Do you “speak” carbon?

Choice by choice, speaking carbon is a language of behaviour

September 2021

The carbon footprint of our everyday activities follows each of us like a shadow. There’s simply no way of getting away from it, and our compounded effect across the planet is measured in a staggering millions of metric tons.

The scale of these ever-escalating numbers brings out the deer and then calls for the elephant. First, that deer-in-the-headlights brain freeze. Then the elephant comes to the rescue. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu, once explained that there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time. And in the face of this carbon mammoth, the changes will come with each choice and every change.

Follow the plastic

Connect the dots. Single-use plastic is produced from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels account for the majority of global carbon emissions. And it doesn’t stop there. Carroll Muffett, Head of the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), estimates that between now and 2050, emissions from plastics production and incineration could account for almost 50 times the annual emissions of all the coal power plants in the U.S.A.

Zero plastic countdown

What does a 100% commitment to plastic reduction look like?

“We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet. And never before, have we had the power to do something about that. The future of humanity, and indeed all life on earth, now depends on us.”

David Attenborough’s words talk to the very essence of our vision ‘to leave our world a better place’ through impactful goals and initiatives that care for the land, wildlife and people, with our guest experiences always at the very heart of these endeavours.

And this is exactly what our count down to zero plastic is all about – a whole-hearted commitment to reduce the use of plastic across our operations.

Why? Because, quite simply, plastic waste is killing our environment.

Looking for plastic-free alternatives?

The ocean is the foundation of our life support system.


Protect the blue

We all live by the ocean. Strange as this may sound to those of us leagues away from any marine or coastal ecosystems, oceans are responsible for at least half of the oxygen we breathe, and a staggering 83% of the global carbon cycle is circulated through these waters. As the legendary marine biologist, Dr Sylvia Earle explains so succinctly: “No water, no life. No blue, no green.”

Take the Oceans Without Borders Pledge

Ask the questions

Do your homework before you decide on which travel companies or tour operators you will support.

How do you make your travel really count in a way that is fulfilling and purposeful? How do you find your way around the screen of confusing carbon terminology, when so many of these terms are used loosely and interchangeably?

A classic example is the terms “Carbon neutral” and “Carbon net-zero”. Depending on which glossary you look at, these terms may, or may not, be used interchangeably.

In the context of our Vision 2030 commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, with a set of reduction stepping stones towards this goal, we have aligned ourselves with the following definitions:

  • Carbon neutral: the balancing of carbon emissions generated by an equivalent offset: either by buying carbon credits, or supporting renewable energy projects or both.
  • Carbon net-zero: the active reduction of carbon emissions, followed by an offset of the remaining carbon emissions to net-zero, either by buying carbon credits, or supporting renewable energy projects, or both.

While the principle behind these terms is the same, namely the balancing by an organisation of any carbon emissions that they generate with an equivalent “offset”, the difference lies in an undertaking to reduce before offsetting. So don’t forget to ask what carbon reduction programmes are in place when you’re doing that investigative ground work.

To jet, or not?

As a responsible traveller with an awareness of travel and its related carbon emissions, the question needs to be asked. Is private jet travel friend or foe? What are some of the touch points you need to look for?

In the Forbes article “Private Jet Travel Is Greener Than You Think”, Doug Gallan explores the conflicting opinions around this subject, with a strong positive in the “friend” camp being the fact that private aviation has been working on green solutions for some time in the form of carbon offset programmes and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

White Desert Antarctica

This tour operator is replacing the jet fuel on its Antarctica flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Galápagos Islands Journey

This private-jet journey includes a carbon offset that will support a partner sustainability initiative.

The power of choice lies with you. The earth waits in anticipation.

10 ways to live more sustainably


Leaving our world a better place for years

Discover the impact legacy that your travel with &BEYOND is driving. Just as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have been a touchstone for our Vision 2020 group-operation sustainability audits, so they continue to guide and underpin our ambitiously scaled Vision 2030 goals.