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How we’re committing to carbon reductions and evolving to support the transition to a low-carbon future.

At Contiki, we want to travel, and we want you to have life-changing travel experiences. We want you to see the big five on safari, to explore pristine coastlines and listen to the rainforest, intact and teeming with wildlife. We want to keep sharing the gift of travel with you, and others.

But unprecedented things are happening to our planet – the impacts of climate change are universal, and ignoring it won’t make it go away.

That’s why, from 2022, Contiki as a company will be completely Carbon Neutral. It’s just one of the steps we’re taking, and we’ve developed a five-point Climate Action Plan to guide us – committing to learning and adapting as the world moves closer to a lower carbon economy.

Beginning in 2022, in partnership with a leading offset provider, South Pole, we will offset your Contiki trip by purchasing carbon credits from a combination of three meaningful carbon reduction projects.

These projects include Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard projects to guarantee carbon reductions are made, while offering co-benefits that positively impact local communities:

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does travel contribute to climate change?

Whenever we start a car or jump onto an airplane, we emit harmful emissions into the air, known as greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). GHGs are caused in part by the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) to keep our gas tanks full and our fossil-fuel based transportation system moving. GHGs trap heat from the sun within our atmosphere and the more GHGs that we emit into the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped – warming our planet.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint encompasses the total amount of carbon that was emitted into the atmosphere to provide a product or service.

How did you calculate the carbon footprint from my trip?

Contiki worked with a third-party consultant to measure the carbon footprint of our trips. Here’s what we considered in scope and our responsibility to offset

- Transfers: any transportation provided as part of the trip
- Meals: any included meals as part of the trip
- Accommodations: all accommodations included within the trip.

We took a regional approach to measuring these emissions, to ensure country and regional specific emission factors were used where possible. We will review and update the carbon footprint of our trips every three years using our custom trip emission calculator.

Here’s what we considered out of scope and will not be included as part of our trip carbon footprint

- Traveller’s air travel to and from the destination
- All pre and post services not included in the price of the trip
- Emissions produced by facilities or buildings we visit on our trips (ie. museums). These emissions are considered the responsibility of the facility as determined by internationally accepted principles for emissions accounting.
- Meals purchased by the traveller

What are science based targets?

Science based targets are ambitious targets approved by the Science Based Target Initiative to ensure businesses reduce their emissions to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C in order to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. Contiki is working at an industry level through the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to create roadmaps to setting science-based targets. From there we can evaluate when and how to set Science-Based Targets.

What else is Contiki doing to reduce the carbon footprint of its trips?

Contiki is taking several steps to reduce the carbon footprint of our trips:

- Our Gasthof Schöneck in Hopfgarten is powered by 100% renewable energy, and our Chateau de Cruix in France is expected to secure 100% renewable energy in 2022.
- We use the most fuel-efficient Euro 6 coaches throughout Europe and coaches in other regions meet or exceed efficiency standards. Our Contiki Europe coaches are fitted with rooftop solar panels to lengthen the lifetime of the batteries.
- We’re developing more “closer to home” staycation trips for travellers who want to skip a plane ride and travel local.
- Where possible, we’re opting to include travel by rail instead of short-haul flights. Trains have a smaller carbon footprint than airplanes and you’ll get a real taste of traveling through the country.
- We’ve launched a new vegan-friendly itinerary and offer vegetarian meals on all our trips – just request this at the time of booking!
- We’re working with partners to increase the use of local food products, reducing GHGs associated with transport and increasing local food security.
- We’re assessing the use of biofuels for our coaches within Europe.
- We’re working with the World Travel and Tourism Council and ABTA on producing road maps for the groups to reach climate neutral by 2050, including engagement with suppliers.

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting means that for each tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we emit into the air, we will pay for one tonne of GHG emissions to be prevented from entering the atmosphere. We do this by investing in renewable energy projects for example, that prevents carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The projects we invest in are independently verified to the highest standards to ensure the carbon credits are verifiable and transparent.

Does carbon offsetting cost me more?

Contiki will pay for your trip to be carbon neutral, beginning in 2022. We are offsetting 100% of trips so you don’t have to worry about it!

Can I choose which carbon offset project my trip supports?

As part of our carbon offsetting program, Contiki will invest in all three carbon offset projects to offset trip emissions. Each project is independently verified and offers co-benefits to the local communities.

How do I offset my flight to and from my destination?

If you’re looking to offset the carbon footprint of your flight to and from your destination, we recommend measuring the emissions from your flight and offsetting this amount with our partner South Pole’s Flight Calculator. They provide travellers with a variety of verifiable carbon offset projects to choose from.

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