Stenness, Orkney – 21 November 2008. Wildabout Orkney has taken the lead locally in combatting climate change by becoming Orkney’s first certified carbon neutral tour operator.
Wildabout has always made an effort to minimise its carbon dioxide emissions by reducing, re-using and recycling whenever possible. The company has now implemented a strategy to offset their remaining CO2 footprint generated by their tours, holidays, shore excursions and office through contributions to projects in Africa. In addition, when they book their tour or holiday, Wildabout’s guests are given the opportunity to offset their travel to and from their point of departure.
Wildabout’s Operations Manager, Christie Hartley, explains that “to offset, we invest in projects which either prevent the release of, or absorb, an amount of CO2 equivalent to our carbon footprint. Simply put, it is all about balance; reduce what you can and offset the rest.”
Through collaboration with co2balance, Wildabout provides low energy light bulbs to communities in Kenya, which reduce energy consumption by 80% over incandescent bulbs and thereby deliver a significant carbon saving. The company has also established a Plant-a-Tree Partnership with Trees for the Future to plant one tree for each guest for each day they spend on tour or on holiday. This partnership will facilitate the planting of at least 5,000 trees in Ethiopia each year. Additionally, the projects Wildabout supports will bring economic and social benefits through sustainable development of the African communities.
Conservation, education and community have been the heart of Wildabout since it was founded by Michael Hartley almost twenty years ago. Mr Hartley adds, “What is now called ecotourism has always been first nature to me. In today’s world, the need for everyone to act is more urgent than ever.” For this reason, Wildabout is issuing a challenge to everyone to think about the simple changes they can make to reduce their carbon footprint, to make a commitment and act on it, and then to speak out to encourage others to think and act as well.
Wildabout Orkney provides unique personal guided tours, holidays and cruise ship shore excursions for groups and individual travellers. For further information, please contact Christie Hartley, Operations Manager or visit www.wildaboutorkney.com.
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