Our office is The Great Outdoors, and whilst taking only memories and leaving only footprints has served us well over the years, the climate emergency now needs us to step up. As outdoor educators, we have an important responsibility; providing space and context for the understanding of this most important crisis of all.
We fully acknowledge the tension between the imperative to reduce carbon emissions and our company’s need to travel. We consider climate change and biodiversity in all our business’s decision-making and seek to maximise opportunities to reduce emissions and harm, which affects our clients, the public and the environment whenever possible.
Our trainee instructors are the educators of the future. This is where we see we have the most leverage, using outdoor adventure as a way to instil in a deep connection to the natural world and a sense of altruism in young people. We view adventure as the medium through which to deliver the message impacting as many people as possible. We are creating outdoor instructors who are equipped to deal with and care about the world and go on to deliver sessions that promote healthier relationships to the environment.
Some housekeeping statistics - in 2020 we...
- Ran 3 diesel vans
- Drove 45,500 miles
- Took 22 seats on flights
- Used around 5000 kilowatts of energy at The Adventure Centre
- Totalling 43.50 tonnes of carbon use
- We paid Carbon Footprint Ltd the £300 cost of this carbon offset usage
- They then provided trees to the value of this for our neighbouring primary school
- The children from Park School have planted them with help from our trainee instructors who run their after-school outdoor activity club, The Adventurers. This completes the circle.
- This successful tree planting pilot is set grow year upon year as we involve all our partner schools
2021 sees us evolving towards a more sustainable business model in a series of steps...
- All our sessions now include an element of education of the stewardship of the natural world
- All of our trainee instructors are
- We are carbon neutral
- We only use airlines who carbon offset their flights for the European expeditions
- We seek to reduce vehicle usage by car-sharing and using trains whenever possible
- We carbon offset all our fuel by contributing to the Carbon Footprint Ltd projects
- We run on-going rubbish collecting competitions on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions with up to 2000 participants taking part each year
- We do not buy single use plastic whenever alternatives are possible and have stopped using all products made with Palm Oil
- We donate to climate projects with Amnesty International and Orangutan Foundation
Getting from the ideal to the real...
- As the vans become redundant, we will replace them with smaller lease electric vehicles
- We continue to prioritise vehicle sharing
- We’re replacing the 15 fluorescent lights at The Adventure Centre with LEDs - £200 each/ 5 each year for the next 3 years
- As Institute of Outdoor Learning members, we are part of the Climate Change Agenda to develop an accessible evolution of the Eco-Schools model for outdoor providers to enable children, young people and families to transfer learning and experience between school, community and outdoor experiences.