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Sustainability officer Tasha Hayes on Contiki’s carbon-neutral future

A woman embracing world tourism day, standing on a railing overlooking a snowy mountain.

Editor’s Note: In Jan 2022 Contiki went carbon neutral. It took a lot of work, and hey, we were pretty proud. But no one ever changed the world by staying neutral – the science has spoken and we know we need to do more. That’s why we’re changing gears, from carbon neutral to Net Zero. What’s the difference? Here’s everything you need to know.

Haven’t you heard? Contiki’s going carbon-neutral. So, to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day, we had a chat with our sustainability officer Tasha Hayes about positive change, why sustainable travel is so important to her, and the steps Contiki are taking to shape a brighter, greener future for the industry.

Why does sustainable travel matter so much to you?

As a global citizen and travel enthusiast, sustainability plays such an important role in how I live, travel and work. It ensures we’re taking care of the planet not only in this moment, but also bettering it for future generations.

It’s so important that we consume resources more responsibly and think about the things we buy and use. I’ve always championed sustainability initiatives and advocated the ways we can do things better, both in my personal life and in the office.

What are you most proud of this year?

This year I’m proud of Contiki’s commitment to becoming a carbon neutral business from the 1st of January 2022!

We have a Climate Action Plan to guide us as part of a wider sustainability strategy. It prioritises reducing emissions and removing carbon ahead of offsetting unavoidable emissions. It’s not about one quick fix, because there isn’t one. It’s all about our commitment to learn and adapt, as tech and innovation moves us closer to the collective global goal of reducing carbon in our atmosphere. The entire team is completely on board.

How is Contiki reducing its carbon footprint?

Contiki has already done so much to reduce its carbon footprint and we’re working hard to find more reduction solutions. Our Haus Schoneck in Hopfgarten is powered by 100% renewable energy, and our Chateau de Cruix in France is on track to secure 100% renewable energy in 2022!

Our fuel-efficient Contiki Europe coaches are fitted with rooftop solar panels to lengthen the lifetime of the batteries, and we’re now assessing using biofuels for these coaches. We’ve developed rail itineraries and have started including ferries and trains instead of short-haul flights.

And it’s not just about transport, what we eat is so important too. That’s why we’ve launched a new vegan-friendly adventure and offer vegetarian meals on all our trips. And our Contiki owned properties are constantly increasing the use of local food products, reducing transport emissions and increasing local food security.

Contiki Château de Cruix

What have you learned on the journey?

I’ve learned that lots of small changes lead to much bigger impacts. I started with Contiki in 2012 as a European Trip Manager and feel so lucky to have witnessed this incredible transformation since then. In those 10 years, Contiki has built momentum and continuously found new ways to make positive small changes that have led to the huge decision of becoming a carbon neutral business.

Bring on the next 10 years and with it more positive change for the travel industry and our planet!

Tasha Hayes on Europe trip

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