Touching The Earth Lightly.
Unlike some trekking companies whose commitment to sustainable practices is half hearted or just plain ‘greenwash’, Pyrenees Mountain Adventure is earth and people friendly and strives to choose the minimum impact option, in every area of the business, always!
All staff that lead groups encourage the preservation of the unspoilt nature we journey through leading by example and following the principles of Minimum Impact Trekking:
However, the commitment of the business to sustainability runs deeper. In fact it is a core principle, not an ‘add on’. Pyrenees Mountain Adventure is a business with a strong commitment to sustainability. The business promotes and inspires change for a better world by giving clients the chance to experience and reflect on the importance of conservation and a slower, simpler, more sustainable and ultimately happier lifestyle.
Pyrenees Mountain Adventure also promotes and inspires change for a better world through the example it sets. It is committed to corporate social responsibility. The environmental and social impact of each operating decision the business is faced with (accommodation, transport, banking, tour guides clothing, office stationary, recycling etc) is considered and the option that is the most sustainable and responsible is chosen to reduce the ecological footprint of the business
Keep to established trails to avoid spreading erosion.
Do not remove fauna or flora - leave what you find.
Do not alter the natural surroundings of an ecosystem eg minimise the use and impact of campfires.
Follow the law of pack it in, pack it out regarding rubbish. Do not leave rubbish in the mountains:
Take one piece of rubbish home that is not your own.
Dispose of human waste properly.
Limit the size of a group entering an ecosystem.
Use existing campsites.
Respect wildlife - – enjoy it from a distance
- it is not often biodegradable
- it is always unsightly
- it can cause great harm to wildlife
- it may take years to biodegrade especially in mountain environments.
Touch the Earth lightly - take only photographs, leave only footprints....
"The business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility."
What Is Pyrenees Mountain Adventure Doing To Reduce Its Environmental Footprint?
Pyrenees Mountain Adventure is earth and people friendly, striving to provide the best mountain experience possible, while at the same time, minimising its negative environmental and social impact. Commitment to sustainable practices is a core principal - not an 'add on'. When there is an operating decision to be made, the minimum impact option is chosen, in every area of the business, always! For example:
Guests are encouraged to use accommodation with a strong commitment to sustainability. For Hut to Hut treks which use high mountain refuges there is very little choice in accommodation but for the day walks out and back from the accommodation there is much more flexibility.
The Orri de Planes in Planes is an environmentallyfriendly, trailside
lodge (solar water heating, electricity from photovoltaic cells, organic
and/orlocally produced food) and is featured in Alisdair Sawday's Ethical
Places to Stay collection.
Chalet Ana in Les Angles is our preferred self catering option which was the
first accommodation in the Pyrenees to receive the European Ecolabel award.
Gîte Chaumarty, near Toulouse has the Eco Gîte label and is featured in
Alisdair Sawday's Ethical Places to Stay collection.
Huttopia is a campsite in Font Romeau that also offers self catering
accommodation in log cabins.
Pyrenees Mountain Adventure banks with Credit Cooperatif in France and the
Cooperative Bank in the UK. Both market themselves as a ethical banks.
There is no paper brochure to cut down on resource use.
Pyrenees Mountain Adventure is a member of 1% For the Planet. Each year
1% of sales revenue is given to environmental charities.
I choose walking kit for myself (and to lend to clients) that is:
made from natural fibres e.g. organic cotton and wool.
made from recycled materials that can be recycled themselves.
made to run on solar power.
made in Europe.
made by companies with Environment Certification ISO 14001 and/or EMAS
(Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.)
made by companies with a named person in charge of Corporate Social
Responsibility/ Environmental Care.
made by companies who each year, produce and make available on their
website, a Sustainability Report or something similar with goals to achieve
and progress towards attaining those targets.
made by companies that ‘give something back’ in terms of supporting
organisations through donations of money or equipment.
made by companies who operate a recycling scheme which encourages
the recycling of the company's products.
Recycled paper is used in the printer.
Previously enjoyed paper is used for drafts.
Printer cartridges are refilled.
Envelopes are made from recycled paper
Paper which has been used on both sides is recycled
Non office printing (e.g. postcards and business cards) is carried out by a
printer with a commitment to sustainability
New equipment is only purchased when necessary.
The first option is to acquire/buy previously enjoyed items.
Brand new items are chosen based on EPEAT ratings. EPEAT is a system
that helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products
based on their environmental attributes.
Wood furniture is preferred and from FSC or PEFC certified forests
A local transport company is used rather than purchase a vehicle for the
business that would not be used as often.
Business travel is by train where possible.
Motorway driving is done at a speed 10% below the speed limit.
Clients are encouraged to use more environmentally friendly modes of
transport than airlines to travel to France. There is a £100 reduction in the
cost of the holiday for those that travel to the Eastern Pyrenees causing
less environmental harm than if they flew i.e. by train or 3 people+ in a car.
Regular evaluation and monitoring of the business takes place. Where it is
decided that a more environmentally friendly or sustainable option exists
to minimise the ecological footprint of the business, then that option
becomes a goal to attain in the future. There is always something we can
do better. The important thing is to make a start.