Journeys by Design depends on nature. Without the wildlife, wilderness and cultures of Africa, we would not be in business. This life – and the livelihoods it enables – is under threat. In order to combat this, we have drawn up a five-year plan* to both minimise the obvious negative impact of the travel we facilitate and leave our destinations in a better condition than they were before we visited them. This plan commits us wholeheartedly to a range of steps that will ensure that we become a net-positive business.
Our strategy for working towards becoming a net-positive business includes:
We are working to create a sustainable business. This means measuring, reducing, and offsetting the cost of the business in terms of carbon emissions. It means adopting and honouring standards of work that make the business a net positive one. Critically, this includes auditing our supply chains and working with suppliers to make the necessary changes.
We are against consumption and growth for consumption and growth’s sake. To this end, we question the purpose of every safari we design; we design only 100 safaris a year; and we proactively suggest solutions to large-footprint trips, including alternative ways to travel and going local.
Every decision we make is in the name of our destinations. Success is measured, therefore, on our ability to support long term sustainable development in our destinations and on the fulfilment of our social contract with our local community stakeholders.
We are transparent and pragmatic about what it will cost to transition to a net positive business. This means being above board about the thinking and evidence for how we price our safaris and the impact of those safaris. In doing so, we share the ownership of responsible travel, making genuine partners of our travellers.
We have a view on events that affect – negatively and positively – achieving a net positive world. We are not, therefore, silent on issues that affect democracy, universal rights, or are detrimental to the environment. It is incumbent on us to step forward in the name of everything that we value in society.
Journeys by Design aims to become a net-positive business 2026. Progress so far:
We are close (2022) to becoming a Certified B Corps. A B Corp is a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. We will be legally required to consider the impacts of our decisions on our workers, clients, supplier, community and environment, before shareholders. This stakeholder-based approach ensures our business is a force for good.
Journeys by Design is a member of 1% For the Planet. This means that 1% of our gross sales will go to approved environmental causes and organisations.
In 2022, we exceeded our 1% pledge, gifting £51,689 through 1% for the Planet as well as supporting a range of conservation and community development work through our travel.
UK supply chain: Significant reduction in print materials (2021 onwards). Currently (2022) sourcing green server. New offices in B Corp hosted building.
African supply chain: Budgeted for on-the-ground audit 2022 / 23.
1. We are signed up to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency as part of our five-year plan to better articulate the net positive impact we have and are also in the process of signing up to the Glasgow Declaration – Climate Action in Tourism, which came out of COP26 to focus the tourism sector on reaching net zero.
2. In August 2021 we signed an agreement to purchase carbon credits from Carbon Tanzania’s Ntakata Forest REDD+ carbon project.
3. Credits will be used to offset client travel, with the help of the Safari Carbon Calculator, which we developed and released as a free open source tool in June 2022.
4. International flights account for the bulk of a trip’s emissions. We currently design just 100 trips a year. By 2025, we hope to design just 50 trips a year. We set up Go Local (2020) to encourage people to safari in their backyard.
In 2020 we measured and offset all our client trip emissions as well as our entire teams carbon footprint:
– In 2020, the combined emmissions of all trips totalled 142 tonnes of CO2. In 2021, it totalled 394 tonnes of CO2. The increase was due to Covid and no travel in 2020 and to reduced travel in 2021.
– We will continue measuring, with 2022 being closer to a more ‘normal’ year. In 2022 we intend to include our other business emissions to offset as well. We continue to track team and trip emissions and are actively looking forward to reduce them.
We signed Business for Nature’s call to action alongside 1,100 other companies calling on governments to adopt policies to reverse nature loss in this decade.
We have also just signed their business statement, Make it Mandatory, which is urging governments to require all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030 in the run up to COP 15. For more on this, see COP: what and why.
We are working with Weeva, helping support their development of tourism related sustainability tools.
Our Africa House Group model was nominated for the Earthshot Prize by Cambridge University’s Social Ventures programme.
We know this will take time, hence the now reassessed five-year plan. We hope to achieve our aims sooner, but equally do not want to rush the process, lest we fail to fully consider the implications of everything we’re attempting to do. We must do this properly.
In all this, we are pragmatic optimists. Sustainable or regenerative travel has to be a by-product of a healthy planet and we are in the privileged position of driving this agenda through for the majority benefit of our stakeholders.
*This was initially a three-year plan, initiated in 2021. However, we underestimated the effect of Covid. Enacting the strategy for working-towards net positive continues apace, but there is so much more to do as a result of the effects of the pandemic.