We are proud to announce that Travel Places has become carbon neutral, offsetting our emissions for 2021, financing a Gold Standard Biomass Energy Conservation in Malawi. As we continue to strive forward to reduce our carbon footprint, offsetting is allowing us to balance the emissions we can’t avoid.
What does carbon neutral mean?
We are working to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that our business is responsible for, as much as we can. But we cannot remove them altogether.
Working with Carbon Footprint, we calculated the Travel Places business emissions for 2021 – from running our building, using company vehicles and international travel. We have offset these emissions by financing a project that distributes improved energy efficient cookstoves to homes in Malawi.
Offsetting can help businesses to become part of the solution to climate change by balancing out unavoidable emissions, helping to reduce global CO2e emissions and supporting projects that bring economic and social enhancements to developing countries.
Leading by example
We fully recognise that offsetting is just one piece of the puzzle. Whilst compensating for those emissions that are unavoidable, we are committed to reducing our impact where we can, with a variety of reduce, reuse, recycle initiatives, whilst encouraging sustainable behaviour from our staff, and incorporating sustainability criteria into the procurement service of goods and services.
As we work hard to reduce our own impact on the planet, we are also supporting our clients to make better decisions, reduce emissions and to encourage partnership working with suppliers that share the same values. We fully appreciate the impact that travel and events programmes can have on our resources, society and the environment, and with certification to the ISO standard for Sustainable Event Management (ISO 20121), we are helping our clients to design and manage group movements in the most sustainable way.
Our carbon offsetting programme
We have chosen to offset our emissions by financing a Gold Standard Biomass Energy Conservation project. Classed by the United Nations as a Least Developed Country (LDC), Malawi has a largely rural and rapidly growing population, with an economy heavily based on agriculture. Almost all firewood users in Malawi (91%) use 3-stone stoves for domestic cooking and heating that are not fuel efficient. They produce a lot of smoke and are also the source of many injuries and accidents. It is estimated that over 97% of Malawian households use solid fuel as their primary source of energy.
The offsetting project we have chosen to contribute to aims to disseminate over 8,000 improved energy efficient cookstoves to low-income Malawian households. The project as a whole will result in approximately 10,000 tCO2e emissions being saved per year. By replacing less efficient technologies and practices, the project will achieve biomass conservation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Other benefits include less smoke during cooking, reducing exposure to health damaging pollutants and reduced time and effort procuring wood fuel. The stoves are attractive and made using local materials wherever possible, resulting in local income generation, and building of new skills for local people.
Travel Places Managing Director, Matt Warren, explains the project was a good fit for the business: “The African cookstoves project certified by Gold Standard resonated with us for many reasons. We were encouraged by the fact it delivers tangible results – not just in terms of offsetting carbon, but also the benefits it brings to local communities in Malawi.
He added: “We help our clients to deliver incredible events that have a positive impact on so many lives. But we can’t escape the impacts of the travel involved to achieve these programmes. Given the nature of our business, staff travel is a major part of our own carbon footprint and offsetting is just one way that we can reduce that.
“Our efforts to become carbon neutral sit alongside many other measures we are introducing to ensure we lead by example and support a more sustainable future for our industry.”
To find out more about our sustainability activity at Travel Places and how we can support your business to make better informed and sustainable travel decisions, visit our sustainable event management page.