If you’re reading this section, chances are that you are of the persuasion that there is a climate emergency and that - despite the actions of many states and big businesses - each of us can make a difference through small actions. That’s our belief too.
The most important qualities of any organisation today are a genuine commitment to reducing environmental impact alongside increasing the compassion and care we show towards wildlife, other humans, societies and cultures. In recent years, the need for businesses to display these values and achievements ‘front and centre’ has reached something of a frenzy, often leading to a business’ sustainability standing becoming the centrepiece of their brand identity.
We get it - we all display the things we know others will like and approve of about us. We’ve done it too, proudly highlighting how we’re improving the impact of the work we do and the holidays we create.
In many ways, of course, this is no bad thing. It has pushed sustainability to the top of the agenda, which has helped make significant reductions in negative impact over the past decade, and will undoubtedly lead to even greater accomplishments over the next. However, the inevitable - and often unintentional - by-product is a diluted kind of greenwashing (perhaps it’s ‘teal-washing’…) where an organisation’s less sustainable aspects are buried just that little bit deeper.
This isn’t about those that deceive and outright lie about the good or harm of their actions - they know what they’re doing. For the rest of us, though, shining a light only on our best qualities masks the things we don’t do well, and risks them being overlooked, or forgotten altogether. Even unintentional greenwashing does harm. If those front-facing boasts take the focus off unresolved sustainability issues, they are worse than misleading. They lead to complacency.
Our accreditation as a B Corp has been an important step in measuring our performance and strengthening our accountability, as has becoming a founder signatory of Tourism Declares. These are powerful communities that coordinate efforts to drive greater improvement and hold each other to account.
However, it’s vital that we don’t put our feet up. Far from it. Central to our DNA is the need to constantly improve - kaizen. This requires being transparent and acknowledging that our industry and company have many hurdles still to overcome in terms of being sustainable, and some of those are, frankly, huge. Sustainable Aviation Fuel may be one step forwards, but it’s on a very long road. What matters is that we make sure we, as individuals and as an organisation, are constantly taking measurable steps towards that brighter future. We are passionate about doing just this, and will hold ourselves up to scrutiny to make sure we don’t lose that focus. We hope that you will hold us to account too.