May has been a busy month for sustainability and as ever, these newsletters aim to give transparency to both the progress we are making but also the decisions we are taking in the background to support our transition to a sustainable business.
Product Carbon Scores
Following on from our environmental impact we reported on in early February, throughout May we’ve been calculating the figures for each of our products individually. We’ve done this to enable our clients to have a clear understanding of the emissions they are creating when booking onto one of our trips but to also give us a baseline from which to improve upon.
Whether you’re a client from the USA or Europe, you will soon see a personalised carbon score for each of our products, which will be featured on the Adventure Base website.
What Could The Future Look Like?
To continue with the theme of data, we’ve also been looking at what the future of the adventure travel industry could look like if a transition to more sustainable ways of travel was achieved. This has always been a talking point between Charlie and myself and we were interested to see exactly what the difference would be based on our Mont Blanc climbing trip.
We took the total emissions that a single person from the UK emits on our Mont Blanc climbing trip and then duplicated this and changed any air-travel for train-travel. The results were telling, and we immediately saw a 30% reduction in emissions for that product. We then looked further afield at the second most pollutive activity that features within the travel industry; overnight hotel stays.
By switching to sustainable hotel providers for guests on the Mont Blanc climbing trip, we saw a further 30% reduction in emissions, giving us a total of 60% less emissions being produced. While this is fantastic, it also highlights one of the major issues that the travel and tourism industry is facing, which is the lagging infrastructure to support sustainable travel.
Taking trains from London to Chamonix is much more sustainable and produces significantly less emissions but takes on average 8 times longer and is 2 times more expensive than doing the same trip but via plane. Infrastructure to support the transition to sustainable tourism needs to be in place and advancing rapidly to meet the demand of a market, which we know is experiencing anabolic growth.
This month also saw a continuation of discussions between Charlie and myself on exactly what the business strategy should be to address the scope 3 emissions currently emitted. This presented some challenges as there is a fine balance to be struck between being responsible whilst also staying profitable as a business and that is especially prevalent within the first few years of a business starting to operate.
Both Charlie and myself are aligned that Adventure Base should take responsibility for scope 3 as it is morally the right thing to do and in conjunction we both agree that our approach to scope 3 emissions will have to scale as the business grows. What I mean by that is whilst committing 1% of annual revenue to environmental offset projects is fantastic, we also need to ensure that this doesn’t impact the growth the business can experience in the near term.
Our vision for this is starting to take shape and in the immediate term, I am looking at how our cost to off-set scope 3 will scale with the revenue of the business, from here we can make decisions informed by real tangible data. Debate is healthy and ensuring sustainability and business profitability can scale simultaneously is even healthier.
We’ve made some good progress on our B-Corp impact assessment and currently sit at 55.8 points, requiring a further 24.2 to meet the 80 needed to move onto the next stage. We have a clear roadmap to reaching those 80 points and look forward to updating you next month.
Looking forward to updating you all next month!