Our Sustainability Initiatives

We at Follow The Camino vow to incorporate any and all practices that result in our organisation being more environmentally friendly.

We have undertaken multiple initiatives, small and big, that display our commitment to creating a more sustainable planet and make a difference in fighting climate change.

Our carefully selected Sustainability Committee comes together to discuss projects and initiatives that will help reduce our organisational impact on the environment, as well as share information with our customers and suppliers on how to achieve the same sustainability goals.

We are continually assessing the way we work to reduce our impact on the planet and be a more eco-friendly business. We work as much as possible with locally-owned accommodation providers and encourage our clients to eat at independent restaurants. Choosing to buy locally made products and participate in local experiences results in a positive impact on the cities and villages that we travel through first. We inform our travellers about their environmental impact and how to choose better options and keep their footprint small.

Our Sustainability Priorities

Our sustainability priorities are built on three pillars – Awareness, Improving our Footprint, Customers and Communities. Each and every single one of our sustainability projects are focused on one of these three pillars. At Follow the Camino, we recognise that we have a role to play in the broader world. This is why our sustainability priorities are carefully selected to include areas that will improve global environmental changes.

Awareness

Apathy and inertia to addressing climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. We tackle this problem head-on by spreading awareness about sustainable travel measures. We also advocate for slower, more eco-friendly ways of travelling and interacting with the natural environment and local communities affected by tourism.

Improving our Footprint

Our projects are centred around reducing our carbon footprint. We have taken initiatives such as introducing vegetarian meal options where possible across our Camino network from 2023, purchasing a bog in Ireland to aid with natural carbon capture, and investing in UN-approved carbon offsetting projects to account for the emissions created by our administrative operations and customers air travel to their Camino tour.

Customers and Communities

We’re constantly encouraging our customers to take small steps towarsds make their Camino journey as sustainable as possible. This includes educating our Camino travellers about sustainable travel and ‘leaving no trace’, and pointing them to sustainable tourism partners. We want to be able to create a journey where Camino enthusiasts can undertake the journey while minimising their harm to the environment.

Our Projects

Introducing Vegetarian Meals on the Camino

As part of our commitment to doing our bit for the planet and taking on our share in combating climate change and its long-term negative effects, we encourage our clients to have at least one vegetarian meal during specific multi-day Guided Tours with us. This initiative is intended to firstly reduce the carbon footprint of each traveller on their trip and also introduce eating vegetarian as an enjoyable alternative and therefore promote the option of reduced meat consumption back at home.

United Nations World Food Programme

Since 2014, the company has donated €10 per month and per employee to the UN World Food Programme. While it is not a comprehensive solution to the many crises the world is facing, we see it as part of our commitment to giving back and targeting, in global hunger, a problem that can be readily addressed in our lifetime with the right support.

Investing in Carbon Offset Projects

Using First Climate—an organisation dedicated to helping companies achieve net zero carbon emissions—we purchased 3,000 tonnes of C02 credits. We achieved this by investing in 3 goldstandard offsetting projects: one focused on renewable wind energy, one on solar energy, and one on safer and more efficient cooking stoves for communities in need. Investing in these projects is part of our commitment to improving the impact we have on the environment. It is part of a much bigger plan to offset the carbon footprint of our business, and bring that response to bear on climate change as a whole.

Carbon Reduction in our Operations

Since 2015, we have been calculating the carbon footprint of every single trip that is done with us. From airport transfers to hotel stays, luggage transfers to breakfasts, we estimate your footprint and offset it. We do the same for all of the office and business actions of our staff!

We are a low-paper office, with everything being done digitally. Most of our team works from home, so we have reduced our commute footprint. We run and attend many webinars and conferences virtually to cut down on travel miles.

Carbon Literacy Certification

At Follow the Camino, we believe to create a real impact it is essential for our employees to incorporate sustainable practices not just at the workplace but also at home. Keeping this in mind, we provided support for some of our employees to go through a carbon literacy program by Irish sustainability consultancy Earthology. This initiative helps to raise awareness about practices that empower our employees to make decisions that can help to reduce their individual carbon footprint! We intend to run this course again in the future.

B-Corp Certification: A Testament to Our Dedication

We’re proud to announce that Follow the Camino is not only B-Corp certified but is also the only Camino tour service provider to hold this distinction. This prestigious recognition is awarded to companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It shows a voluntary commitment to making the reduction of our environmental impact and creation of an inclusive working environment a priority over pure profit.

Our score of 89.1 is particularly noteworthy, placing us among the top tiers of sustainable and socially responsible businesses worldwide. This high score is a quantifiable testament to our unwavering commitment to doing right by our community of travellers, the environment, and stakeholders. It signifies countless hours of dedicated work, innovation, and commitment towards genuine positive impact. While this score is a proud achievement, for us it’s also a challenge to persistently elevate our efforts and set new benchmarks in sustainability.

Join us in our journey, where every step on the Camino is one towards a more sustainable and responsible future.

Our Sustainable Tourism Policy 2024

Sustainable Tourism Policy 2024

Meet Our Sustainability Committee

We set up the Sustainability Committee to collaborate on various actions that can be taken to make Follow the Camino a more sustainable company. The committee was specifically selected to include members from different pillars of the organisation, from marketing to sales and operations! The committee meets regularly to discuss ongoing projects and, critically, to choose new projects to invest in.

We are in a new era of travel and we don’t want to go backwards to a time when tourism was pursued at the expense of local communities and the environment as a whole. Centring all our sustainability activities and providing vital information to customers means more opportunities for local communities to benefit from the profits of tourism, more travellers that actively pursue a sustainable way of experiencing new things, and a better world for everyone. We understand that our sustainability goal is an ongoing process and cannot be achieved overnight. So, we’re looking to develop and participate in a mix of diverse stakeholder networks to ensure that our efforts are well rounded and are making an actual impact.

Jade Buchaudon

Camino Planner

Umberto di Venosa

Manager Director

Carmen Follow the Camino employee

Carmen Gomez Cardenas

Camino Planner

Tanya Agarwal

Marketing Executive

Angie Moreira

Reservations, Operations & Products Team Leader

Lihue Tula

Sustainability Advisor

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