TUI (Thomson and First Choice has announced 20 sustainable travel commitments for 2011. Launched at The Economist’s Sustainable Business Summit, the ambitious three year commitments reinforce the company’s position at the forefront of sustainable tourism – it is the only travel company to introduce such wide ranging and measurable objectives.
The commitments, set to be achieved by 2014, represent the next stage in TUI’s Holidays Forever strategy, which brings all of its environmental and socio-economic policies under one umbrella. Building on the success of the first 20 commitments introduced last year, the announcement demonstrates TUI’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness among British holidaymakers of the need to make sustainable holiday choices. By 2014 it will have actively engaged with over 1 million customers in sustainable tourism.
The commitments include major steps towards the continuing reduction of TUI’s carbon footprint in the air and on the ground, both in its UK operations and holiday destinations worldwide, as well as its drive to make its hotels more sustainable by helping 90% of them become Travelife awarded by 2014. This innovative ABTA-supported scheme recognises hotels that care for the environment, employees and local communities.
In addition the commitments increase volunteering opportunities for TUI staff – extending Project Discovery, its overseas volunteering scheme, as well as creating more UK opportunities. Over half a million children will also be engaged in sustainable tourism through resort-based Kids Clubs, as well as in schools across the UK.
Christian Cull, Director of Communications, said: “TUI is committed to raising awareness and converting that into actions, by making it easy for our customers to make sustainable choices when holidaying abroad.
“While we have been leading the industry on sustainable travel for some time now, these are three-year commitments which give us the long term vision and the necessary framework to really drive change. Our hope is that where we lead, others will follow.”
The full 20 commitments are available on the Holidays Forever microsite - www.holidaysforever.co.uk/thomson
Some of the key 2011 sustainable travel commitments announced include:
· Reducing the total and relative carbon emissions from TUI Travel airlines by 6% between 2008 and 2014. As well as making Thomson Airways more efficient, TUI will be researching more sustainable fuel to fly planes
· Reducing the number of holiday brochure pages TUI prints by 10% over three years - that’s 380 million fewer pages. TUI will also work with its suppliers to reduce the carbon emissions from brochure distribution, and reduce paper by replacing printed ticket booklets with e-ticketing
· Having more than 90% of our hotels Travelife-awarded by 2014 and be working on the rest. Backed by ABTA, these awards recognise hotels that care for the environment, their employees and the local community. By the end of 2011 half of TUI customers will be staying in these hotels already.
· Achieving industry-leading environmental standards for all First Choice Holiday Villages, Thomson Sensatori and Thomson Couples hotels. Using our bespoke sustainability guidelines, we’ll support these hotels to reduce their carbon and water footprint.
· Saving more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by investing in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in destination countries. As well as helping the environment, these World Care Fund projects also benefit local communities through sustainable development.
· Engaging with half a million children in sustainable tourism. As well as educating children who come on holiday with us through our Kids’ Clubs, TUI will help schools in the UK teach children how they can make a difference on holiday.
· Increasing volunteering opportunities for colleagues by involving 1000 of them in community initiatives in the UK. TUI will also enable colleagues to work on projects in our destinations as part of Project Discovery, our overseas volunteering scheme.