Combating Climate Change: 13 Travel Companies Doing Their Part

April 20, 2022
Kasi McGurk
9 min read

In 2022, combating climate change is on everyone’s minds. And, it’s inspiring to see the names of so many travel brands cropping up amongst leaders who are taking action in this space. They are finding innovative ways to lighten their global footprint and be part of the solution around sustainable travel.

We know that sustainable travel practices are critical for the longevity of the industry. But, being eco-friendly is also something that travelers are increasingly aware of.

As a result, many tourism businesses are including their climate change impact plans in their corporate social responsibility. It can help them attract more eco-conscious clients who share the same values, and it is necessary for building a more sustainable travel industry as a whole.

Let’s look at what these thirteen travel companies are doing to be more environmentally conscious. It may inspire you with ideas to implement in your own tourism business.

13 Travel Companies Combating Climate Change

1. Amity Tours 

Amity Tours

Amity Tours is a company that epitomizes conscientious travel. Based out of Chile (the Lake & Volcano District, Atacama Desert, and Patagonia), they have been a Zero Waste Company since 2003 and started a Carbon Reduction Plan.

The company offers travel experiences in some of the most picturesque corners of the Chilean territory. Their Family Adventure Tours and Conservation Tours include hiking and cycling routes along the Lake and Volcano districts, the Andes, and active volcanoes.

Working with a team of scientists and a local Mapuche community, Amity is working on a sustainable solution to offset its carbon footprint.

The overall aim is to reach carbon neutrality as a whole and educate the local community and their clients about the importance of environmental responsibility. That is the main reason they signed up for Tourism Declares, which is an initiative that takes purposeful actions to reduce carbon emissions by supporting tourism organizations.

This is as per the overall global plan to cut carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030

2. Intrepid Travel 

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is the world’s largest small-group adventure tour company. It’s also one of the most environmentally responsible travel companies focused on combating climate change.

Intrepid Travel offers thousands of tour itineraries all over the world. The travel company operates tours in over 120 countries and is all about providing authentic, small group travel experiences.

In terms of sustainability, Intrepid Travel has been a carbon-neutral business since 2010. The certified B Corporation focuses on carbon offsetting for all of their trips in order to become a climate-positive business. For a company that operates more than 2000 trips per day, this is an impressive feat.

Intrepid Travel has 42 carbon neutral offices and offsets thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

This travel giant is not only focused on environmental responsibility in its immersive travel experiences. The company also started the Intrepid Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that aims to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities around the world. The organization achieves this through skills training, creating jobs through community-based experiences, and lobbying for gender equality.

Overall, Intrepid Travel takes its social responsibility seriously. The company is a major global travel business, and it’s making an active difference in climate change and in various communities around the world.

3. Pura Adventure 

Pura Adventure

Pura Adventure is an Anglo-Spanish tour operator with an environmental mission. The tour company focuses its efforts on “personal and planet positive holidays”, which it achieved by carefully measuring the carbon footprint of each client per trip.

This is done by measuring all travel the client will take via air, boat, road, or train. Even if the client arranges these parts of their journey through Pura Travel or not, the tour operator will offset 160% of the carbon footprint. This makes Pura Adventure one of the most climate-positive tour companies in operation.

Pura Adventure is also a certified B Corporation. This means they are legally bound to follow through with their claims about combating climate change. They have various initiatives to help them achieve this.

The tour operator also helps to serve a greater purpose beyond just combating climate change. For example, the company commits a portion of its carbon credit to fund a rural community development project in Nicaragua.

4. Kynder 

Kynder

Kynder is a travel platform and directory specifically focused on creating a more environmentally friendly travel industry. The platform promotes and features a wide range of independent eco-friendly establishments around the world. This lets travelers use the platform to easily find hospitality establishments that are making an effort toward climate change.

Kynder includes accommodation options, restaurants, coffee shops, and tour experiences that focus on the environment and community upliftment. By choosing establishments and experiences through Kynder, travelers can enjoy unique tourism experiences while supporting environmentalism at the same time.

The platform uses a range of ethical and sustainable considerations for each listing. This includes following eco, ethical, and humane practices. Ratings are based on factors such as using organic or fair trade products, focusing on energy and water conservation, offering sustainable seafood and humanely-raised meats, sourcing local products, and meeting the platform’s ethical standards.

Kynder is a convenient solution for travelers who want to ensure they only support establishments that are making a positive environmental contribution.

5. G Adventures 

G Adventures

G Adventures is a small group tour operator that aims to make an environmental difference with every trip it organizes. The travel company offers a wide range of tours and experiences, mostly focused on wildlife and nature.

This includes experiences created in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute to create truly ethical wildlife-focused tours. G Adventures also partners up with National Geographic to offer responsible community-centric experiences.

One of the best things about booking a tour with G Adventures is the “Ripple Score” that the company uses. This is a score from 0 – 100 that is used to understand exactly how responsible each tour will be from the start.

This score is produced in partnership with the Planeterra Foundation (G Adventure’s not-for-profit partner) and it shows the percentage of money spent on each tour that stays within the local community.

6. Eco Explorations 

Eco Explorations

Another environmentally-friendly tour operator, Eco Explorations is focused on responsible tourism in the Philippines. The tour operator is combating climate change by creating travel experiences that focus on conserving the country’s natural heritage and biodiversity while supporting indigenous communities and improving the lives of local Filipino people.

Eco Explorations achieves its climate change mission by contributing toward reforestation and wildlife conservation projects with each of its tours. The travel company also helps to support and develop more environmentally-friendly local communities.

This is done through setting up sustainable livelihood projects or providing clean water to the partner communities the tour operator world with. Eco Explorations is also heavily focused on providing sources of renewable energy to communities without access to electricity.

The company achieves this through partnerships and has managed to install solar panels in mountainous communities where there was a lack of electricity.

7. Kudadoo Maldives 

Kudadoo Maldives

Here’s a unique example of combating climate change in the tourism industry. Kudadoo is a private island in the Maldives that houses an award-winning resort. The resort has not only been awarded the title of the world’s best new luxury hotel in 2018, but it also received the award for being the best sustainable resort.

Of course, the Kudadoo private island resort features an indulgent hotel with all of the luxuries travelers could imagine. At the same time, the resort has been designed with fully sustainable elements. It is completely solar-powered and provides a fully immersive nature experience.

Eco-friendliness is at the core of the resort’s policies, so guests can enjoy a luxurious stay without feeling any kind of eco guilt.

8. Up Norway 

Up Norway

Norway is one of the most sustainable countries in the world, and Up Norway is a travel company that highlights the most sustainable travel solutions that Norway has to offer. Up Norway is combating climate change by only working with environmentally and socially sustainable partners. Trips with this company are the cleanest, most responsible way to travel to the country.

Up Norway offers trips and experiences that are off the typical tourist trail. The company focuses on slow travel, nature, and highlighting the unspoiled Norwegian wilderness.

From sustainable salmon farming tours to traveling by kayak, Up Norway produces as low of a carbon footprint as possible.

9. Accor Hotels 

Accor Hotels

A major name in the travel and hospitality sector, Accor Hotels operates properties all around the world. The company is dedicated to taking action against climate change and has started the 21 Planet Program.

This program is designed to cut the hotel chain’s carbon footprint down to zero. The company is achieving this through building new hotels, or renovating existing ones, with low carbon-emitting and eco-friendly practices. This includes things like creating the hotel’s own on-site organic gardens and only offering eco-certified products.

10. Responsible Travel 

Responsible Travel

Based out of Brighton, Responsible Travel does exactly what its name suggests – provide environmentally-responsible options for travelers. Responsible Travel partners with over 450 travel companies who collectively offer a selection of 5000 eco-friendly trips and experiences.

Wherever in the world travelers plan on visiting, Responsible Travel will provide a sustainable tourism option. The company was also one of the earliest travel companies to offer carbon offsetting, which it introduced back in 2002. The company also regularly campaigns for positive changes in tourism.

Beyond just focusing on combating climate change through environmentally-friendly and conscious tours, Responsible Travel also actively works towards uplifting local communities and indigenous cultures.

Travelers that support Responsible Travel know that their money always goes towards supporting independent businesses that make a real impact on the environment and upliftment within destinations.

11. Regenerative Travel 

Regenerative Travel

Regenerative Travel provides experiences for eco-luxury holidays. This high-end travel company focuses on providing experiences that uplift the environment and make a positive environmental impact.

Every single high-end resort and travel provider that Regenerative Travel works with is specially chosen based on their environmental dedication and social impact. This impact is measurable and is based on a variety of different criteria.

The criteria include things like responsible and ethical operations, respect for local and global ecosystems, making a positive impact on local communities, and more.

Regeneration is all about restoring balance in the world, which is the underlying principle behind Regenerative Travel. This company doesn’t just try to reduce travelers’ carbon footprint, but it aims to restore the impact that travel makes.

12. Rabbie’s Tours 

Rabbie’s Tours

Rabbie’s Tours is a tour operator in the Scottish Highlands, where it also focuses its climate change efforts. The travel company taxes itself £10 for every tonne of carbon that its trips produce. This “carbon tax” is put towards various projects to help environmental and community causes.

Since 2008, Rabbie’s Tours has raised £120,000 for these projects. The projects are voted for by the travel company’s team and include initiatives like planting trees, building nature walking paths, and improving economic opportunities for local communities.

The tour operator has a very clear environmental and leave-no-trace policy alongside its fundraising efforts. Some initiatives that the company put into action include using the most fuel-efficient vehicles and collecting litter along the way during their trips.

13. AliKats Mountain Holidays 

AliKats Mountain Holidays

Ski holidays are not renowned for being the most eco-friendly tourism option, but Alikats Mountain Holidays is here to change that. This sustainable ski travel company is combating climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of their tours from every angle.

The Morzine-based ski holiday company highlights the fact that snow cover is predicted to drop by 35% by 2035. To combat this, the travel company works towards achieving a goal of net-zero carbon. Their chalets are powered by 100% renewable energy, they use electric vehicles to shuttle guests around resorts, rail travel is encouraged wherever possible, and all suppliers are kept local.

AliKats even has a permaculture garden for the business to use a circular food economy.

This ski travel business is part of the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement

Conclusion

Protecting both the planet and people is what sustainability is all about. This is incredibly important in the travel industry, as travel has left a negative environmental impact over the years.

The good news is that many companies today are actively combating climate change through various approaches. This is helping them do good in the world while giving today’s travelers more reason to support them.

We hope you’ve found some inspiration for your own business in this article. To receive stories like this directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below.