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Tourlane Sustainability FAQ

Learn more about our offsetting plan for 2020

Starting in 2020, Tourlane will offset every customer's carbon emissions generated during a trip from flights, accommodation, vehicle transportation, and food without any extra cost.

Why does it matter?

"If we don’t urgently change our way of life, we jeopardise life itself." - UN Secretary General, December 2019. Everyone has to do something. Immediacy and urgency is paramount. For us, supporting carbon offset initiatives and enhancing environmental friendly actions of travelers around the world is a first-step toward contributing to our planet’s conservation.

Why should you it matter to me?

Worldwide the goal was to stay under a +2ºC threshold of a warmer earth way back in 1996. Unfortunately we all talked about doing something toward this but very few actually did anything. So the threshold now to avoid catastrophe is down to +1.5º. If that sounds dire, it's because it is. We have to reduce our global CO2 emissions by 50% before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to stay within our global carbon budget. We are not doing it fast enough. Technology investments and government regulations or adaptations are very unlikely to solve this alone. All of us need to change our consumption habits, our business practices, and make adjustments to our lifestyle.

What is carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). In other words: When you drive a car, the engine burns fuel which creates a certain amount of CO2, depending on its fuel consumption and the driving distance. (CO2 is the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide). When you heat your house with oil, gas or coal, then you also generate CO2. Even if you heat your house with electricity, the generation of the electrical power may also have emitted a certain amount of CO2. When you buy food and goods, the production of the food and goods also emitted some quantities of CO2.

What does climate neutral mean?

It means we are confident we are offsetting the entirety of all carbon emissions produced as a result of your trip with Tourlane. It doesn't mean we didn't produce the carbon emissions. And to be clear, it would be ideal to not create carbon emissions at all when traveling. That's in line with our, and a growing list of others in the travel industry, near-term goals: offset emissions while we work to reduce them and move towards eliminating as many as possible through things like biofuels, renewable energy, and locally sourced products. We are glad offsets can bridge the gap now.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you calculate the flight portion?

This is an estimate of our average flight's carbon emissions per customer. We took the percentage distribution of where our customers went in 2019, used the longest flight segment to those destinations, then factored those segments into the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) flight emission calculator. That gave us a weighted average per passenger emission calculation of 1.1897 tons per round trip flight which we then rounded up to 1.19 tons.

How do you calculate the land portion?

The land portion is an estimate of the average day and night carbon emissions per customer. It covers: vehicle travel per day, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), waste, and accommodation. To get more specific, we used land factors for nine different regions around the world. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) publishes an annual list of global hotel emission factors (under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - BEIS) that we used for the calculation. We then factored in the percentage distribution of where our customers went in 2019 and we arrived at 0.059 tons (or 59kg) of CO2e per person per day.

How are the carbon emissions going to be offset?

Through specifically chosen, vetted, and certified carbon offset projects in different parts of the world. An important term is additionality, meaning these carbon positive projects would not have been possible without the development of these projects. Learn more here [insert link to co-branded page]

Are these estimates or actual carbon emissions?

It's an estimate. There are many different variables and we took the highest estimates among key variables (e.g. distance traveled and type of vehicle). This should mean we won't be surprised at the end of 2020 and that your estimates are at the higher end. As an example, for European customers going to Africa we used a flight from Frankfurt to Capetown as our estimate instead of say a flight from Paris to Nairobi.

So these are estimates, when will you know the actuals?

We will regularly assess our estimates versus actuals throughout the year with the goal of publishing a Sustainability Report at the end of 2020. We are also going to continuously improve our offerings, our data, and our company-wide emissions so an average makes sense right now. Additionally because you may choose to take a bus instead of driving yourself on one portion of your trip. Or you may hire a Hybrid vehicle instead of a diesel engine. We expect to include this level of detail in our calculations for actual emissions.

How many tons of CO2e will Tourlane offset in total?

We estimate 100,000 tons of CO2e for 2020 and that is what we have committed to and invested in already.

What if I already purchased carbon offsets?

Thank you for doing more for the planet! We will offset all our customer trips regardless.

What if the airline already offset my flights?

Thank you for doing more for the planet! We will still go ahead and offset the entirety of your trip. The bonus for doing more is all yours. Thank you!

Will this cost me extra?

No. This comes out of Tourlane's operating budget.

What are the different initiatives out there and why didn’t you choose to plant trees for example?

In our opinion, doing something positive and with an impact is a good thing. We thought about planting trees and there are good reforestation projects out there. It's also a needed measure. The problem we see is that it is too slow by itself. It takes years for a forest to grow to a healthy size and that can be undone by a regulation change at the country level or an increased need for logging or land. There's an urgency to our efforts. And our forest project has a protection element. Keeping the mature growth forests that are out there is very important. We are focusing on one in Zimbabwe where the political winds of change could see it drastically reduced without our efforts.

What are airlines already doing to reduce their impact on the planet?

Some are doing more than others, and we are investigating ways of highlighting to our customers the better airlines in this space. Airlines with newer planes, less short-haul flights, and less first and business class seating will have better per passenger CO2 emission numbers. Going further, airlines investing in biofuel technology and national carriers whose countries signed up to the UN's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will be doing more. Thankfully, over 75% of the international aviation industry has voluntarily signed up for this before implantation. Want to know if your country signed up or learn more, check it out here.

Is there anything else I can do?

Yes! Besides looking at ways to reduce your daily vehicle commute, considering non-flight options for distances under 1000km, and eating less meat you can visit our carbon offset partner page and offset your entire year's worth of carbon! Or the carbon you produced from your last vacation or business trip.

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