The Travel Corporation (TTC) has become the first global tour operator to introduce verified net zero targets validated by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). With 40 travel brands, it has also introduced an industry leading internal carbon fund to achieve net zero.
In a major reset to its Climate Action Plan, TTC has accelerated its original climate action commitments:
- The organization has received validation on net zero targets by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi); making TTC the first tour operator to do so in accordance with the 2021 Net Zero Standard*
- The group’s approach prioritizes reductions and eliminates the use of offsets
- TTC has established an internal carbon fund to invest in its net zero transition
- Their not-for-profit foundation, TreadRight, will move to prioritize nature-based solutions, in support of its three pillars of Planet, People and Wildlife
- Targets will be updated on the SBTi website in the coming weeks
Shannon Guihan, The Travel Corporation’s Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight, said: “As a global industry leader, we appreciate the support of our travel industry partners as we take collective action to fight climate change. Our focus is to identify a way forward that marries what the science is telling us with solutions to enable our decarbonization. We need to reduce our emissions and the surest way to do that is through direct investments into our business and our operations.”
Guihan continued: “The Carbon Fund, in concert with our TreadRight Foundation, enable us to invest in decarbonization in two ways: by utilizing the Carbon Fund to reduce the emissions we produce, and by prioritizing financial support for nature-based solutions through TreadRight.”
In 2020, The Travel Corporation which includes brands such as Trafalgar, Contiki, Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld, launched its sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right (HWTR), setting a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.
TTC’s climate goals have been backed by a five-point Climate Action Plan to measure, reduce, remove, offset and evolve. In 2021, a number of TTC brands including Contiki and the Radical Travel Group, consisting of Haggis Adventures and Highland Explorer Tours – announced that all trips would be carbon neutral, beginning in 2022.
A critical commitment of TTC’s Climate Action Plan is to evolve with climate science, available technology and business practices. In the time since the organization announced plans to become carbon neutral, its singular focus has been on decarbonization, appreciating that emitting less carbon into the atmosphere is the most effective means to address climate change.
As such, TTC is announcing a reset of its Climate Action Plan, setting ambitious reduction targets and a Carbon Fund to invest in achieving net zero by 2050, replacing its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.
TTC has set the following carbon reduction targets:
Net Zero Target — Reach net zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2050 from a 2019 baseline year.
Short Term Goals — Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 46.2% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, business travel, and use of sold products 27.5% within the same timeframe.
Long Term Goal — Reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2050 from a 2019 base year. The target boundary includes land-related emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks.
Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative, pointed out that: “Climate science tells us that we need rapid and deep emissions cuts if we are to achieve global net-zero and prevent the most damaging effects of climate change. The Travel Corporation’s net-zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example that their peers must follow.”
Today, TTC’s Climate Action Plan has been reset to four points; Measure, Reduce, Restore and Evolve; replacing both ‘remove’ and ‘offset’ with ‘restore’.
For its part, TTC’s TreadRight Foundation will shift to prioritize nature-based carbon removal solutions that restore the planet, in an effort to address climate change as well as the rapid loss of biodiversity.
In addition, TTC is also announcing the development of an internal Carbon Fund. This fund will be generated through revenue from TTC brands that will be used solely for initiatives that contribute to TTC’s net zero journey.
To achieve TTC’s science-based targets, TTC’s decarbonization plan identifies five key areas of focus for the business’s carbon reduction efforts.
- Reduce energy use and transition to low-carbon technology at Red Carnation Hotels
- Generate and utilize renewable energy across all offices and facilities?
- Reduce fuel emissions from Uniworld ships
- Secure zero emission vehicles for TTC’s Tour Brands
- Reduce the carbon footprint of trips in collaboration with the supply chain and destinations
TTC will publicly report on its Carbon Fund, alongside its progress against its science-based targets in future annual impact reports, with its next report due in the first half of 2023 on 2022 progress
Caption for photo
The living wall at Red Carnation’s The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in London