Corporate Social Responsibility
Is this important? Do we do it to tick a box? What do we mean by Corporate Social Responsibility, and what does it mean to us and our customers to have this policy?
Here at Follow the Camino we like simplicity and get right to the point, so we’ve prepared this Corporate Social Responsibility policy to help you understand where we come from and why protecting our planet is so important to us.
Follow the Camino’s responsibility for climate change and global warming
The tourism industry has been growing extremely rapidly across the planet in the past 30+ years. And it is set to continue on this trajectory into the future. Worryingly, it currently represents a staggering 8% of carbon emissions worldwide.
This growth comes from an increase in numbers of travellers worldwide – in part, due to a growing middle-class population in previously developing countries (China, etc.) but also thanks to the growing number of holiday destinations, and an increased interest in holiday types different from the classic beach or cruise – such as walking, cycling and adventure holidays.
In this day and age, we bring more people to more places than ever before. It is a fact. Rather than ignoring it, it is essential to take responsibility for our carbon footprint and reduce as much as possible the negative impact on our planet while harnessing the most positive aspects of travel to the economy, communities, and wellbeing.
Follow the Camino has played a big part in the rising popularity of some lesser-known travel destinations, and we want to take action to make our products sustainable and have a net positive impact on the planet.
Corporate Social Responsibility – Facts We Believe In:
-Climate change is happening and represents the biggest challenge of the next 50 years.
-We’ve been using up the Earth’s yearly natural resources by August – meaning we’ve been using almost double the resources we can afford. Without getting into too many details, we can all agree that the Earth is a finite sphere of 13,000km in diameter. As such, maths prove very easily that in a finite resource environment, the use of these resources has limits and cannot go on growing forever.
-All men and women of our planet are born equal.
–Inequality is a great threat to the planet by showcasing a standard of living which is unsustainable globally.
What are we doing to make things better?
- Doing something is better than doing nothing.
- There is no more time for looking away.
- The change will come from civil society (us) and not politicians.
Talking is good, but what about taking action as the point is not just to make us feel better but really act on climate change and global inequalities.
Running services and technology-based business means that we require material to function. We have opted for laptops so that staff can work from home, removing the need for spare PCs in meeting rooms, etc. We try and service old PCs as much as possible. We started to remove paper holiday packs 8 years ago and are trying to reduce our paper/hard copy material to a minimum but it is not down to 0 yet.
Our actions on the 4 core pillars Of the United Nations Global Compact
In order to make a stronger and more structured commitment towards playing a positive role on those issues, we joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2018. This scheme provides a framework for us to take action in this global effort as well as monitor the effects.
Not applicable broadly to our business since we work for the vast majority in developed countries with relatively strong legislation.
We strive to maintain a workplace environment where employees feel safe, happy and supported.
We take an absolute zero tolerance stance on workplace harassment, intimidation and bullying.
We strongly condemn discrimination of any kind – including discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Any allegations of such bullying will be seriously investigated.
Our suppliers: While we do not control every individual involved in our operations for obvious reasons, we do keep a close eye on our partners’ way of working and have taken actions when we find out about wrong-doing by some of them.
Our suppliers are our partners. We work on long term relationships. We also keep fair prices for everyone.
We try to spread business over several suppliers and prefer the quality of individual small accommodations of various styles to the convenience of contracts and exclusivity with bigger suppliers
For our staff: A diverse, motivated and happy team of employees is integral to our continued success, and as a company we value their dedication to providing the best possible service to our clients.
Our team is currently made up of enthusiastic travel professionals from a myriad of backgrounds, nationalities and ages.
We strive to hire the best possible candidates to fill company positions, based on previous experience, enthusiasm and skills – regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or identity, socio-economic background, disability or age. We believe men and women equality in career prospects.
We ensure that our staff are paid a fair and liveable wage, and that their compensation accurately reflects their experience and skillset.
This is a very exciting area where we feel we can have the greatest impact for ourselves and our customers.
- Print only if you need to.
- Fly only if you need to – prefer phone/video calls.
- Buy with care based on needs.
- Source locally if possible.
We encourage our travellers to eat meat only one of the nights during their trip. It may sound trivial but every little helps.
Our walking holidays are not very heavy on CO2 emissions. Most of them are due to hotel nights (sheets every day, cleaning, etc.) and the luggage transfer which is leveraged and grouped for efficiency purposes and cost. We do not offset meals and drink as this is something that would take place for our clients at home anyway and consumption choices are personal.
Every single passenger has a CO2 emission attached to them depending on their trip specific services. This is not to blame but simply to account for each person that travels with us and for whom we will offset CO2.
Projects we collaborate:
KE: 210683 212922 (Efficient Cook Stove Programmes: Kenya) – [ASK UMB for the CO2 cert] Project number: 5336 – Provider: co2balance UK Limited
Green Restoration Ireland Cooperative Restoration of Irish natural habitat in forestry and bog land
This is not an area we are exposed since we work with private entities. We only have policies in place with regards to payments and authorisations where data is segregated amongst teams and authorisation is necessary for transactions above a certain amount.
Some of the codes and resources we integrate to the running of our business
Resources for travelers: