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Our Plan


 

We know that as soon as we begin to talk about this kind of thing we open ourselves up to accusations of greenwashing. But hey ho - it’s better than doing nothing and not talking about it at all.

 

Traveller numbers will continue to grow over the next decades and the travel industry is a significant contributor to global warming. Rather than fighting this individually, we believe it is better to hone our voice within the industry - and join with other voices to push for positive change on a big business, government level. Because more sustainable means of travel are possible if enough of us demand them. 

The 'Climate Action' goal (drawn from the UN's sustainable development goal #13) from Our Sustainable-ish Plan goes beyond the necessary requirements and breaks down into four components: measure emissions, reduce emissions, offset emissions and campaign about emissions. Read on for the detail...


1) Measure Soul & Surf’s greenhouse gas emissions every year.

  • In 2023 we will continue to measure our UK business emissions, including our team’s travel.
  • In 2024 we will begin to measure our local partner company's emissions in Portugal, Kerala & Sri Lanka.
  • In 2024 we will begin to measure all our customers' travel. In 2025 we will publish a carbon footprint label for each trip. 

We pledge to be transparent on all of our findings and use the data to meet our target of 55% less CO2 emissions by 2030


2) Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions - to 55% of 2017's levels, by 2030

Our retreats are relatively low carbon (once you've arrived) yet we can always improve. The biggest change we can affect is by encouraging our customers to make sustainable choices whilst travelling by sharing tips and ideas with them whilst booking. Here's what we're doing:

  • In 2023 our team’s travel itineraries will be optimised and fewer flights, direct where possible and longer stays will be prioritised to reduce air travel as much as possible. 
  • In 2023 we will continue to work from home or cycle to work to cut local commutes significantly.
  • In 2023 we will continue to inform and encourage travellers to take direct flights and use airlines with the most modern and efficient fleets. We will encourage customers to use the “Greener Flights” filter on SkyScanner
  • In 2023 we will continue to offer online courses and retreats to our customers as an alternative to travel.
  • In 2023 we will Do waste audits and waste reductions plans in Sri Lanka, Kerala & Portugal to reduce waste.
  • In 2023 we wil follow our waste reductions plans in Sri Lanka, Kerala & Portugal to reduce waste.
  • In 2023 we will continue to train our local staff on our sustainable-ish goals to ensure we work together 
  • In 2024 we will provide more sustainable travel tips and ideas with our customers pre-booking and pre-arrival.
  • In 2024 we will expand our long-stay discounts to all locations to encourage long trips and less of them.
  • In 2024 we will encourage & reward customers for travelling to Soul & Surf by train in Portugal and India.
  • In 2024 we will require all of our local companies to complete greenhouse gas reductions plans.
  • In 2024 we will be as plastic free as is possible in all locations.
  • In 2025 we will offer more local holiday options for our customers to reduce air travel.

Measure | Reduce | Offset | Campaign


3) Offset Remaining emissions with Mossy Earth (UN Certified Emission Reductions)

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is our primary goal but whilst there are no better alternatives we will compensate for the pollution caused by our holidays. Soul & Surf is collaborating with Mossy Earth to offset any emissions we cannot reduce. We began in 2020 by planting trees for every customer that books, small steps.

Crucially this is done through rewilding by planting native plants thereby supporting biodiversity. Starting with reforestation but expanding to kelp and mangrove projects too.

  • In 2023 we will continue to more than offset any remaining UK company emissions through Mossy Earth membership, which will also support biodiversity projects.
  • In 2023 we will continue to also offset our customer's stay on-location through one-tree-per stay planting with Mossy Earth
  • In 2023 we will begin to support Mossy Earth on their local Portugal project re-wilding kelp forests. Planting 1 m2 of kelp per customer per week in Portugal. 
  • In 2023 we will encourage guests to offset their travel with Mossy Earth 
  • In 2024 we will begin to offset all of our customers travel-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2024 we will begin to require our partner companies to offset their remaining emissions. 

Find out more about our partnership with Mossy Earth >


4) Campaign 

By being transparent and reporting the measurement, reduction and compensation of emissions every year, by sharing our progress, the difficulties we encounter and what we have learned with our customers and with our peers we hope to make it easier for others to make a difference.

We commit to sharing our progress, ideas, successes and failures so that our peers and customers can hopefully learn from our progress and our mistakes.

The Annual Impact Report

Each year we’ll be reporting on all of our sustainability efforts and activities, and making the results public here. And of course we won’t always achieve all that we set out to but but being open and transparent about that is a big part of the process.

See our 2021 Impact Report here »

See our 2022 Impact Report here »

We know we can’t tackle an issue of this size and complexity on our own so we have joined other travel companies in declaring a climate emergency, other companies by making the Climate Neutral Now Pledge, other companies by being members of 1% For The Planet, other ocean lovers by supporting Surfers Against Sewage, other surfers by adopting the Take 3 for the Sea campaign and other people by signing up to 30x30.


If you have thoughts, feedback or insights that can help us improve, please email info@soulandsurf.com. And hit the Read More for a little bit about how we pledge to keep working in this area of climate action.


Read More

Unravelling the paradox of sustainable travel is difficult but we don't shy away from difficult things. And as we actively working towards reducing our carbon emissions, encouraging sustainable travel and reducing impacts of tourism by supporting biodiversity projects we believe it's equally important to adhere to the following principles:

Transparency 

We commit to sharing our progress, ideas, successes and failures so that our peers and customers can hopefully learn from our progress and our mistakes.

'Keeping It Real'

We don’t plan to make future claims of carbon neutrality by simply paying to ‘offset’ our emissions. The real work is in cutting emissions. Offsetting is what you do with what’s leftover, and only in a responsible, sustainable and bio-diverse way.


Read Less

We joined the Climate Neutral Now initiative for Climate Action and strive to reach climate positivity by 2025. This is our Climate Ambition.


Take The Pledge Now
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Climate Neutral. Now.


Climate Neutral Now

In December, 2015, the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, a global climate change agreement that laid the groundwork for a low-carbon future. In order to make that future a reality, companies, governments and individuals must work together toward climate neutrality. As outlined in the Paris Agreement, relying solely on governmental action will not be sufficient, all of us have a role to play.

We have taken the UN’s Climate Neutral Now Pledge, joining a global community of organisations committing to become climate neutral by the second half of the 21st century. Of course that means action now in order to rapidly move the planet towards a pathway that keeps global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.

Climate neutrality is achieved by balancing the amount of emissions we generate with the same amount being reduced. Climate neutrality is not necessarily about zero emissions. Instead, it is about reducing current emissions to the point where we reach a balance between our emissions and the absorptive capacity of the Earth.


Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency

We are committed to travelling in an environmentally and socially responsible way. So, we’ve signed up to Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organisations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce our carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 as per the advice from the IPCC 

This is not about never travelling again, but rather travelling better, and in a more conscious and responsible way. And joining forces with our peers, sharing ideas and tactics whilst pushing for change at the government and big business level.

Our commitment to the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement forms the Climate Action part of our overall Soul & Surf Sustainable-ish Plan

We’re working together to help deliver this and build a new, regenerative tourism industry.