At SwimTrek, we are fortunate enough to travel to some of the most beautiful environments on our planet. We are incredibly conscious of the fact that the onus is on us to strive to ensure our trips, and our business, run in an environmentally responsible manner, limiting our impact on the ecosystems we visit.
Our business is founded on the idea of possibility and the excitement that adventure and exploration brings. It is our responsibility to ensure that we go about this in a conscientious way, taking our guests on this journey with us. We do not have all the answers, but aim to continuously improve our global operations to be an active part of this movement. Find out more below about how we plan to improve our operations and develop our global partnerships, ensuring we continue to be a positive presence in the communities and environments we value so much.
We have committed ourselves to the goal of becoming Carbon Neutral by 2023. We will do this in a number of ways, following the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessments (IEMA) strategies for greenhouse gas reductions.
1 - Firstly, we will eliminate (where possible) any and ALL operations that produce greenhouse gases that can be replaced by cleaner processes or technologies.
2 – If elimination is not possible, we WILL (as much as is operationally possible) reduce our usage of all practices that generate emissions.
3 – When and where possible we WILL substitute any and ALL operations that produce greenhouse gas emissions, instead offering viable and available alternatives.
4 – Finally, if elimination, reduction, or substitution is not achievable, we WILL compensate any negative emissions that are still present in our operations. We will do this by engaging in carbon offsetting schemes with the goal of not only becoming carbon neutral, but carbon positive.
B Corp certification
We have begun our process to become B Corp certified with an aim to be fully certified by 2022. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, as well as legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Working with local businesses and communities
Our aim is not only to enjoy and explore a new amazing destination, but to engage with people who know the place better than any visitor can. The local businesses and communities that we work with make the SwimTrek experience what it is. Recruiting, training and operating with more and more local guides we aim to invest in these communities. We are taking small steps to bring about long term change by engaging with suppliers to improve operating practices and limiting the negative effect on the environment.
Developing our global partnerships
There are a number of fantastic organisations that focus their aims on tackling the various challenges our global environment currently faces. Rather than re-invent the wheel, we will strategically develop our partnerships with ethical and responsible organisations that align with our vision of ethically enjoying our planet.
We aim to join in with a global advocacy movement of responsible tour operators, using our social media platforms to generate awareness and community engagement, highlighting initiatives aimed at tackling global environmental challenges.
Ethical and responsible travel
Over the years, our operations have steadily moved toward ensuring our practices are ethical and responsible. Where possible, we are removing ALL single use plastics from all locations. Step by step, we are transitioning our preferred supplier contracts to companies that can provide a transparent and environmentally conscious supply chain, right from production.
Our trips give us the chance and opportunity to encounter many of the wonders nature has to display. At all times, our teams take care to limit our impact on any life we meet, whether in the water or on land. The onus of 'taking only photos and leaving only splashes' is a core sentiment that we as international visitors to our locations must always embody.
Sustainable development goals
The only way that international travel can continue to exist, in this interrelated and interdependent world, is by every travel provider and every guest engaging in a global concern for the environment. We must recognize the awesome potential of the planet we inhabit, but just as importantly we must also appreciate our environmental limits. At SwimTrek we align our business development and strategic growth with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).
8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth: Tourism, as services trade, is one of the top four export earners globally, currently providing one in ten jobs worldwide. Decent work opportunities in tourism, particularly for youth and women, and policies that favour better diversification through tourism value chains can enhance tourism positive socio-economic impacts.
11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities: Tourism can advance urban infrastructure and accessibility, promote regeneration and preserve cultural and natural heritage, assets on which tourism depends.
12 - Responsible Consumption and Production: The tourism sector needs to adopt sustainable consumption and production (SCP) modes, accelerating the shift towards sustainability. Tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for tourism including for energy, water, waste, biodiversity and job creation will result in enhanced economic, social and environmental outcomes.
13 - Climate Action: Tourism contributes to and is affected by climate change. Tourism stakeholders should play a leading role in the global response to climate change. By reducing its carbon footprint, in the transport and accommodation sector, tourism can benefit from low carbon growth and help tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
14 - Life Below Water: Coastal and maritime tourism rely on healthy marine ecosystems. Tourism development must be a part of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile marine ecosystems and serve as a vehicle to promote a blue economy, contributing to the sustainable use of marine resources.
15 - Life On Land: Rich biodiversity and natural heritage are often the main reasons why tourists visit a destination. Tourism can play a major role if sustainably managed in fragile zones, not only in conserving and preserving biodiversity, but also in generating revenue as an alternative livelihood to local communities.
Read more about the SDG's and discover how businesses and individuals can engage in a global movement toward sustainable change: https://tourism4sdgs.org/