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What to look for in a sustainable travel provider


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In the realm of travel, sustainability has transformed from a niche interest to a significant industry trend, as travellers increasingly demand eco-friendly options and companies strive to minimise their carbon footprint.

Recent research by InsureandGo highlighted this shift with 75% saying they would have been more likely to choose a holiday provider with a good reputation for supporting sustainable travel, based heavily on their environmental credentials. This sentiment was even more pronounced among those who had personally experienced the impacts of climate change, with the figure rising to 90%.

But this poses the question, how do you go about spotting a travel provider that is sustainable? To help point in the right direction, we’ve put together some tips below to help you with your due diligence when selecting which service providers to book your next holiday with.

Picture shows a mother and child playing in the clear blue waters off a pristine tropical beach.

Certifications that matter

Start by checking for any green certifications. These are not just badges but are backed by rigorous assessments and signify real commitment to sustainability. Look for seals of approval from organisations like B Corp, the EU Ecolabel, Green Globe, EarthCheck, or the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). These certifications ensure that the company adheres to strict environmental standards.

Eco-friendly day-to-day

A genuinely sustainable company will integrate green practices across all areas of its operations, all day and every day. This includes using renewable energy sources, implementing water-saving techniques, and ensuring efficient waste management systems. Check the company’s website for environmental policies, practices and achievements. There might also be a sustainability report, with information on all of its sustainability initiatives.

Supporting local communities

Sustainability extends beyond environmental concerns—it’s also about social responsibility. Check if the travel provider employs local staff, sources local products, and engages in fair trade practices. Supporting local economies not only enhances your travel experience but also contributes to the livelihood of the communities.

Active conservation efforts

Does your travel provider contribute to conservation? Many responsible companies actively participate in protecting wildlife, supporting natural habitat conservation, or funding environmental projects. This commitment can often be seen in the educational materials provided to travellers and the guided tours that emphasise respect for nature. Again, information about this would be on their website, but also check the companies social media for posts related to this.

Clear carbon-zero targets

A trustworthy sustainable travel provider will mention carbon reduction goals or targets for reaching net zero. This is a strong sign that it is at least transparent and committed to reducing its impact. Similarly, look for providers who seek to continuously improve their sustainability measures and engage with the community and industry experts to do so.

Reputation and reviews

Lastly, the reputation of a travel provider in the realm of sustainability can often be gauged through reviews and feedback from customers. These insights can provide a real-world look at how the company’s sustainability efforts translate into practice.