For more than 40 years global tour operator Explore has run small group adventures that give back to the planet. The company believes we can’t explore the world without healthy ecosystems, and created its sustainability strategy around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Explore has earned ethy’s Committed to 1.5 eco-label with its comprehensive Climate Plan and pledge to the Glasgow Declaration: the company is committed to reducing its overall carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, and to achieve net zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement targets. To support this, the company has moved to 100% renewable energy, and also calculates the carbon footprint for every passenger on each trip – taking into account everything from accommodation to excursions. All of these efforts add up to ethy recognition for the company’s Commitment to a Stable Climate.
Explore is also doing great work around empowering employees. All staff are given two volunteer days a year to support any cause they wish and are encouraged to choose low-carbon travel options, including electric vehicles (EVs), as Explore’s HQ provides EV charge points. Each employee has access to online sustainability materials where they have the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable tourism conversation.
It's also making major strides in improving the wider tourism industry overall. The company is active in encouraging discussion with its peers, and makes its carbon measurement methodology available to other tour companies looking to take action on their sustainability impacts. Explore has also developed a range of toolkits with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) – covering issues on modern slavery, plastic reduction, animal welfare and climate action – designed to help other companies also do better in these areas. This spirit of collaboration and partnership has earned the company ethy’s Industry Champion ecolabel.
Explore is one of the first companies to earn ethy’s Cruelty-Free Experiences ecolabel, thanks to its rigorous animal protection policy. Working with charities ANIMONDIAL and Wild Welfare, the company has a strict no-contact rule for animals encountered on its trips and has implemented a traffic light system which categorises each interaction tour groups have with animals.
Championing communities is also very important to the Explore team. The company makes donations to Rewilding Britain and Cool Earth for every one of its passengers, and is a long-time supporter of Lone Buffalo, a free English language project that benefits more than 200 young people living in rural Laos.
Back in the office, meanwhile, Explore has met the ethy’s clean planet standards for its zero-waste-to-landfill policy, use of renewable energy and efforts to get rid of plastic throughout its operations.
Guides featuring Explore
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