We’ve been super busy over the months of June & July on the sustainability front so we’re combining the two! Normal monthly updates will resume next month but what a great few months it’s been since the last update, packed full of sustainability goodness and some fantastic progress towards the future vision we have as a business.
The main update this month in terms of the sustainability team at Adventure Base is that there has been a slight shuffle around, with myself (Tom) now working directly with Virginia, who is taking over responsibility of sustainability from Charlie.
Charlie is still involved but more so in an overseeing capacity, making the crucial calls when it comes to decisions that will impact the business. Welcome aboard Virginia!
Following on from last month, between Charlie and myself we looked a little further afield over the next 7-8 years at some of the projects we have a business and what impact that would have over the cost to reach out net-zero ambition. It’s important to remember here that as the business scales its revenue, this ultimately means we are running more adventures and therefore are responsible for a larger amount of scope three emissions as a result.
Once we had a workable set of figures, I then started to investigate what sort of responsible offset initiatives currently existed and where possible, had some relation to the mission of Adventure Base, although this proved a little trickier than I first thought. Once I had identified a selection of initiatives from research, I then took the numbers we had agreed upon and looked at what the cost to the business would be in order to sustain our commitment to net-zero over the next 7-8 years.
It was interesting to see such a vast difference between certain initiatives based on similar mechanisms for off-set, which highlighted the fact there is still no standard being set for responsible offset.
Once we had the options available to us we then held a workshop with the entire operations team to ensure that everyone was appraised of the options we had for responsible offset, after all it’s important to have something the team can believe in and get behind as this will increase the impact.
We came out of that workshop with a clear winner and alignment of the team however a few days later, we were put in touch with the owner of one of the initiatives and we spoke further about their mission, that initiative being The Juniper Trust. Being in Chamonix at the time allowed me to meet directly with Glenn, the owner, and along with Virginia we investigated the trust a little further, asking some of the tougher questions to ensure that what he was proposing as Adventure Base’s responsible offset provider, was indeed just that.
In short, The Juniper Trust provide carbon offset through fruit tree planting initiatives in Nepal, providing not only a method of carbon sequestration but also providing local communities with a means to generate extra financial income through the lifetime harvesting of said trees.
For those who are reading this, please find a link to their website here where you can find out a little more.
We met with Charlie once we were satisfied that Glenn and his mission with The Juniper Trust were both aligned to ours as Adventure Base but also that his carbon offset initiative was meeting the commitments he had set out from the start. A short conversation later Charlie was onboard and was pleased to be working with Glenn in the near future. More to come in next month’s newsletter.
Project Sustainability – 2024 Season
We’ve also made some great progress over the past two months with what we’re calling project sustainability (cooler name coming soon). This is essentially a project comprising of all of the ideas and changes we’ve come up with over the past year that will enable Adventure Base to transition to a much more sustainable way of operating and covers some of the below:
- Better data collection & reporting for client travel emissions on all of our trips.
- The option of donating to our environmental cause at checkout.
- More information on each of our trip pages relating to sustainability, the carbon footprint and cost to offset responsibly.
- Better recommendations on where and how to rent equipment and clothing needed for our trips instead In an effort to reduce one time use purchases.
- The introduction of a sustainability fee for each of our products to help reduce the impact of scope 3 emissions.
- Better visibility of Adventure Bases sustainability targets and progress towards them via our website.
- A sustainability education piece included in the client onboarding packs.
- More to come!
We are aiming to have these tasks actioned for the start of the 2024 season & look forward to updating you on progress towards this in the near future.
Both Virginia and myself have been continuing work in the background, with the first few weeks spent getting Virginia up to speed on how B-Corp works and where we are with the journey.
We continue to focus on the governance section for now and have recently deployed some policies such as code of ethics, whistleblower & others. We have also been focusing on including some environmental metrics into the job descriptions we have to ensure people at all levels of the business hold accountability towards reaching our targets. As we slowly tick through each of the tasks, we are starting to look further afield into some of the other key areas such as environment & people.
While B-Corp is a worthwhile activity for us at Adventure Base, it’s important to note that it fundamentally challenges how we currently operate (which is a good thing) but ultimately will take time to enact some of these changes within the business as well.
That’s it for this month but I’m really excited to come back in August and tell you more about the progress with B-Corp and some of the other background work we’re charging ahead with!