Earlier this year, we announced our 17 Changemaker Goals; Goals that inspire CAS Trips to become a more sustainable company. The first goal was to become 100% Carbon Neutral by 2019 – so here we are announcing one of our key milestones.
Moving forward, CAS Trips will offer only net zero emission trips! What this means and how we aim to do it will be explained by Naazia, a team member at Stand For Trees – the provider we choose to carbon offset with.
Carbon emissions from travel
The global tourism industry as a whole has been growing at an annual rate of around 5 per cent, outpacing the growth of international trade. Increasing carbon dioxide is released into the air each year, causing global climate change.
According to the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, the tourism sector is responsible for nearly one tenth of the world’s carbon emissions. The researchers said flying less and investing in payment schemes to offset damage caused by travel will be essential to avoid “unchecked future growth in tourism-related emissions.”
So, what does carbon offsetting mean?
Carbon offsetting is the process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising as a result of travel, by participating in schemes designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to Stand For Trees, carbon offsetting is crucial as a stopgap measure and to compensate for unavoidable emissions.
That is because policies and technologies take time to change: electric airplanes will not be in the air anytime soon, for example. This means that, unfortunately, anyone flying on a plane will be – for the time being – creating unavoidable emissions. Offsetting allows us to compensate for these emissions by removing an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere.
CAS Trips & Stand For Trees
CAS Trips has partnered with Stand For Trees, an innovative grassroots campaign that enables us to take real action to stop forest loss: the number one cause of species extinction and third-leading cause of CO2 emissions globally.
Since 2007, the international community has been working together on the REDD+ program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. We have chosen to collaborate with Stand For Trees because we (and all our travelers) are now investing in communities who are pursuing new economic opportunities — creating the economy of tomorrow, where trees are more valuable standing than cut down.
CAS Trips calculates the total emissions bi-annualy based on a conservative average calculation of 2.5 Tons of CO2 per CAS Trip participant. We then work with Stand For Trees to choose projects that we truly believe in. Currently, we are invested in the following projects:
- Cordillera Azul National Park
- There are 1.35 million hectares (the size of the US state of Connecticut!) of intact montane forest, with the buffer zone comprising a further 2.3m hectares, nearly the size of Wales.
- There are an estimated 6,000 plant species within the park, and a unique array of reptiles, birds, mammals and amphibians.
- The Park is the source of at least 45 watersheds that flow to the Huallaga and Ucayali rivers, two of the most important tributaries of Amazonas River.
- This forest provides food and water for more than 440 communities residing in the buffer zone.
- Rimba Raya Orangutan Reserve
- Largest privately-funded orangutan reserve in the world, protecting local species including the Bornean orangutan, clouded leopard, gibbon, proboscis monkey and Asian sun bear.
- Improves access to clean water, efficient cook stoves and health care for local communities who protect the forest.
- Supports rehabilitation and environmental education programs — including the Orangutan Foundation International Program.
- Kariba African Wildlife Corridor
- Generated more than 60 local jobs to date.
- Through the purchase of Stand For Trees Certificates, basic amenities will be supplemented for targeted schools.
- Improves habitat for threatened species like the Black Rhinoceros, of which few individuals are left in the area.
- Projected to prevent nearly 52 million tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere over a 30-year period.
During our chat, Naazia explained what it means for Stand For Trees to collaborate with CAS Trips: “We are excited to work with CAS Trips to combat climate change and to protect our priceless tropical rainforests.
This partnership shows that CAS Trips is aware of the impact their trips are having and that it is prepared to take the necessary steps to avoid further carbon emissions. We all know that people are not going to stop living, people want to keep experiencing – but this means we need to work with them first to raise awareness of the impacts their actions have on the climate, and second to minimize these impacts.”
Naazia left us with some wise words when asked about how we can become better global citizens: “Take whatever actions you can individually – there are things you can do to reduce your own impact, like making sure any meat or dairy you consume is local and grass-fed, and not factory farmed or imported from deforestation hotspots like Brazil.
But don’t feel guilty about living your life, because the scale of change that we need has to come from government and industry. Rather, do what you can to help that along: be an active citizen, discuss the issues with your local community, and remember that voting is key.
Vote for the climate, and try to keep it as high on the political agenda as possible. Lastly, offset what you can’t avoid, and what you can afford. Any amount helps, even if it’s something small like $5-10. And when you do offset, do it through forestry!
Other industries like renewable energy have their own opportunities for generating revenue, but forests don’t. And by saving tropical forests, you create outsize benefits for wildlife and some of the world’s poorest communities.”
Interested in booking a carbon neutral trip with CAS Trips? Contact us today!