Sustainability Policy African Escapades
As a tour operator who engages with various stakeholders in tourism, namely consumers, tour guides, travel agencies, hotels, transport companies, restaurants, and attractions, we understand our key role and influence in the sustainability development of tourism. Therefore, we are committed to promoting sustainability. We aim to follow, implement and promote good sustainability practices to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts on tourism of our operations and to influence our clients and partners to do the same.
Our sustainability policy is divided into 9 themes. Each theme consists of a set of principles and practical actions accordingly.
Download our Sustainability Policy also in PDF format here
1. Sustainability Management & Legal compliance
We commit to sustainability management, practiced by these following actions:
- To have an appointed employee who is responsible for sustainability coordinator tasks;
- To have a sustainability mission statement that is communicated to customers, partners and suppliers;
- To have an accessible and written sustainability policy that aims for a reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the company’s activities; and includes employee related health and safety aspects;
- To conduct baseline assessment of the company’s performance on sustainable practices;
- To have sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities and time planning;
- To develop documented procedures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy, objectives and targets;
- To ensure company’s transparency in sustainability by public reporting and communicating;
- To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.
We commit to complying with all national legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
2. Internal management: social policy & human rights
We commit to sustainable internal management by having clear written and well-communicated social policy that includes the following principles:
- To grant employees the freedom of employment and contract termination with notice (ideally minimum one month) and without penalty
- To include labor conditions according to national labor law and a job description in the employment contract;
- Wage rate is to be mentioned in the contract and equals or above the national legal wage;
- To determinate and compensate of overtime working hours based on agreement;
- To provide medical and liability insurance according to the national law;
- To grant employees fixed paid yearly holiday and unpaid annual leave allowance;
- To have a health and safety policy for employees which complies with national legal standards;
- To have first aid sets and trained staff available at all relevant locations;
- To obey national concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;
- We commit to practice human rights by ensuring the enforcement of the following practices:
- To declare not to hinder trade union membership, collective labour negotiations and representation of members by trade unions;
- To prohibit discrimination, regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training and senior positions, or promotion in terms of gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/beliefs or sexual orientation;
3. Internal Management: Environment and community relations
We commit to practice environmental protection and enhance community relations by ensuring the enforcement of the following practices:
- Actively reduce the use of disposable and consumer goods;
- Favor the purchase of sustainable goods and services, office and catering supply, giveaways and merchandise;
- Purchase products in bulk, to reduce the amount of packaging materials;
- Set copy and printing machines by default to double-sided printing or other forms of paper saving modes;
- Use cleaning materials which are non-hazardous, non-eutrophic and biodegradable and are certified with an eco-label, if locally available;
- Print brochures on environmentally friendly paper, with a printing company that works with a certified environmental management system, if locally available at reasonable costs;
- Implement measurements to reduce brochure wastage through digital brochure;
- Have an active commitment to measure, monitor and reduce energy consumption;
- Switch off lights and equipment when not in use, set equipment by default in the energy saving mode, where this is feasible;
- Prefer low energy equipment when buying new items, including considerations of cost and quality;
- Comply with the national legislation concerning waste disposal;
- Develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling policy, with quantitative goals;
- Separate all materials which can be recycled and organize collection and proper disposal;
- Comply with national legislation of wastewater treatment, which should be reused or released safely;
- Contribute to the protection and preservation of local historical, archaeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and not impede access to them by local residents;
4. Sustainable Purchasing
Our company is committed to promoting sustainable purchasing practices by prioritizing the procurement of goods and services that are environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.
The objectives of our Sustainable Purchasing Policy are as follows:
- To reduce our environmental impact by choosing products and suppliers that prioritize sustainability and minimize resource use, waste generation, and carbon emissions.
- To support local and regional suppliers and producers, promoting the growth of local economies and reducing transportation-related emissions.
- To prioritize products and suppliers that promote social equity, respect human rights, and offer fair labor practices.
- To ensure that our purchasing practices are economically viable, taking into account both the short and long-term costs of the products and services we purchase.
While we are committed to sustainable purchasing practices, we acknowledge that there may be limitations to the availability, quality, and cost of sustainable products and services. In cases where sustainable options are not available, we will seek to minimize our environmental impact and promote social equity by choosing the most responsible and cost-effective alternatives.
To implement our Sustainable Purchasing Policy, we will:
- Establish criteria and guidelines for sustainable purchasing, taking into account environmental, social, and economic factors.
- Prioritize the use of products and services that meet sustainability criteria, including products that are locally produced, fair trade, organic, low-carbon, eco-labeled, or FSC-labeled.
- Evaluate and monitor our suppliers and products on an ongoing basis, taking into account their environmental, social, and economic performance.
- Provide training and resources to our staff to support sustainable purchasing practices.
We aim to ensure that vehicles used on tours do not cause more than average pollution. We believe that transport is an important aspect of sustainable tourism, and we do our best to decrease the average pollution level.
We commit to this by;
- Selecting the most sustainable options considering price and comfort when selecting transport options to the destination;
- Considering and giving preference to more sustainable alternatives when selecting transport options for transfers and excursions to the destination, taking into account price, comfort, and practical considerations;
- Selecting cars and vans that meet the highest national emissions standards, with the latest production year and are frequently maintain and serviced whenever possible.
We aim to achieve a tourism supply chain that is fully sustainable. The partner accommodations play an important role in achieving this, and are stimulated and motivated to adapt sustainable practices.
We commit to this by;
- Selecting accommodations that show proven records of sustainability practices and quality standards, especially ones that work with internationally acknowledged sustainability certification.
- Preferring and selecting accommodations that are locally owned and managed;
- Selecting accommodations that employ local communities;
- Encouraging accommodations to follow best practices/trainings on responsible tourism;
- Encouraging our key accommodation partners to fill in the sustainability questionnaire to gain insight in their practises with a special focus on the following items;
– Do they have a signed sustainability contract?
– Do they obtain any sustainability certification?
– Do they have a water saving program?
– Do they have an energy saving program?
– Do they have an energy reduction system?
– Do they use renewable energy?
– Do they have a waste management program?
– Do they have a child protection policy?
– Do they conduct any CSR activities?
- Clearly and actively communicating our sustainability objectives and requirements regarding accommodations to contracted and other relevant accommodations;
7. Excursions and activities
We value animal and community welfare extremely high and aims at tours that only leave a minor footprint. We are safeguarding the authenticity of the communities and the natural environment, and are strongly against harming wildlife and polluting the environment.
We commit to this by;
- Advising guests on behaviour standards during excursions and activities with a focus on respecting the local culture, nature, animal and environment;
- Not offering any excursions in which wildlife is held captive, except for properly regulated activities in compliance with local, national, and international law;
- Not being involved with companies that harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species unless it is part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilisation is sustainable and in compliance with local, national, and international law;
- Having skilled and/or certified guides to guide our guests in sensitive cultural sites, heritage sites, or ecologically sensitive destinations;
- Promoting and advise our guests on excursions and activities which directly involve and support local communities by purchasing services or goods, traditional crafts and local (food) production methods, or visiting social projects;
- Promoting and advising our guests on excursions and activities which support local environment and biodiversity such as visiting protected areas or environmental protection projects;
8. Tour leaders, local representatives and guides
We aim at involving as many locals as possible by employing them in the tourism business. We stand for a fair and safe working environment that supports and respects local communities.
We commit to this by;
- Ensuring that all employees have a written employment contract, including labour conditions and a job description, and fully understand the terms and conditions;
- Register all employees with the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) and make monthly contributions on behalf of their employees. The health contribution is currently set at 1% of an employee’s gross salary.
- Register all employees with the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and make monthly contributions on behalf of their employees. The pension contribution is currently set at 5% of the employee’s gross salary.
- Preferring to work with local tour leaders, local representatives, local tour guides, porters, drivers, cooks, and other local staff in case of equal ability, and provide training as required;
- Paying tour leaders, local representatives, guides, porters and other local staff contracted by us at least a living wage that is equal to or above the legal minimum or relevant industry standard;
- Having our tour leaders, local representatives and guides inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g. protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g. tips, dressing code and photography) and human rights (e.g. sexual exploitation);
We aim to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts at destination to ensure the sustainable development of the places that we operate in.
We commit to this by:
- Support biodiversity conservation, including protected areas and areas of high biodiversity through integration in our product offers;
- Not promote souvenirs which contain threatened flora and fauna species as indicated in the CITES treaty and the IUCN ‘Red List’; or historic and archaeological artefacts (except as permitted by law);
10. Customer communication and protection
Customers welfare and information are very important to us. We ensure clear and constant communication and high protection to our clients.
Prior to booking, we commit to this by:
- Ensure that customer privacy is not compromised;
- Comply with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages, and not promise more than is delivered;
- Make product and price information clear, complete and accurate, with regard to the company and its products and services, including sustainability claims;
- Provide destination information, including sustainability aspects, which is factually correct, balanced and complete;
- Promote sustainable accommodations, excursions, packages and/or transport options, with logos or other messages; ensuring they are recognizable to our customers and presented as the “better” option;
- Inform our customers about sustainable alternatives concerning accommodations, excursions, package holidays and transport options, if available;
- After booking and during holidays, we commit to this by:
- Provide information to our customers about the natural surroundings, local culture and cultural heritage in our destination;
- Keep a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergency situations;
- Train our employees and keep guidelines available, on how to deal with emergency situations;
- Provide our customers with information about commercial, sexual or any other form of exploitation and harassment, particularly of children and adolescents;
- Inform our customers about applicable legislation concerning the purchasing, sales, import and export of historic or religious artefacts and articles containing materials of threatened flora and/or fauna in the destination;
- Motivate our customers to use local restaurants and shops (where appropriate);
- Inform our customers on sustainable transport options in destinations, when feasible;
- After holidays, we commit to this by:
- Measure systematically our customers satisfaction and take into account the results, for service and product improvements;
- Include sustainability as an integral part of the research into customer satisfaction;
- Have clear procedures in case of complaints from our customers;