easyJet holidays launches inaugural sustainability strategy with new mission to make a positive impact through travel and encourage 100% of its hotel partners to achieve a certification according to GSTC Criteria.
• easyJet holidays announces its new sustainability vision: a world where travel makes a positive impact on the environment and local communities – with new research having found that 71% of Brits say sustainability is an important factor when booking a holiday, with 22% saying it’s very important
• In its inaugural sustainability strategy unveiled today, easyJet holidays is making a commitment for all its holidays to directly support sustainable practices by the end of 2025
• easyJet holidays is focused on supporting tourism destinations by committing to encouraging 100% of its contracted hotels to achieve certification by a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GTSC) accredited certification body or a certification to a GSTC Recognised standard by the end of 2025
27 September 2021 – Today, easyJet holidays launches its inaugural sustainability strategy led by its vision for “a world where travel makes a positive impact on the environment and local communities”, underpinned by ambitious sustainability commitments which will guide its activities over the next five years. The holiday company has also gone live with a new sustainability hub on its website to share more on its commitments and roadmap of actions.
The announcement is supported by new consumer research having found that 65% of people say holiday companies could be doing more to encourage customers to travel sustainably, and the pandemic having made consumers care more about their holiday sustainability as over a third (35%) say it’s now even more important to them.
As part of its strategy, the company has created a roadmap of short, medium and long-term actions to embed sustainability into the company’s culture and business decisions over the next five years. Its commitment to ensuring high standards are maintained across the supply chain will be overseen by a sustainability steering committee headed up by Matt Callaghan, Customer and Operations Director and a member of easyJet holidays’ management board and working closely with and drawing on the extensive sustainability knowledge and experience of Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays CEO and Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability easyJet together with her team. easyJet holidays will also work collaboratively with its industry and destination partners in ongoing consultation, with the aim to build knowledge and share best practice to accelerate industry action on critical environmental, economic and social issues.
Three core pillars of the new strategy
The new strategy is focused on three core pillars – create better holiday choices which is about making sustainable travel affordable and accessible to everyone; keep our holidays special which is maximising the benefits and minimising the negative impacts of travel and tourism including a commitment to support hotels it works with to achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body or certification to a GSTC-Recognised Standard, and transform travel for everyone which means embedding sustainability into business decisions and behaviours and driving meaningful change in the industry. easyJet holidays has already announced becoming a GSTC member and joining the Future of Tourism Coalition.
One key area for the holiday firm will be supporting 100% of its directly contracted hotels to achieve certification by a GSTC Accredited Certification Body or certification to a GSTC Recognised Standard by the end of 2025. This is supported by new research which shows one of the top three ways consumers would research a sustainable holiday is by looking for holidays with official sustainability certification (35%) . The holiday company is also committed to supporting locally owned and run businesses and activities as well as upholding labour standards, promoting health, safety and wellbeing, and respecting equal pay rights.
easyJet holidays’ new mission, which will underpin this five-year plan, has responsible travel at its heart. It says: “When it comes to sustainability, we want to raise the bar, positively shake things up and lead the industry. To make sustainability part of our everyday culture, enabling us, our partners, and our customers to reduce their environmental footprint, and make a positive impact on the people and places that make our destinations so special.”
Partners and commitment to sustainability
Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays’ CEO, said; “I’m proud to launch our new sustainability vision and mission, developed together with our people and partners, which supports our ambition to reimagine what it means to travel by providing holidays that don’t cost the earth. This new strategy is underpinned by a thorough assessment of the environmental, social and economic topics on which easyJet holidays has the biggest impact, as well as the topics which most affect our stakeholders – from our hotel partners to our customers.
“We’d like to thank all of our partners who have generously shared their insights and expertise to help us develop an approach that is both ambitious and achievable. Over the next five years, we will be working to integrate sustainability into every aspect of our business and actively evolving our approach. As easyJet holidays, we’re at the beginning of our journey and we know that this won’t be easy, but we’re committed to positively shaking things up within our own business, with our partners and across the industry.”
Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, said; “The GSTC Criteria serve as global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC are committed to accelerating the adoption of more sustainable practices across the travel and tourism industry, so we’re delighted that easyJet holidays has tangible plans with their partners to become more sustainable and to make it as easy as possible for travellers to make more sustainable choices. We look forward to engaging with easyJet holidays to achieve their goal of enabling of their contracted hotels to be certified as sustainable and support locally owned and run businesses and activities.”
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive at ABTA said: “ABTA believes that travel and tourism is a powerful force for good: creating economic and social value, sustaining jobs, supporting businesses and boosting inward investment for destinations where many livelihoods depend on tourism.
“To deliver the benefits of tourism, and address crucial environmental and social challenges, travel companies need to integrate sustainability into all areas of their business. We work with our members, destinations and other stakeholders on these issues and we’re also proud that our dedicated company Travelife for Accommodation has its standard recognised by GSTC and is a leading sustainability certification programme that drives sustainable practice in the accommodation sector.”
Embedding sustainability into the company’s culture and business decisions is part of easyJet holiday’s mission to be the most trusted holiday provider in the UK. This new sustainability strategy follows the company’s recent announcement that it is the first major UK tour operator to offset the carbon emissions associated with its holidays, so the fuel from its flights, transfers and the energy from hotel stays. This move will also be applied to all trips since easyJet holidays launched in November 2019. Carbon offsetting will be undertaken through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards – Gold Standard and VCS – and will include forestry, renewable and community-based projects.
easyJet holidays is building on easyJet’s commitment to sustainability. easyJet has been focused on reducing its carbon emissions for a long time – transitioning its fleet to increasingly more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, flying them in ways which maximise fuel efficiency, and optimising passenger loads as much as possible. In 2019, it was the world’s first major airline to operate carbon-neutral flying across its entire network. The airline is also fully committed to decarbonising aviation, in line with the UK government and EU targets of net zero emissions by 2050 and has several partnerships to support technological step change. easyJet is also going beyond carbon to take action on a range of sustainability issues and has so far reduced the amounts of plastic associated with the food and drink sold on easyJet flights from over 27 million individual items.
easyJet holidays’ sustainability strategy launch film can be found here: Package holidays that don’t cost the earth
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