Holidays Forever is our commitment to sustainability so we can continue to enjoy holidays long into the future. Find out about our 20 commitments which we’re working to achieve by 2014.
In 2011 Thomson and First Choice launched the Holidays Forever campaign made up of four headline ambitions to reduce our carbon footprint, take care in our destinations and engage our customers and colleagues in sustainability. These ambitions are supported by 20 commitments which span across our shops and hotels, our airline, and the destinations that we visit.
As part of our ambition to reduce the carbon footprint from our ground based operations by 3,000 tonnes, in the UK we have made a commitment to reduce the carbon from our shops by 15% by installing energy-efficient devices and helping them manage their environmental footprint, and 30% from our IT operations by moving on to more efficient computers and using greener internet servers. We’ve also made a commitment to cut back on more than 800 million sheets of paper, by reducing brochure pages and moving to e-ticketing.
We’re also raising awareness of sustainability with our customers. For example in 2011 and 2012 we introduced the Eco-traveller project as part of the national curriculum in nearly 2,000 schools across the UK. We have received fantastic feedback from teachers and parents on the programme, which teaches school children about the environment and how to travel responsibly as part of the national curriculum. By the end of 2012 we hope to have engaged 250,000 children in sustainable tourism through the programme.
We’ve also expanded our internal overseas volunteering scheme, giving all colleagues one day to volunteer on community projects in the UK.
In our hotels:
We have an ambition for Thomson and First Choice hotels to stand out for their commitment to sustainability. We have made a commitment to have 90% of our hotels recognised with either Travelife or similar awards, to encourage hotels to look after the environment, their employees and local communities. If the hotel meets Travelife’s strict sustainability criteria it can achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. We made it compulsory for our main suppliers to subscribe to the Travelife Sustainability System in May 2011.
We have also made a commitment to engage half a million children in sustainability. Taking care of the environment and learning about local cultures is now well established as part of activities in Thomson and First Choice Kids’ Clubs.
In 2007 we launched the World Care Fund – giving our customers the opportunity to support clean energy and sustainable tourism projects around the world by contributing £1 for an adult (50p for a child) when they book a holiday. Since 2007, Thomson and First Choice have raised a fantastic £10million for the World Care Fund. We plan to raise £14million by 2014.
We have also made a commitment to raise a further £1million every year for charities such as Born Free, the Family Holiday Association, and numerous local charities in the UK and overseas.
Our airline, Thomson Airways, is one of the most efficient airlines in Europe, delivering carbon emissions per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPK) of only 76g.
Thomson Airways became the first airline in the UK to use biofuels to fly a commercial aircraft on 6 October 2011, with plans in place to introduce the new fuel efficient and more sustainable Boeing 787 Dreamliner into its fleet of aircraft in early 2013.
Further to these revolutionary plans, the airline has also been awarded the prestigious ISO 14001 standard for its Environmental Management System across its engineering activities. The highly respected Carbon Trust Standard was also awarded to the company for its dedication to carbon management.
Local destination communities:
As well as supporting numerous local charities overseas, we are also working hard to bring positive impacts to the destinations we visit by investing millions of pounds into sustainable tourism projects. We have made a commitment to maintain our leading level of support for the Travel Foundation – the UK’s sustainable tourism charity. They have an ambition to work with 500 businesses to improve livelihoods in destinations. We are also working with experts to measure and improve the socio-economic benefits that All Inclusive hotels bring to destination communities.