of 12 /12
Travelling towards a more sustainable future Ethical Strategy September 2010

Ethical Strategy - The Co-operative

  • Author

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Ethical Strategy - The Co-operative

Text of Ethical Strategy - The Co-operative

  • Travellingtowards a moresustainable future

    Ethical StrategySeptember 2010

  • 2Introduction

  • 3Welcome to the third edition ofour Ethical Strategy.As part of The Co-operative we have a strong history of corporate responsibility which were proud of and The Co-operative Travel is committed to supportingsustainable tourism.

    We offer our customers the widest selection of holidays and have beenworking hard to increase the range of holidays by rail for thosecustomers who prefer not to fly. For those who choose to fly, weactively collect 1 per passenger on behalf of The Travel Foundationand the monies weve collected allows us to have our own sustainabletourism projects abroad. These projects will be very carefullymeasured and evaluated to ensure that our customers donations reallyhelp lessen the impact that their holiday may have on the environmentand local communities. We also continue to offer Co-operativemembers a free carbon offset on their holiday flight.

    As a co-operative business owned by our members, were more thanjust about pursuing profit were expected to lead the field in mattersof ethics and the environment. Our unique Sustainable Travel forSchools scheme educates school children in the importance ofsustainable tourism and how they can be responsible travellers. Westill, in principle, oppose the development of runways throughout theUK unless there is a clear sustainability case.

    In this document youll learn more about The Co-operative TravelsEthical Strategy, what weve achieved so far, what were working onand where were heading. We believe that it is possible to do businessin a way thats good for everyone.

    Mike Greenacre

    Managing DirectorThe Co-operative Travel

  • 4

  • Supporting the Travel FoundationThe Travel Foundation is a UK charity that supportscommunities in holiday destinations worldwide, by investingin sustainable tourism initiatives. We ask that all ourcustomers donate 1 to the Travel Foundation when theybook their holiday with us. So far this year weve collectedover 200,000 for the Travel Foundation and next year wehope to raise in excess of 350,000.

    As a major supporter of the Travel Foundation, 20% of the funds weraise on their behalf can be used to fund bespoke projects. We are now working on a local foodsourcing project in Turkey to supplylocal hotels. Research has revealed thatthis is a complex and ambitious projectwith a substantial time period requiredto achieve long term results. In order tohelp maximise the results the projectwill be co-sponsored by Tui and ThomasCook. We have also committed tosupport a livelihoods project in Mexico,supporting the local Mush Meya groupto conserve the endangered melipona bee, and are researchingfurther project opportunities relating towater access.

    The Co-operative Travel ManagingDirector, Mike Greenacre, is Vice Chairman of The Travel Foundation.


  • Work in the communityThe Co-operative Group has a long history of successfulcommunity work and The Co-operative Travel is becoming moreactively involved in community projects.

    The Co-operative Travel has developed a unique education programme todevelop childrens knowledge of sustainable travel. The Greener Travel Awardscheme teaches children about responsible tourism and provides an insight intohow a travel agency operates. As part of the scheme, Travel branch managersvisit schools to brief Year 5 children on how the decisions taken when choosinga holiday can make it more sustainable. The children then complete a scrapbook to represent their holiday and theactions they took to make it more sustainable. The scheme waspiloted in 19 schools in 2009 and this year 50 schools areinvolved reaching 1,800 children and their families. We plan toinvolve 120 schools and travel agents in 2011.

    We have also produced childrens activity books in conjunction with the Travel Foundationthat are given out with all family holiday bookings. The activity books feature our childrens characterBen the Tiger alongside the Travel Foundationscharacter Hatch the Turtle, with the aim of helping to increase childrens awareness of sustainable tourism through fun activities.


  • 7

  • Overland TravelAs part of our commitment to sustainable tourism, were working towiden the choice of holiday transport options we offer as analternative to flying.

    We want our customers to have a viable choice in the way that they travel to theirholiday destination. We now offer a range of holidays by rail as the mode oftransport as an alternative to air travel. Rail providers including Rail Europe andEurostar have made overland travel to and around Europe much more accessiblewhich allows our customers to reach their holiday destination by rail. We are alsoworking with companies including Rail Trail, Treyn Holidays and Great RailJourneys to provide holidays that are escorted tour holidays by rail. We have alsoensured that our staff continue to improve their knowledge of these holidayalternatives and in Autumn 2009 all staff undertook training modules in this area.

    We continue to work hard to develop our rail travel proposition. Updates on progresswill be posted at www.co-operativetravel.co.uk/ethical-strategy


  • Carbon OffsettingThe Co-operative Travel works with Climate Care, an organisationdedicated to combating climate change, to provide our customerswith an easy way to ensure that they counteract the impact thattheir flight has on the climate.

    When customers book a holiday with us, they have the option of making a smallpayment to fund carbon offset projects in the developing world. Our membershave the option of a free carbon offset on their holiday flight when they book aholiday with us. Climate Care ensure that projects are well managed and deliverthe carbon savings promised.

    Our staff are fully committed to carbon offsetting and all of our staff havecompleted our green training programme which includes carbon offsetting. This training module is compulsory for all new starters.

    For more information on carbon offsetting and the projects funded by us, visitwww.co-operative.coop//ethicsinaction/climatechange/carbonoffsetting/


  • Renewable energyAll branches of The Co-operative Travel are powered byrenewable electricity. Last year we purchased 8.99GWh ofrenewable electricity, saving 4,916 tonnes of carbon dioxide inthe process.

    In 2010 weve maintained our carbon neutral status by offsetting theremaining emissions from Travels business operations.

    The Co-operatives wind farm at Coldham in Cambridgeshire is a jointventure between The Co-operative Group and Scottish Power. The electricitygenerated from this farm alone is enough to meet the equivalent electricityneeds of over 9,000 UK homes.

    Fighting climate change is one of The Co-operative Groups community investment priorities with projects such as Green Energy for Schools and Walking Buses working to address the issue.


  • RecyclingWe collect all old point of sale material from all of our brancheson a twelve week cycle to ensure that the vast majority of thepoint of sale material that we produce is recycled. Last year 286tonnes of travel brochures, paper, card and plastic were removedfrom our branches, which is enough to fill 14,000 20kg suitcases!

    We work closely with tour operators to ensure that they dont send usunnecessary quantities of brochures. Our branch managers monitor deliveriesfrom operators closely and report any infringements.

    All of our point of sale material is printed on stock that has a minimum of85% recycled material or has come from FSC accredited sources.

    Our branches no longer provide plastic carrier bags for customers totransport their brochures. Instead, our branches now sell re-usable fair-tradecotton bags.


  • Registered Address. Co-operative Group Travel Limited, New Century House, Manchester, M60 4ES