Carbon Management

The world’s largest carbon neutral travel company since 2010, we measure our annual GHG inventory in accordance with the global GHG Protocol, offsetting our emissions (operations and trips) by purchasing international carbon credits.

As of December 2022, we’ve offset more than 424,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. In 2022, we revised our reporting methodology in line with the best-practice requirements set by Climate Active, which is a partnership between the Australian Government and Australian businesses to drive voluntary climate action.

At a glance

  • Carbon neutral since 2010
  • 52 offices (including new and virtual) assessed for emissions in 2022
  • More than 1,800 carbon offset trips in 2022
  • We've offset more than 424,000 tonnes of carbon emissions worldwide
  • Our reporting methodology is in line with Climate Active, a partnership between the Australian Government and Australian businesses to drive voluntary climate action
  • We have set a science-based emissions reduction target in line with a 1.5°C future

How we offset

Man with local in Central America
1. Measure

In 2022, we redeveloped our trips' greenhouse gas inventory in line with the best-practice requirements set by Climate Active. To do this, we have broken down our trips into categories, such as the accommodation, transportation and food provided during a trip. From there, we calculate the average emissions per passenger per day in each region, which allows us to estimate the emissions for trips that we don't yet have sufficient data for. This information is now available for most trips in the form of carbon labels on our trip pages.

When it comes to our offices, we measure and offset our emissions from electricity, bottled gas, natural gas, water, flights, vehicles, waste and paper.

Group in on a cycle tour in Thailand
2. Reduce

In our offices, we recycle waste and have introduced efficiency measures including energy-saving light bulbs, digital conferencing and water conservation.

On trips, we reduce our consumption by using public transport, encouraging travellers to pack reusable water bottles and removing non‑essential flights from trips where viable alternatives exist.

The gates to angkor Wat, Cambodia
Offset

We offset our carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits associated with six key international projects. They include Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard Certified projects, which generate additional economic, social and environmental benefits, including habitat and biodiversity protection.

Carbon label methodology

Nearly everything we do causes carbon emissions and, by default, has a carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide released when fossil fuels are burned and has long been used as a measure of environmental impact.

Carbon labelling is a simple, easy way to communicate the impact of Intrepid’s trips on the environment. We all have a carbon footprint - putting a label on it tells our customers that we’re taking ownership of ours.  As we as a business reduce our carbon footprint / decarbonize in line with our science-based emission reduction target, we want to make it easier for customers to find low carbon trips.

Carbon labels are there as a guide rather than an exact science. As a company, Intrepid are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, this covers everything from our offices, and the trips we run and operate. As part of our journey to reduce the carbon footprint of our trips, one of the first steps was to find out the carbon emitted on each of our adventures.

However, it is important for you to realise that our carbon calculations are not 100% accurate. To get to this stage would take several years and may be impossible and by that point we would have lost too much time in the race against the climate crisis. So, our aim is to get meaningfully accurate carbon scores which we can improve each year as we get better at measuring our carbon footprint. But perhaps more importantly, can be used to reduce the carbon footprint of our trips by helping us find opportunities to reduce our emissions whilst improving the quality of our adventures.

This will mean our carbon labels will change over time, but we aim to be transparent with you by sharing our methodology for calculating our emissions as well as encouraging feedback (the good and the bad).

Our approach

We have developed an emission tool based on trip emissions being calculated on a trip level and looks at the different components of the trips including accommodation, transportation, food provided, activities, staff and office operations and waste.  A 15% contingency is also added to each trip’s emissions, to account for anything we may have unintentionally missed. The uplift factor is an upwards adjustment to the total carbon inventory to account for relevant emissions, which can’t be reasonably quantified or estimated).  

Now displayed on nearly every Intrepid trip page, the carbon label will show the total CO2e- kg per passenger/day of the trip. Trip-based emissions are normalised by passenger day travelled.

Our carbon footprint does not include the flight emission of the customer getting to/ from the Intrepid trip.  We recognize the impact flights have and we are currently in the process of measuring the carbon footprint of our customers getting to/ from our trips.

We will be open sourcing our detailed methodology this year. In the meantime, please reach out to responsible.business@intrepidtravel.com if you have any questions and want to learn more about our methodology.

Our Quick Start Guide to Decarbonise Your Travel Business

We've created an open-source 10-Step Quick Start Guide to Decarbonise Your Travel Business. The complimentary resource provides an easy-to-follow action plan on reduction and offsetting for other tourism businesses to follow. The guide includes practical examples and tips to encourage the industry to rebuild more sustainably amid the pandemic.

Download the guide

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