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Carbon neutral travel

Explore has committed to carbon offsetting all trips, including flights, accommodation and transport, from 1 January 2020. Read more about what we’re doing and why.
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What are we doing?

We’re carbon offsetting all trips booked with us from 1 January 2020. Working with ClimateCare allows us to act immediately while we implement our long-term strategies for sustainable travel.

Our carbon plan follows a recognised hierarchy of action: measuring the current carbon output of all our trips (including the accommodation, the transport and the flights that are booked with us), reducing this output where we can, and then offsetting any residual emissions. Our Head Office already operates with zero-waste-to-landfill and renewable energy, and will also be carbon neutral in 2020.

Explore is one of the few tour operators with a clear plan to be truly carbon neutral. 
 

Why?

There is a climate emergency. We know that tourism is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon footprint, and that 'sustainability' means we must protect the planet for future generations. Our new offsetting programme is just part of our ongoing work to reduce the carbon output of our trips and reduce our footprint around the world. 

While we acknowledge that carbon offsetting should not be a 'band aid solution' for all overseas travelling, we believe that by working with the right partner offsetting provides that short-to-medium-term solution as the industry moves towards net zero territory. Offsetting can open discussions, build cooperation and most crucially support local communities around the world.   

How?

A lot of companies - including travel companies - claim to carbon offset, or even to be carbon neutral or carbon positive, but it can be a vague claim. People talk about tonnes of carbon, but this means little to the average traveller booking a trip to Morocco. It's important to us that our claim to be carbon neutral is as transparent and as robust as we can make it. 

Explore is proud to be working with ClimateCare, the UK's highest-ranked B-corp. We did not cut any corners when choosing our climate partners, and neither will we when analysing our carbon output. With our flights, we have calculated the carbon emitted for each trip based on the worst-case scenario. We've based our flight contributions on the furthest airport in each region, and on indirect flights (more stops, and therefore more take-offs, means more carbon) as standard. We’ve also applied a multiplier of 1.9 to flights, to take into account the extra impact of carbon emissions released at altitude.

We also offset the carbon emitted by accommodation and transport in destination. We’ve looked at the duration of our trips and over-estimated when calculating the expected emissions. For any trip less than a week, we’ve assumed emissions for a seven day trip. For trips 7-14 days, we’ve assumed two weeks’ emissions, and 14-21 days assumed three weeks’ emissions. We’ve also allowed an additional 10% buffer - so in fact we will be carbon positive. 
 

Who is covering the cost?

Our trip prices now include the cost of offsetting the whole trip. On an average trip with flights, this equates to less than £10 per person. And, if you book an Explore holiday without flights, you can use ClimateCare's calculator to offset your flights with them.

A seven-night holiday in Turkey including flights would generate around 1.25 tonnes of carbon per person, while a two-week flight-inclusive trip to South Africa would be roughly 4 tonnes of CO2.  

 

Who are ClimateCare?

The climate experts at ClimateCare deliver some of the largest and most successful carbon offset programmes in the world. Their expert team has helped us to select a portfolio of projects that not only deliver robust carbon reductions, but which deliver positive impacts for local communities too.

Carbon reductions from all the projects we support worldwide have been independently verified by the Gold Standard, so we can be sure that the carbon reductions are real and verifiable. The Gold Standard was established by the WWF, and other international NGOs, in 2003 to ensure that carbon reduction projects adhere to the highest levels of environmental integrity.

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