The impact we have on the countries we visit is very important to us. Responsible travel is key to what we do here at Earth’s Edge and something that we expect our clients to buy into.
A responsible business supports its employees, connects with its communities, and enhances its environment. It is accountable in the marketplace and seeks positive social and environmental outcomes, as well as financial.
Whenever possible we use locally run hotels and guest houses rather than multi-national hotels.
We are happy to advise clients on tipping. Money is split between the local guides, cooks, porters and drivers fairly. We offer specific tipping advice for each of our destinations.
On Earth’s Edge expeditions we try to visit local markets and use family-run restaurants where possible. All fresh food on our expeditions is sourced from local markets and shops.
We encourage clients to pay the market price for gifts and souvenirs in local markets.
Sustainability plays a significant part in our selection processes for services. We request and review supplier environmental policies, staff compensation details and their impact on their wider community.
Prompt Payment – Cash flow can cause a lot of stress and we are committed to paying all our suppliers within 15 days of receiving their invoices.
We appreciate that planes release a huge amount of harmful gases into the atmosphere. There is an environmental impact when flying. For that reason, we offset the carbon emissions through an organisation called Trees on the Land for all our staff air travel. We are committed to planting three trees for every person that joins us on a trip. T
We minimise the amount of canned and packaged goods on our expeditions, reducing our non-biodegradable waste.
We operate under a strict ‘Leave No Trace’ policy. All biodegradable waste is buried deep in the ground, breaking down over a short period of time. All other waste is carried off the expedition and disposed of in a responsible manner.
We use Katadyn filters and iodine to purify river water, cutting down on the number of plastic bottles used.
In order to reduce soil erosion on trekking and biking expeditions, we stay on existing trails where possible.
We are familiar with local customs and traditions in the areas we operate and aim to respect these at all times. We advise clients on appropriate dress and the importance of respecting local people and customs.
Most of our support staff and local guides come from the areas where we operate. We participate in their development within the industry providing advice and training whenever possible.
On Earth’s Edge expeditions we try to participate in cultural and social events such as traditional dance and song, local NGOs and co-ops and local religious celebrations. We encourage our clients to partake in local traditions whenever possible.
The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – Earth’s Edge is a proud partner of KPAP. This organisation is an American run Tanzanian NGO which campaigns for the fair treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro. KPAP will send an investigator on all our Kilimanjaro treks to monitor porter welfare. KPAP investigators report on porter compensation, tips, clothing, food and the weight of their loads.
Guide Exchange Programme. Although vastly experienced, many of the locally based guides we work with, for economic reasons, have never travelled outside their home country. In 2016 we launched an initiative which was open for application to all our local partner guides. The successful candidate was invited to join one of our expeditions in another country at no cost to themselves.
Mohamed Toudaoui from Morocco was the lucky winner and in August 2016 he travelled to Tanzania to take part in one of our Kilimanjaro expeditions. This was a fantastic learning experience for Mohamed and we are delighted to be running the initiative again in 2017.
You can read Mohamed’s trip report here.