At Inspire Alpine® our values – our core beliefs - are fundamental and shape every decision we take:  

Safety - is paramount in everything we do

Integrity - we do what’s right in every situation

Responsibility - we take ownership at all times

Honesty - we give objective advice, always

Aspire - we strive to help others fulfil their potential

Respect - we treat others as equals

We believe fiercely in responsible & sustainable travel, and that we must have a positive impact on the fragile mountain communities we visit. This is best articulated by the famous quote:

“Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints”

Across three decades of working in & visiting developing countries, I’ve personally witnessed the devastating effects of climate change on vulnerable communities & ecosystems.

I held the view that the social impact of my travel on others outweighed the negative environmental impacts.

However, it's now more apparent than ever that we need to do more to minimise our contribution to climate change. It’s time to take decisive action, demonstrate leadership & be part of the solution. We need to stay true to our values and act with responsibility & integrity. We need to reduce our carbon footprint & encourage others to do likewise.

That’s why we’ve signed up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organisations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions as per the advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030. 

Like all signatories, we have committed to the following five actions:

  1. Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade
  2. Share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year.
  3. Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us. 
  4. Encourage our suppliers and partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community
  5. Advocate for change. We recognise the need for system change across the industry, and call for urgent regulatory action to accelerate the transition towards zero carbon air travel.

What steps have we taken so far?

1. Green Growth Pledge

We’re pleased to announce that last month we were awarded the Green Growth Pledge by Business Wales, which committed us to a number of actions to reduce our impact or ensure sustainable performance.

We have now completed those actions.

2. Carbon Footprint

We’ve worked with Forest Carbon, who lead the way in UK woodland creation for carbon capture, to measure & monitor our carbon emissions as we seek to reduce & offset them. We’ve joined their Carbon Club to mitigate our CO2 emissions from last year that will lead to planting of around 60 trees in permanent new woodlands.  

Through the planting of over 9.5 million new trees since 2006, Forest Carbon are removing nearly 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as providing a host of other benefits to society, including flood mitigation, enhanced biodiversity and increased public access.

3. Removing single-use plastic on all trips

This year, we’ve stepped up our efforts to reduce single-use plastic water bottle waste while travelling.

We’re removing thousands of disposable plastic bottles by choosing to use refillable, filtered water bottles, which provide safe drinking water when clients fill up from a tap, or a natural water source.

To support this effort, we’ve announced a new partnership with Water-to-Go, whose mission is to give the World safe, clean, affordable water and help put an end to the damage to the planet created by plastic waste.

To further demonstrate our commitment to reducing plastic water bottle waste, we've stopped providing free bottled water on any of our trips with immediate effect. Water will still be made available on trips, but at an additional cost. We now offer all clients a discount of 20% off any Water-to-Go filter water bottle.

4. Virtual Events

As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, we’re developing some exciting virtual events that people can join from home or while walking or cycling in the UK or overseas.

These virtual events have many benefits, including a massively decreased carbon footprint compared to traditional events.

We’re striving to make these events as immersive & realistic as possible by using a range of digital apps, with regular feedback to clients from our expert leaders. We’ve been working with PwC’s Design Thinking for Good team to turn our ideas into sustainable and scalable events that can help improve lives.

As well as the clear environmental benefits our virtual events are cheaper to deliver & free to enter, are low risk & offer a great opportunity to keep staff, volunteers or fundraisers engaged & motivated.

We’ll be introducing our range of virtual events over the next few months.

We hope that by mitigating and seeking to reduce our carbon footprint we can encourage others to do likewise and help make a positive impact on the planet for future generations.