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Selected Trips

    Sustainable Tourism

    Caring for the places we love

    Making the Right Choices

    In choosing Wilderness Scotland, you can be sure that you are travelling with a company that takes its commitment to sustainable tourism seriously. We have been dedicated to operating in as sustainable a way as possible since the very beginning of our company more than two decades ago. We have taken an industry-leading position on climate change and emissions reductions and deliver significant support each year to environments and communities through our Wilderness Conservation and Community Fund.

    We believe done well, tourism can be a massive force for good. As well as supporting rural economies and communities, sustainable tourism can play a major role in helping people to enjoy, experience and connect with the fantastic natural environments in which we live.

    Our commitment has been recognised in many awards over the years, including twice winning the Best Green Tour Operator in the World Travel Awards. For nearly 20 years, we have held a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme – recognised as the world’s most credible Sustainable Tourism Programme.

    Find out more about Wilderness Scotland’s commitment to sustainable tourism below.

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    What is Wilderness Doing?

    Together with eCollective, we’ve developed one of the world’s first carbon labelling schemes for travel. As a result of our carbon labelling project, we’ve been able to not only measure the carbon impact of the entire business but of each and every trip. This work has been and will continue to be essential for monitoring our progress and identifying ways in which we can continue reducing our impact year on year.

    Learn more about our methodology here.

    Our Road Map to True Net Zero

    • By 2030 we commit to reducing our Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 90% and Scope 3 emissions by 50%.
    • Between 2022 and 2030, where we can’t reduce, we will invest in projects that remove, avoid or reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Our goal is to achieve True Net Zero Status by the end of 2030, investing solely in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for those emissions that remain.

    What Does This Mean For You?

    Our offsetting and removal efforts address the impact of each individual trip, so you can book your adventure holiday with the knowledge that your carbon impact is already being mitigated.

    Want to Do More?

    The impact of your trip is already taken care of but if you want to do more, please take a look at our Wilderness Conservation & Community Fund. We ask all of our travellers to donate a small amount at the time of booking. This is entirely optional but the funds go into various conservation projects across Scotland, as well as carbon removal.

    Key Documents

    After more than two decades in the industry, our collective passion for delivering our guests inspiring and memorable holiday experiences remains undiminished. Over the same period, our shared ambition to ensure our holidays deliver a wider positive impact has grown.

    These documents shine a light on both how and why we make a difference to sustainability, while holding ourselves accountable to making positive change for the future.

    Annual Sustainability
    Report 2024

    Find Out More

    Carbon Emissions
    Measurement Methodology

    Find Out More

    Wilderness Climate Emergency Declaration

    Our business was created to share our passion for the inspiration, spirit and value of the natural environment. What we didn’t know when we started our business many years ago, was how significant the threat of a changing climate would become. While we have always sought to run an environmentally sustainable business (and have been independently recognised several times for doing so), we feel the time has now come to ramp up the action, work harder and act more creatively to respond to the climate emergency with renewed focus and energy.

    The Tourism Industry

    Alongside other industries, tourism plays a contributing role to the climate crisis and we acknowledge this requires an urgent need for change across the industry. The paradox is that travel and tourism can be an amazingly positive force for good. Well managed, sustainable tourism supports local economic development, sustains local communities and traditions and shines a light on nature and wildlife conservation.

    Built upon this philosophy, our mission is to maximise these positive benefits of tourism while seeking to minimise the negative impacts. Climate change is happening now and that is why we became one of the founding signatories to the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and the Glasgow Declaration. Our commitment to reducing emissions is the response we feel is needed across the travel industry. Backed by science and with expert independent input, we have committed to reducing our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 90% and Scope 3 carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. For those emissions we cannot eliminate by 2030, we undertake to permanently remove the carbon equivalent from the atmosphere by investing in reforestation and afforestation projects. Through this approach our goal is to achieve “True” Net Zero status by 2030.

    Progress to Date

    Our work over the past two decades has taken us a long way to this net zero goal already but there remains a lot of work to be done, which will arguably be the hardest work of all. The recent design and development of our own net zero HQ, powered by renewable energy on a brownfield site in the Cairngorms National Park is a sign of our commitment. Over the coming years, we’ll continue to push harder and respond faster to make further reductions to both our direct and indirect carbon emissions drawing upon the most extensive measurement and benchmarking exercise we have ever done.

    You can read more about our approach to Climate Change on these pages, including details of how we have measured our carbon footprint and developed one of the world’s first carbon labelling schemes for travel. We hope such labelling will become the norm allowing us all to make more informed and better decisions on where and how to travel. We will report on our progress on an annual basis and share this on our website and in communications with our clients.

    Find Out More At Tourism Declares

    Making a Difference

    The Environment

    Through the provision of engaging experiences from wilderness to wildlife, we are firmly of the view that positive tourism experiences have the capacity to foster a strong connection with the natural world and promote more sustainable living in these challenging times we currently face.

    We never forget that, first and foremost, our adventures are about great holiday experiences so don’t worry, we won’t be holding evening lectures and workshops on calculating your carbon footprint and living a zero waste lifestyle! However, you can expect our experienced and knowledgeable guides to develop your understanding of the amazing environment in which we live.

    In line with our net zero commitments, our business activities and trip operations are purposefully designed to minimise environmental impact and operate on a low carbon basis. For example, the carbon impact of our holidays is carefully considered when we create the itinerary, including the start/end at mainline train stations, keeping the use of motorised vehicles to a minimum and working with hotels, restaurants and other service providers who share the same commitment.

    Local Communities & Economies

    A Wilderness Scotland experience is defined not only by its environmental qualities, but as integral to the experience is involvement and interaction with local communities.

    We consistently receive feedback from clients that the encounters and relationships with the local population are one of the most enjoyable and memorable elements of a trip to the Highlands and Islands. We strongly support this view and recognise the wonderful contribution and added value of communities, culture and customs to the tourism experience.

    We are absolutely committed to engaging local businesses throughout our operation and ensuring that the economic benefits are distributed equally. As well as providing an excellent service to our clients, by working with local partners, it also means that our groups always receive a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go. Our Wilderness Conservation and Community Fund also targets support at community projects and events which create positive social impacts and health benefits.

    In the Office

    In 2018, the business relocated to a purpose-built office and operations base in Aviemore, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. This development restored a brownfield site on the edge of the village, creating a Net Zero building built to the highest environmental standards and powered by on-site renewable energy systems. The site also benefits from electric vehicle charging points (available to the public) and award-winning cycle-to-work facilities.

    Our investment in this building is backed by a commitment to do all the good stuff any responsible company should do, ranging from a goal of zero waste to ethical procurement of all office supplies.

    The good people at the Green Tourism Business Scheme have helped us along the way in setting the standards which form part of our Gold Award accreditation. You can read more about the scheme and what it involves here green-tourism.com/about-us

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