February 13th 2003 - Exactly 20 years ago to this day SwimTrek was founded!
The past 20 years have been an adventure like no other. We've met masses of wildlife along the way, launched trips to places no one had ever really swum before us, and, finally, here we are 20 years later in a moment of reflection.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have been joined by thousands of you over the years exploring this incredible planet, but at the same time, as our business and global swimming community have grown, so has our impact.
In the 20 years since SwimTrek has been operating, the world around us has changed dramatically. Global temperatures have risen on average ½ a degree and the trajectory that climate change continues to take is on a path toward irreversible change (Our World in Data), with greenhouse gas concentrations (GHG’s) at their highest levels in 2million years (UN Climate Change).
Since 2003 we have also lost 12-13% of the worlds’ biodiversity (Our world in data, Biodiversity loss) . This dramatic decline has far-ranging implications for the future of life on our planet.
Global Average Temperature | Source: Our World in Data
Living Planet Index | Source: Our World in Data
Alongside these challenges the pollution continues to escalate with devastating impacts on environments and marine species. The production of plastic alone has more than doubled in the last 20 years, with over 8 million Tonnes of this entering the ocean each year (Our world in data, Plastic Pollution).
Whilst awareness of these global challenges is not new, human action is not changing nor moving at the pace required to afford change. From Biodiversity loss, rising global temperatures from climate change and the increase in oceanic pollution, the challenges are vast and the issues far reaching. We are not under any illusion that SwimTrek alone cannot change the course. However, immersing ourselves in the open water environment, we bear first-hand witness to the change humanity is creating and we are all too aware that we must do our utmost to ensure we do not contribute to environmental decline.
Many things have changed since those early years of SwimTrek, what is more apparent to us than ever before is the need for us to proceed into our future decades with a steadfast dedication to Responsible Travel. We are all borne from a passion for the escape and connection with the natural world that open water swimming provides. We view this as a privilege rather than an innate right. We are inextricably linked to the open water environment and all too aware that if we still wish to enjoy these natural wonders in 20 years’ time, the opportunity for change and action is long overdue.
We alone can't fix the state of our blue planet, but we can try to do something. As global citizens, in a changing world, we are fortunate to explore some of the most incredible environments, both above and below water, which characterize our Earth. With this in mind, we endeavor to act responsibly and conscientiously as stewards of the environments in which we swim.
The Next 20 Years
Over the year we will be implementing Sustainability Initiatives in dedication to our 20 years of operation that aim to focus on the way we as a business act. With these initiatives, we pledge to commit time and resources to reducing and controlling our impact on the Environment. We aim to create communities and capture the potential travel provides by improving the Social impacts of our organization at every stage. As a responsible business and employer, we will interrogate our organizations' Governance systems to ensure that we continue to lead the market in the sphere and hold ourselves accountable to our own goals. Those initiatives start today, with this plan, this pledge and this promise.
If you would like to learn more about how we intend to , please visit our Sustainability initiatives page...