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A Deep Dive into How we’re Measuring our Carbon Impact
4 Min Read
23 May 2024
A Deep Dive into How we’re Measuring our Carbon Impact

Measuring our impact

In today's world, the impact of human activities on the environment is a critical issue that can’t be ignored. As concerns about climate change grow, businesses are increasingly called upon to assess and minimise their carbon footprint. Here at Macs Adventure, we recognise this responsibility and have begun working to understand and reduce our carbon emissions.  

 

Measuring Carbon Footprint

The first step in addressing carbon emissions is measuring them accurately. With the help of experts at eCollective, we've undertaken a comprehensive assessment of our carbon footprint, considering emissions from various aspects of our operations. This includes not only direct emissions from offices and transportation but also indirect emissions from 'on the ground’ elements such as accommodation and luggage transfers. 

How we Calculate our Carbon Score > 

Two hikers in a forest in new Zealand

Understanding Impact Across Operations

Our commitment to sustainability extends across all corners of our operations. This means examining the environmental impact of every trip organised, from the transportation methods used to reach destinations to the accommodation selected for travellers and meal inclusions. By understanding the carbon intensity of these activities, we can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted strategies to reduce emissions. 

We’re serious about owning our impact and doing what we can to cut it down. As it’s quite complex, and we don’t want to mark our own homework, we recruited their expertise to get the most accurate numbers. They’ve taken a close look at our business and the trips we offer, and they’re helping us create a plan to offset and eventually lower our carbon emissions. 

“Macs Adventure is boldly tackling the challenge of decarbonisation. This will not be easy, it will involve looking at their employee emissions, the emissions from their adventures all around the world as well starting to influence how customers travel to their trips. But this is exactly what the travel industry needs to do, and I am so pleased to see the team start to analyse ways they can reduce emissions over the coming years without compromising quality. We at eCollective are looking forward to working with Macs Adventure to provide their team with the necessary support to identify low-carbon suppliers and adventures.” - Charlie Cotton eCollective Founder 

 Fishing boats docked on the shore in the Cinque Terre

Strategies for Carbon Reduction

Armed with data on our carbon emissions, we're actively implementing strategies to reduce our environmental impact. We’ve split our business into three categories – office, trips and travel, to help us create a thorough breakdown, so we can accurately pinpoint specific areas to improve. 

Reducing carbon in our offices 

Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions from our global offices by 5% compared to 2023. To achieve this, we need to keep a constant eye on things, so we’ll continue to work with eCollective to carbon score our offices annually to understand where we can reduce emissions. And to continue transparency, we’ll update our website with results and communicate these to customers. 

As this goal encompasses the entire business, we’ll empower our team, through policies and training, to take action. We’re recognised with a Platinum Cycle Score accreditation as part of our UK Cycle to Work initiative which aims to encourage staff to adopt a healthy habit and also helps to reduce commuting emissions. From being mindful of internal energy efficiency practises to considering alternative modes of transport when travelling to and from the office, everyone plays a small but mighty role in collaboratively making a change.  

We’ve also relocated to a more sustainable office which is transitioning to renewable energy and have an inhouse recycling plant! Last year 4 bee hives were introduced to the estate and in summer, 'Meet the Bees' sessions are held for office occupiers and local community. There are also 'jar your own honey' opportunities and garden space has been donated for a local nursery to grow their own veg. 

Commit to offsetting our carbon from our business operations

While striving to minimise emissions internally, Macs Adventure recognises that some emissions are unavoidable. To address this, we’ll be investing in partnerships with organisations to create our Carbon Action Plan. 

Two people sat at the top of a hill overlooking a lake

Reducing Carbon on our Trips 

We’ve assigned a carbon score to each of our trips, which reflects the average amount of CO2e each adventurer emits per night on their trip. Our goal is to minimise our impact on the planet, so basically, the lower the carbon score (measured in kilograms), the better!  

To make it easier for our travellers to understand these carbon scores and to help them choose an eco-friendlier option, we’ve created a Carbon Score system with three categories for our trips. These are visible in the tour facts section on all of our trip pages. 

‘The Carbon Score’ 

 

Greenest

1-20kg = Best footprint (3 leaves) - this the best grade to be in and where we’re working on getting as many of our trips as possible into. All trips within this category leave a very small footprint on the planet. 

Greener

21- 40kg = Better Footprint (2 leaves) - this grade is still very good, but we’ve identified ways we can make trips in this grade better. Watch this space... 

Green

41 - 60kg = Good Footprint (1 leaf) - while our self-guided trips are naturally a low-impact way to travel, those that sit in this grade either need evolving to reduce their carbon score, or include unavoidable things like internal flights, that make it trickier to improve. But we’re working on it! 

Currently, our average trip’s (per person, per night) carbon score is 17kg CO2e, sitting nicely within the Best Footprint category. That’s the equivalent of eating 4.5 full English breakfasts! 

Reducing Carbon in Travel 

We want our trips to not only create lasting memories but have a positive impact on the world around us. So, we’ve been educating our adventurers and encouraging them through our website and the sales process, to choose – when possible - other forms of transportation instead of flying.  By choosing to travel by train or boat, it’s contributing to a better, more sustainable form of travel and enjoying a more sustainable way to holiday.   

We’ve partnered with businesses that organise flight-free travel to and from our trips to help our customers reach their adventures flight-free. Our combined mission is to showcase the benefits of choosing flight-free to move the world towards choosing sustainable travel.  We want to make it easy for customers to reach their destinations in a way that’s just as enjoyable as the destination. The adventure doesn’t just start when you get there! When a customer books with us, they can then choose for to reach their destination flight-free. That’s another logistic taken care of. 

Engaging Staff and Travellers in Carbon Reduction  

We get it, trying to understand all things ‘carbon’ can sometimes leave you a bit perplexed. One of the key pillars of our sustainability strategy is educating and engaging staff and travellers in this mission. Through educational materials, pre-trip information, and post-trip follow-ups, we encourage travellers to make environmentally conscious choices both on and off the trails. By empowering and inspiring them with insightful and educational knowledge and offering sustainable travel options, we aim to foster a community of responsible adventurers. 

We’ve created a comparison table to go alongside our Carbon Score system to help put into perspective how much carbon is emitted in the production and consumption of everyday food and drink items vs. our trips.

For example, our Great Glen Way, 9-day and 8-night trip, has a carbon score of 7kg of carbon per person, per night. That’s the equivalent of eating around 3 steaks! That sure puts things into perspective. 

Carbon Comparison chart

Macs Adventure's commitment to measuring, mitigating, and offsetting our carbon footprint highlights the importance of corporate responsibility in the travel industry. By taking concrete steps to reduce environmental impact and engaging travellers in sustainable practices, we hope to set a positive example for the broader tourism sector and demonstrate that responsible travel is not just a trend but a necessary evolution towards a more sustainable future. 

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Kirsty Schneider

Written by

Kirsty Schneider
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