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How we Calculate our Carbon Count

At Macs, we strive to have a positive impact on people and the planet. But there’s no denying that as a travel business, that comes with some challenges. We want to ensure that whatever we do, we leave a positive trail behind us and as small a footprint as possible. That’s why we’re making it our mission to reduce our office carbon emissions by 5% in 2024.

We’ve put our entire business through a carbon count bootcamp and covered every corner of the company and the trips we offer with a fine-toothed comb to measure our greenhouse gas emissions.


How do we measure?


So that we're all on the same page, when we say ‘carbon’ or ‘CO2e’ (carbon dioxide equivalent), we’re referring to all the different greenhouse gases we’re working to reduce. These are measured in kilograms.

Every single thing that goes into running a business has a carbon count. We’ve split this into two categories: All 3 of our global office’s emissions alongside Macs’ staff travel and remote working emissions, and customer trip emissions.

This is where eCollective come in. As it’s quite complex, and we don’t want to mark our own homework, we’ve recruited their expertize to help us get the most accurate results. They’ll assess our business and the trips we offer, then help us come up with a plan on how we can offset and eventually reduce our carbon emissions.

As we don’t arrange or provide transportation to get our customers to and from their adventures, these emissions aren’t included in our calculations. However, if our customers need to take a flight to get to the starting line, it’s the biggest contribution to their overall carbon emissions. In fact, flights can contribute 70-85% of the total trip’s total carbon footprint. While we aren’t an airline or transportation operator and can’t directly improve airline emissions, what we can do is help our customers make more sustainable choices.

ECollective have done some digging into how to choose low carbon flights, which could be a handy read!

Below is a breakdown of everything we’ve assessed.


Audited Areas


Macs HQ and global office Emissions

Our office carbon emissions are calculated by taking an activity and working out the average emissions it typically produces. This is broken down by the running of our Glasgow headquarters, our offices in Germany and the US, home workers, Marketing and PR events and our overall functionalities.

Office & remote working emissions

We’ve weighed up water, waste, food consumption and energy used to heat and light our offices and remote worker’s offices.

Macs US Office


This investigates the impact of sending all our customer documents and brochures as well any post we receive.

Staff business travel

All types of travel and accommodation for work-related trips have been put under the microscope, including transport by plane, car, bus, train, ferry and other forms of transport.


We’ve investigated the geographical reach of our website users and whether the platform our website sits on uses renewable energy.

Staff events hosted by the business

We’ve done some digging relating to the venues, accommodation, employee travel and meals for these events.

Staff commuting

While this aspect is typically minimal (with most of our staff hybrid or remote working) and often not included by other businesses, we’re including it to be as accurate and transparent as possible. No corners are being cut here!

Purchased Goods

We’re talking IT equipment like new staff laptops, printers, screens, work phones, desk phones and TV screens. As well as Marketing materials like merchandise, brochures, and things like event posters and banners etc.

Customer trips

All trips are different, so the emissions for each trip will differ depending on its type, the destination and the inclusions on a per person per night basis. As a starting point, our calculations are based on our 2022 trip offerings. Each trip is calculated based on its itinerary, the suppliers used and the following inclusions:

  • Accommodation: everything it takes to create a home away from home.
  • Meals– the origin of ingredients, the production of produce and what goes into rustling up all the delicious meals you’ll enjoy on our trips.
  • Luggage transfers – while you’re out and about our suppliers pick up and drop off your luggage at the next place on most of our adventures.
  • Passenger transfers – a few adventures include airport transfers or the need to transfer customers from A to B.
  • Car hire – customers will be behind the wheel on their Drive & Hike or Self-Drive trip.
  • Excursions – some trips come with an experience included, others have excursion add-ons.
  • Internal flights – some of our trips require hopping on a short internal flight.
  • Rail travel - some trips like our Rail & Hike adventures include rail passes to help you get around the region easier.


How do we rate our trip’s carbon score?


Each of our trips have been given a carbon score based on the average amount of Co2e emitted into the atmosphere by each adventurer taking that trip, per night. We want to leave as small a footprint as possible on the planet, so to put it simply, the lower the carbon score (which is measured in kilograms), the better!

We’ve created a Carbon Score which demonstrates 3 categories where each of our trips sit, to help you make a better choice, easier.

'The Carbon Score'






1-20kg = Best footprint (3 leaves) - this the best score a trip can have and where we’re working on getting as many of our trips as possible to achieve this level. All trips within this category leave a very small footprint on the planet.


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


41 - 60kg = Good Footprint (1 leaf) - while our self-guided trips are naturally a low-impact way to travel, those with this score 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

Our average trip (per person, per night) carbon score is 17kg, sitting nicely within the Best Footprint category. That’s the equivalent to eating 5.5 cheeseburgers!

You may notice that some of our trips haven’t been given a score yet. That’s because either the trip is new and we haven’t finalized its score yet, or the trip includes some intricacies that mean it’s taking a bit longer than others to calculate. We know you’ll be on the edge of your seat eagerly awaiting the results, so we’re working on getting these calculations up for you as quick as possible.

We strive for an honest approach to this important subject, so we just want to highlight that some of our trip scores are based on informed estimations and perhaps aren’t 100% accurate. This has been a huge learning curve for us, and we’re continuously working to improve and finesse our assessment process, so we can swiftly work on getting accurate results in the future.

What we can guarantee, is that all our trips are more eco-friendly than a cruise. So, forget ocean liners and come on over to the adventurous side – where you’re immersed in nature, not admiring it from a distance.

What are we doing to help reduce our Carbon Count further?


The very nature of our trips already supports local businesses and communities as well as promoting hiking and biking as a primary mode of travel. Of course, there are many things we can do to continue to improve and reduce our footprint year on year – which we‘re actively working on every day.

These are some things we’re doing to lower our carbon score!

The people behind the scenery

Why Macs

Reasons to believe in Macs Adventure:
The Biggest Choice

The Biggest Choice

Self-guided hiking & biking is all we do - we have hundreds of tried & tested trips.
Our Heritage

Founded in 2003

We’re still founder led & the world’s number one self-guided operator with mountains of experience.

21,000+ Customer Reviews

Plus, with a Feefo Platinum Service Award & British Travel Awards, you know you're in good hands.
Positive Impact

Positive Impact

We use independent suppliers to support communities along our routes, as well as work with organizations to help maintain & restore paths.
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