CycleActive and the Environment
Cycling is one of the cleanest, greenest and healthiest forms of travel. Those of us who cycle for leisure, for adventure or as a way of exploring other countries can have a significant impact on the environment around us, and the communities we engage with on our journeys.
This is a statement of the ways in which the company and the staff of CycleActive aim to ensure that the impact we have is positive. This is a constantly evolving document, and we would encourage anyone who is thinking about travel or training with us to comment on our approach. If you have ideas on how we can do things better we would very much like to hear from you.
Founder and Director
Environment and Community Pledges:
Cycle Travel Plans. Our holidays are all designed to maximise cycling time and minimise driving time, reducing overall distance travelled in vehicles as much as possible. Whether we’re mountain biking in Italy or touring in Cuba we endeavour to plan holidays that give our clients as much time in the outdoors as possible. There is no rushing between locations in vehicles, or rides with long vehicle transfers.
Environmental and Social Awareness. All CycleActive guides are trained in environmental awareness and responsibilities, and we work with partners around the world to ensure that our activities are carried out in a socially aware and sensitive way.
Community Activities. We support a range of cycling and outdoor activity related projects in the UK. Our expertise in the fields of leadership training, cycle coaching and youth development is widely called upon and we work on a no-fee basis for the National Governing Body for mountain bike leadership and the National Skills Academy for the Outdoors. We also give time to community cycling projects that need help and expertise to secure facilities, develop youth training programmes and raise funds through sporting bodies.
International Partnerships and Training. Local guides around the world acknowledge with some cynicism that many “environmental policies” which state that companies only employ local staff are little more than cost saving excuses. We take a radically different approach. Wherever possible tours are led by two guides – one experienced and qualified cycling expert from our UK team, and one skilled and knowledgeable local guide. UK staff provide training to our partners on cycle skills, maintenance, bike setup and related activities, while local staff develop our language skills, social understanding and local knowledge. Together these international teams provide the highest standards of leadership and safety in the cycle travel industry.
In-house operations. We aim to reduce all office waste, to reuse or recycle everything from paper to cycle parts, and to constantly review the operations of the business to ensure that we are being as environmentally conscious as possible. One step taken in 2006 was to stop producing annual brochures, stop all client mailings other than by email, and to provide full holiday, course and company information on our website.
Carbon reduction. With help from one of the UK’s leading experts on Climate Change and Environmental Engineering (a generous client of ours who herself has given her expertise free of charge) we are working on a detailed carbon reduction programme for ourselves and our clients. This will include the purchase of carbon credits to offset all emissions from our operations, and the offering of targeted WWF Gold Standard carbon credits to allow all clients to travel in a way that has no impact on the global climate.
Carbon impact. reduction and offsetting
The process of global industrialisation that has carried on for over 100 years has had a real, proven impact on our climate. At current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere the planet will warm up by 2 degrees before 2050, with significant impact on landscapes, ecology and our society. Even now we release more carbon into the atmosphere than the planet can absorb, accelerating the process of global warming.
There are climate sceptics who still dispute the widely accepted facts about global warming, and others who believe that the largest international polluters have such a significant impact that there is little point in taking individual action.
We take a different view. Like increasing numbers of people across the world we are looking at what we do, and the services we provide to all of our clients, and trying to find ways to reduce the carbon impact of everything that we are involved with.
Carbon Credits and Offsetting
It could seem hypocritical to incite people to travel, then tell them to consider the damage they are doing in the process. We’re fully aware of this rather strange position but our only answer to the question “so why do you do it?” is that we believe our holidays are as environmentally sensitive as possible and therefore travelling with us – since you’re probably going to travel anyway – is a good idea.
We also suggest that all clients do what we do and buy carbon credits to offset the carbon impact of your trip.
Purchasing one carbon credit is simply investing in a project that will result in the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere by one tonne. As with any investment process there are good projects and not so good projects. For this reason we have taken advice from one of the UK’s leading environmental engineers and climate change experts on how to make sure we invest in projects that have real, verifiable impact.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint to Zero
When you book a holiday or course with CycleActive we will let you know how many carbon credits you would need to offset the volume of carbon being released into the atmosphere by your travels. If you want to purchase these carbon credits then we can organise that for you – or you are welcome to take that information and make your own carbon reduction decision.
Our staff will all have their carbon impact calculated and the full value of this will be offset by the purchase of carbon credits. If every client does the same thing the overall carbon impact of every course or holiday can be reduced to zero.
The projects we recommend are all graded Gold Standard by the WWF. This is the highest standard of carbon offsetting project and is a guarantee to investors that their payment is genuinely being used to effectively reduce carbon in the environment, in a sustainable way.We accept that carbon offsetting is still a matter of choice and so we do not expect you to make any additional payments, or include anything in our prices to cover these costs. However, if you want to find out more about the process, the projects that you could invest in or to make your carbon offsetting investment, please get in touch with us.
“The itinerary was excellent and you got the impression that he (the guide) was going the extra mile to find ways for us to take advantage of the pleasures of the different locations we were in. Alberto was a highlight!”
“Excellent guide in Rich and fantastic guide in Hassan. Had their work cut out with our group missing flight and also injury but dealt with these issues really well. Cycling conditions were a real test but would not have any other way.”
Dominic, Warwickshire (Morocco mountain bike holiday)
“A very good course well structured to the needs of the group. The instructor had great knowledge of the skills and passed his knowledge on in an easy to understand, enthusiastic manner.”