Intrepid Travel has announced that its ambitious 2035 emissions reduction targets, in line with a 1.5°C future, have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. The initiative is a collaboration between four organizations, including the United Nations Global Compact, who together promote best practices around corporate climate action and independently assess and approve companies’ targets.
Intrepid will be taking a series of actions to further transform its business for a low-carbon future. Intrepid will seek to reduce emissions across its operations and trips, replacing transportation options on many of the company’s itineraries to lower carbon alternatives. For example, in 2019, Intrepid traded out internal flights with high-speed rail on a number of its trips in China. In Peru, the company switched to 100 percent biodegradable containers for packed lunches on their trekking itineraries. In addition, Intrepid will be expanding its newly launched range of closer-to-home trips to over 100 itineraries in 2021, providing tour options that will require fewer flights for domestic travelers. Internally, Intrepid will also be reducing international business travel, procuring renewable electricity and transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in its global offices by 2025.
The 1.5°C degree target is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which world leaders outlined a clear global response to the threat of climate change. To reach its 2035 target, Intrepid Travel has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 (direct emissions) and scope 2 (emissions from heat and electricity) greenhouse gas emissions 71 percent by 2035 from a 2018 base year. Intrepid Travel also committed to reduce scope 3 (value chain emissions) greenhouse gas emissions from its offices by 34 percent per full-time equivalent and from its trips by 56 percent per passenger day over the same period.
The approved science-based targets mark the most significant step Intrepid has taken in the fight against climate change since becoming a carbon-neutral business in 2010. Over the past 10 years, Intrepid has offset more than 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. In January 2020, Intrepid declared a climate emergency with Tourism Declares, a global collective of tourism businesses, organizations and individuals who have pledged urgent action on climate change. As part of the declaration, Intrepid outlined its seven-point climate commitment plan, which included the commitment to setting science-based targets aligned with a 1.5°C future.
The results and progress of Intrepid’s science-based targets will be led by Intrepid’s environmental impact specialist, Dr. Susanne Etti, and reported annually through the company’s Integrated Report. (Intrepid is also encouraging other travel companies wanting to learn more about setting science-based targets to reach out directly to Dr. Etti and the responsible business team at [email protected])