Travalyst exists to accelerate the positive impact of the travel and tourism industry. As the organisation overseeing the delivery of the Travalyst coalition’s vision and mission, we recognise the role we must play in proactively addressing the climate crisis. This is why, in 2021, we committed to measuring our footprint and reducing our carbon emissions to achieve net zero by 2030 or before.
The target limit set out in the Paris Agreement – a 1.5°C increase1 in global temperatures – will still inevitably lead to a worldwide shift in our weather patterns and biodiversity. This, in turn, will negatively impact us all in the way we live. Today, it is frightening to have experts suggest that we are on course for a 3°C increase; this is a global crisis that requires each one of us to act now. This Climate Action Plan is one of our internal actions to help propel us in the right direction.
1 From pre-industrial levels
Each industry has a role to play to meaningfully respond to climate change. This includes the travel and tourism industry, which accounts for around 11% of the world’s total carbon footprint. It is our responsibility to work together – with stakeholders from across the industry – to influence systems change and meaningfully reduce those emissions.
We believe that travel can, and must, be a catalyst for good when it comes to climate change. If we can tackle the climate emergency head-on, as an industry, we can increase the positive impact travel can bring. If the past years have taught us anything, it is that we are more interconnected and vulnerable than we realised and that acting fast, collectively, matters. That means working together to redesign the way we travel and operate to ensure there is a thriving future for generations to come.
Reducing industry emissions is one of our core goals. However, we are, first and foremost, looking at ourselves – the Travalyst organisation and employees – to ensure that we understand our own impact, and devise a plan for how we can reduce that impact to net zero2. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we are learning how to get there.
2 Want a cheat sheet for what net-zero and other carbon-related terms really mean? See the glossary at the bottom of this page
The first step to reaching zero is to understand our carbon footprint, and so we have been measuring our carbon emissions since our inception in 2019. Given our small size and remote operating structure, we acknowledge that it may be simpler to measure our footprint compared with others in the industry. Nevertheless, measuring is the first step to mitigating and we believe that every organisation, no matter how small, needs to calculate their footprint to reduce it. By knowing what emissions we put out, we can strive to lower them each year, and commit to reaching net zero.
That’s why we work with the sustainability consultancy ecollective to measure and reduce our footprint. By making small but effective changes3, we believe that we can reduce the carbon emitted per employee each year in a financially responsible way.
3 Ecollective share suggestions on ways to reduce footprint here
In order to reduce our footprint and reach net zero by 2030, we need to set ambitious yet achievable yearly reduction targets. This starts with setting a year from which the baseline measurement will be set. The Travalyst organisation was set up in September 2019 which means a significant amount of our emission-related operations were suspended due to COVID-19, as well as our team growth. This accounts for the majority of 2020 and 2021 which, as a result, would not be ideal base years as per guidance from SBTi and Glasgow Declaration. Therefore, we believe that 2022 is the most appropriate baseline year and reflective of our first ‘normal’ year of operations since inception.
In our base year , each of our employees had an average annual footprint (at work) of 3,423kg CO2e. What does that mean? Here are some things that you can compare that to:
The core Travalyst team of employees is small and remote working, however as we are based internationally (in the UK, the US, India and France) as well as working with travel and tech companies from across the globe, taking flights to business related and critical relationship building events is a large part of our footprint.
We are working with Neste and Klimate on our carbon abatement and removal portfolio for the footprint we do have each year. We are learning and developing our approach as we go, meaning that we abate by a variety of methods at present (see below for more details).
As we learn more about our footprint and where the majority of our emissions come from, we intend to develop reduction processes across our abatement portfolio that are responsive to the impact and type of emissions we generate. As is clear, flights generate a large proportion of our footprint and as such, alongside investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuels, we’ll be working internally and with industry experts on the most impactful way to address this.
Measuring our footprint since our inception and using 2022 as our base year, we commit to reducing our emissions each year by at least 8% to achieve net zero before 2030.
To achieve this, we intend to take the following steps:
1. Measure our footprint: Supported by ecollective, we have designed a framework to measure the organisation’s carbon footprint. The framework individually measures the footprint to industry-best levels of accuracy taking into account every element of the organisation, the quantity, the geographic location, etc. We have accounted for emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 as per the latest guidance from the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). It is worth noting that we are a zero scope 1 & 2 emissions organisation and aim to stay this way regardless of growth. Methodology with detail on scope, data and approach can be found below.
2. Set ambitious but achievable targets: In line with the SBTi guidance we have set targets that are aligned with limiting global temperatures to a 1.5°C increase. The Travalyst organisation is committed to measuring and reducing emissions per employee by 8% each year from its base year of 2022. For any of the remaining emissions, we will abate them by investing the same amount in the best available carbon abatement projects (see more information in the next step). The end result is for the organisation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
3. Deliver a meaningful action plan: To achieve our targets, we will align with SBTi guidance and will implement an abatement plan which prioritises avoidance and reduction over compensation. The steps we’ll take are:
a) Avoid: As part of our collaboration with ecollective, we have developed a carbon reduction strategy which identifies areas in which the Travalyst organisation can reduce and, at times, avoid carbon emissions completely. It’s important to note that there will be few areas where we can fully prevent emissions from being created in the first place. However, given that the organisation has always operated with a predominant work-from-home structure, we have been able to avoid emissions from areas such as operating our own office.
b) Reduce: For each business decision we make, we will find ways to reduce the intensity and/or extent of resulting emissions that cannot be completely avoided. To achieve this, we invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)4 (see here for more information on what SAF is) to fully reduce our Scope 3 air travel emissions. Neste makes sure that the SAF we purchase provides additional GHG emission reduction rather than being used for regulatory schemes like mandates. We also prioritise running virtual events over in-person events, wherever possible, and reducing air travel and prioritising train travel wherever possible.
c) Restore: Along with the efforts we can take internally to improve our practices, we recognise the role that the Travalyst organisation must play in supporting measures taken to restore and protect vital ecosystems. These are the ecosystems that the tourism industry depends on and it is essential that efforts in resilience building, adaptation and disaster response are championed and driven forward. Travalyst’s mission is to ensure that tourism has a positive impact on people and destinations; unlocking the industry’s potential as a major contributor to a healthy and resilient planet. Travalyst brings together a global coalition of leading travel and tourism service providers to deliver unified sustainability reporting; making it easier for travellers and travel providers to make better choices – for themselves and the planet.
d) Compensate: For any remaining emissions that cannot be avoided, reduced and/or restored, the Travalyst organisation commits to compensation measures in order to accelerate our transition to net-zero emissions. As a last resort, we will opt to compensate remaining emissions that are still being released into the atmosphere through a mixture of high quality offsets and carbon removal following guidance from the Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting. To help us achieve this, we have chosen to work with Klimate to develop an abatement portfolio which will be verifiable and correctly accounted for, have a low risk of non-additionality, reversal, and creating negative unintended consequences. You can view our carbon removal certificate from Klimate in the materials at the bottom of this page.
4. Align efforts and advocate for a just and fast transition to net zero: The climate emergency requires a coordinated approach to achieve the accelerated pace and scale necessary to tackle the crisis. We are aligned with industry-leading and global efforts, such as becoming a launch partner and signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism with the aim to hold ourselves accountable, share learnings and champion consistent messaging, targets and approaches.
4 We recognise that SAF, like all other decarbonisation efforts, is currently under review by industry experts but we believe it represents one of the best near-to-medium-term viable opportunities for the aviation sector to reduce its carbon emissions.
Calculating our own carbon footprint can be a little complex, as almost everything we do has a footprint. To make sure we do it right, we partnered with ecollective to help us measure and improve our carbon footprint. Their calculations have been peer-reviewed by industry and are based on the latest data. This data is updated annually in order to improve accuracy over time.
We have adhered to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and applied emission factors provided by DEFRA and other data sources. This study measures the greenhouse gas emissions of the business. The areas in scope for this study include:
Carbon calculations are never perfect but our aim is to make the measurements and our abatement plan better each year. As new guidelines, protocols and better data are developed, we will revise our measurement framework, targets and abatement plan to ensure our climate action plan remains ambitious and up-to-date. To keep ourselves accountable and open to critique, we are happy to share our methodology. Reach out to [email protected] or to ecollective to find out more.
A team of self-confessed carbon geeks, ecollective is committed to helping businesses fight the climate crisis. They do this by making it as simple as possible to measure carbon performance today and providing the tools to improve it tomorrow; helping to find sustainable solutions that benefit the business, the customer and the planet.
A small team of professionals dedicated to making a dent in the climate challenge, Klimate was founded on the realisation that a lot of good intention was being wasted on bad offsets. This climate tech start-up’s mission is to help companies do better when they do good by providing access to high-quality, innovative, and verifiable carbon removal solutions from all over the world that align with science.
Neste creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. They are the world’s leading producer of Sustainable Aviation Fuel and renewable diesel, and have also developed chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. Neste aims to help companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with their renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030.