Adventure Travel Tour Operator Sets New Precedent
Escape Adventures' Triple Bottom Line Benchmark
Boulder, CO (October 19, 2006) - Sustainable Travel International (STI) announced today that it helped Escape Adventures become one of - if not the first adventure travel company in the U.S. to attain carbon neutral status.
"I want this to set a standard and an example for other businesses to follow including our competitors," explains Jared Fisher, co-owner of Escape Adventures. "Money cannot be the only factor to measure a businesses' success. By adding social and environmental dimensions to the traditional economic benchmark, business can accurately gauge their performance across the triple bottom line, which benefits everyone."
Escape Adventures, which specializes in hiking, biking and multi-sport tours throughout the western United States, took a bold step when the company proactively offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions for 2006 through STI, including its waste generation, electricity consumption, employee flights and land travel. "We felt it was important to make a high level contribution to addressing global climate change, so our guests would know how important the environment is to our business," Fisher concludes.
Though carbon offsetting is becoming an important tool for addressing global warming, it wasn't enough for Escape Adventures. The company set a new precedent when it committed to investing almost a quarter of a million dollars in mitigating its other environmental impacts. Specifically, the company invested $101,000 in solar cells to power its retail bicycle shops and bike tour warehouses in Las Vegas and Moab, $121,000 in diesel vans and trucks, and $10,500 in Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) conversions, fuel holding tanks and pumps to run its vehicles off of WVO and bio-diesel. The company has also reduced its waste by almost 90 percent and only prints its marketing materials on 100 percent post consumer recycled paper using soy based inks. An employee incentive program has also be implemented which gives each employee a $5 per day bonus just for riding their bicycle to work.
"Numerous research studies prove that managing waste and improving energy efficiency result in direct cost savings and that doing the right thing through corporate responsibility initiatives attracts conscientious consumers whose purchasing decisions align with their values," offers Brian T. Mullis, STI's President. "Though this might be what it takes to get the mainstream travel and tourism businesses to support the triple bottom line, Escape Adventures makes it clear that profit isn't always the underlying motive, and that's extremely encouraging."