated over 83% of the materials and documents we physically mail out to customers.
We use Rail&Fly tickets in an effort to avoid carbon-intensive car or taxi trips and short-haul flights.
We have a robust and simple animal welfare policy: We do not promote or sell activities where wild animals are ridden, fed, or caged.
We have supplier standards focusing on labor conditions, equity, human rights, and customer and staff safety that are written in every supplier contract.
Flights make up approximately 57 % of our CO2 footprint. As other means of transportation reduce emissions, the aviation industry still has structural challenges to overcome, namely limited investment in more sustainable aviation fuel, infrastructure overhaul, current battery limitations, and enhanced global regulations to spur faster changes. At this stage, Tourlane seeks to eliminate every unnecessary flight and encourage and support traveling for a longer period to make the most of every flight taken.
Ground transportation makes up approximately 23 % of our CO2 footprint. We calculate for every trip depending on the type of vehicle (e.g. EV, Hybrid, or combustion engine). We are improving our calculations, urging our suppliers to offer more EVs & Hybrids, and informing customers about the ubiquity of EV-charging infrastructure in many destinations.
Accommodations & hotels make up approximately 18 % of our CO2 footprint. We currently aggregate our accommodation footprint based on the country visited even though the majority of our inventory has eco-friendly elements. We need to label our most-used inventory, better highlight our eco-fabulous accommodation options, and improve less sustainable options.
Remote work and energy use at home make up about 1 % of our CO2 footprint. This is a minor portion of our total footprint – though it has increased since 2019. Currently, about 25% of our staff use renewable energy at home. We will continue to encourage and support the transition to renewable energy.
The travel partners who are already calculating and reporting their carbon footprint represent about 27 % of our booking volume in 2023. To make a bigger impact on our overall footprint, we need to continue to encourage our existing partners to report and reduce emissions. To give you some background here: There are more than 50 different types of eco or sustainable rating systems in the tourism industry and not all of them address decarbonization. At least 15 are recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). As their certification is more robust, we aim for our partners to achieve it.
We are looking at all our suppliers too. Some of our suppliers, like cloud services, are making significant sustainable investments to improve. Others like our banking partners and IT purchases are not the most sustainable choice available. We are regularly looking at these to determine the best options that work for us.
To us, it is our responsibility to advocate for the topics important to us and our industry. Advocacy could be going to a global climate strike, signing a petition, involving your network, or writing your elected representative to urge them to do more for the climate. It is also where you spend your money, where you invest your time and resources, and who you choose as your partners.
Julian Weselek, founder and CEO of Tourlane, is a flagship supporter of the non-profit organization Leaders for Climate Action. This initiative from over 100 founders and managing directors is now over 3000 strong across 40+ countries and focused on collaboration, decarbonization, and advocacy.
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. Tourlane is the first travel provider in the EU to set 1.5°C Science Based Targets by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement – approved by the SBTi.
Tourlane is a signatory to the Future of Tourism organization's Guiding Principles for Tourism's New Future. These include the application of sustainability standards in travel design, collaborative destination management, and the guarantee that investments benefit local communities and that all tourism costs are also weighed in terms of local tax burdens, environmental and social impacts.
Back in 2019, Tourlane was introduced to ClimatePartner and their Corporate Carbon Footprint calculation tool. Tourlane has used this tool to calculate our carbon footprint every year since. These calculations are then used to support Tourlane’s industry-leading Science Based Targets initiative.
Initiated and organized by Leaders for Climate Action, Tourlane supports an annual campaign for climate protection measures. Every Earth Day, our joint efforts reach more than 100 million people. Learn more about the campaign here.
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