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).
In a major reset to its Climate Action Plan, TTC has accelerated its original commitments, 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.
As part of this, TTC has received validation on its 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 new approach prioritizes reductions and eliminates the use of offsets, establishing an internal carbon fund to invest in its net zero transition.
TTC’s Climate Action Plan reset will spotlight 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.
“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 decarbonisation,” Shannon Guihan, TTC’s chief sustainability officer and head of TreadRight said.
“We need to reduce our emissions and the surest way to do that is through direct investments into our business and our operations.
“The Carbon Fund, in concert with our TreadRight Foundation, enables us to invest in decarbonisation 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, TTCm which includes brands such as Trafalgar, Contiki, Insight Vacations, AAT Kings, Adventure World and Uniworld, launched its sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right (HWTR), setting a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.
In 2021, a number of TTC brands including Contiki and the Radical Travel Group, announced that all trips would be carbon-neutral, beginning in 2022.
To achieve these new science-based targets, TTC’s decarbonisation 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.
Featured image: The Living Wall at Red Carnation Hotel The Rubens (supplied)