In January 2020, Joro Experiences became a signatory of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, a global community of 147 travel businesses and individuals who have declared a climate emergency, joining forces to find solutions. In doing so, we committed to a number of measures designed to make our impact on the planet a positive one.
Written by Duncan Over
The past twelve months has seen our global community battle with a different emergency which has gripped the world and turned the tourism industry as we know it on its head. Whilst at times this has felt all-consuming, we are acutely aware that climate change has not simply taken a back seat and we know we must act now if we are to play a positive role in the climate revolution.
It has now been a year since we made five commitments as part of our pledge to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and we are proud to share our progress.
Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’.
We have now enacted our Climate Emergency Plan, as outlined below:
1 – MEASURE
We are measuring the carbon output of all our trips using the CARMACAL Carbon Calculator. We are recording each output which will help us assess our progress in minimising carbon emission over the next 5 years.
We are also measuring the carbon footprint of our home offices and have developed a best practice guide for measuring and reducing each of our travel designer’s carbon footprint.
2 – REDUCE
We have committed to reducing the carbon footprint of every experience we create.
Before presenting a proposal, we run a full sustainability check on every element – ensuring we are always outlining the most socially and environmentally friendly options to our clients.
We will only work with hotels and suppliers that can demonstrate sustainability best practices relating to their home environment.
We have always advocated ‘slow travel’ and localised experiences, which is reflected in our range of slow travel concept experiences.
3 – GOOD BUSINESS
We are now a certified B Corp Business. This means we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our team, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
We operate a paper-free business. All our itineraries, tickets and travel documents are delivered digitally by email or WhatsApp.
We are climate activists ourselves. We encourage and support guides and the entire travel industry to participate in climate action at higher levels.
In 2020 we founded The Conscious Travel Foundation, a non-profit organisation designed to unite and educate members of the global tourism industry on how to harness the power of travel and use it as a force for good.
4 – INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION
We are documenting and recording sustainability success stories through the Stories page on our website and our social media channels.
We have placed more of an emphasis on client education – ensuring our clients are always aware of the issues facing the country they are exploring, and how their trip has been designed to have a positive impact on their destination.
During and after every trip, our clients now have an opportunity to give back through the support of local charitable organizations and projects.
We have produced a guide for our clients that outlines how to travel more sustainability which is available to download from our client portal.
We are committed to publicly sharing our progress, updating our peers and partners on an annual basis. We will use our company website to share our journey with both the local and international community (https://www.joroexperiences.com).
5 – ADVOCACY & COLLABORATION
We will continue to encourage and enable our current suppliers to adopt climate-friendly practices, and include such criteria when choosing new ones by sending them periodical bulletins outlining our expectations and policies.
We will encourage suppliers and partners to make their own declaration through Tourism Declares.
We will be open to connecting with other Tourism Declares partners to share best practices.
We will be open-minded to revisiting and examining our policies and practices for their validity and effectiveness.
6 – FINANCE
There will always be a certain level of carbon emissions that we can not avoid. In this case, we will compensate by participating in carbon-neutral programs and support conservation and rewilding projects.
We offset double the entire carbon footprint of every trip that we run through our friends at Chooose. We do this by investing in reforestation and community development projects in Cambodia, Kenya and the Madre de Dios region of Peru
Share Our Commitment and Progress Publicly
We remain committed to publishing an annual report outlining our successes and failures, sharing our story with Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and the B Corporation community. You can find our environmental impact assessment on the B Corp website and we will be publishing our first official Carbon Footprint report in December 2021.
Cut Carbon Emissions
Now that we are able to effectively and accurately measure the carbon footprint of each of our trips, we can clearly see the benefits of our carbon-cutting procedures. We will continue to develop these procedures and remain committed to accelerating our own emission reductions in line with the IPPC advice stating that the world needs to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.
We are committed to being open and honest, publicly sharing our successes and failures so that we might help others on their own individual journeys. Collaboration and sharing of information with our partners and the wider tourism industry is the key to spreading the message far and wide, increasing our impact and reaching our goals by acting as a vector for change.
Advocate For Change
At Joro, our focus has always been on creating unique adventures that have an inherently positive impact on communities, cultures, landscapes and wildlife across the globe. By focussing on slow travel and working with suppliers that share our ethos, we are able to effectively measure our carbon footprint and keep it as low as feasibly possible.
However, we recognise travel in its very nature is reliant on aviation, transport and will always be subject to an inevitable level of carbon emissions. It is therefore our responsibility to continually challenge the way we (and our suppliers) operate, to decrease and mitigate this as much as we can.
With that in mind, our aim is to continue to cut our carbon emissions, spread the word to our peers through our work with The Conscious Travel Foundation and lobby for industry change – helping create a paradigm shift to a lower carbon future for both the tourism and aviation industries.
Duncan is the Co-founder and Director of Operations at Joro Experiences. He has pledged to make Joro a leader in sustainable travel and has been developing the company as such since its inception.