Adventure Tour Operator Explore Worldwide Says Its the First to Calculate Carbon for All Trips

Explore Worldwide has provided authentic small-group travel experiences, from cultural trips and family adventures to walking and cycling holidays for more than four decades. And the adventure travel and tour operator has interestingly just unveiled carbon ratings across its full range of offerings, in the largest carbon measurement project of its kind to date in the travel industry.

The company worked with ecollective to measure carbon emissions of every one of its 515 tours – including transport, accommodation, activities and leaders – as well as all operational activities involved in running the businesses in the UK and globally.

With more than 500 trips in 120 countries, Explore’s expertly-crafted itineraries combined with award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and a commitment to responsible travel ensure unforgettable travel experiences. Explore has immersive, sustainable travel in its DNA, as a founding signatory of the Glasgow Declaration and with one of the leading Climate Action Plans in the industry.

All trips are Gold Standard Carbon Offset as standard, including flights booked through Explore. Carbon is just one part of Explore’s Sustainability Strategy and commitment to sustainable tourism.Recent research by Explore Worldwide showed that 76% of people would like greater transparency when it comes to their environmental impact1. As the world calls for greater transparency around the carbon impact of goods and services, Explore has labelled every one of its trips with highly accurate, individually calculated carbon emissions.

It has been a huge undertaking, said the brand. The product team at Explore, responsible for designing the company’s itineraries all over the world, added almost 10,000 lines of data to be processed and fact checked by ecollective. They’ve individually calculated almost 2,000 accommodation types and 24 types of transport all over the world.

Michael Edwards, CEO of Explore, explained, “I’m so proud of our team, who have worked tirelessly for months to get accurate, scientific measurements for carbon across our entire global program. And this is just the start. Now, with a clear understanding of how our trips impact the planet, the hard work continues, as we work alongside our partners and suppliers to start bringing these totals down.”

Carbon Measurement is one part of Explore’s three-step Climate Action Plan to “Measure, Reduce and Mitigate” carbon across its operations. With calculations now in place, the company is on a mission to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent before 2030. Meanwhile, Explore continues to mitigate residual carbon, offsetting all its trips with ClimateCare, and working with Rewilding Britain, Cool Earth, and ecologi.

The company launched a “Clear on Carbon” campaign, aimed at educating the public on the carbon measurement of holidays and urging other tourism businesses to follow suit. “We really need this to be an industry-wide initiative,” said Edwards. “Working together as an industry, we’re stronger and more able to bring about change. We know the methodology is there, so really there’s no excuse now not to be completely transparent with our customers.”

Explore invites the industry to look into their methodology at and to get in touch with any questions, or requests for advice in this area.

Explore Worldwide’s average trip carbon footprint is 632kg. Its lowest-footprint trip, Walk the South Downs, has 59kg per person, while the lowest 7-night trips are Cycle Canal de Midi and Active Turkey at 79kg per person. Explore calls on the industry to declare the carbon footprint of ALL trips to enable informed holiday purchasing and encourage carbon reduction by travel companies

Explore’s Carbon Measurement project – in numbers:

9,773 lines of data entered by hand, by the Explore Product Team
1,853 accommodation providers worked with
24 transport types
163 ferry journeys
860 city tours
26 cable car rides
198 staff flights calculated
27,056 staff commutes (that’s over 800,000km by train, car, bike and foot)
254,974 working from home hours
261,667 printed marketing materials measured (brochures, DMs etc)

Carbon Footprint of some of Explore’s best-selling trips:

Walk the South Downs Short Break
3 nights. Carbon Footprint: 59kg per person
A short break with beautiful walks and panoramic views exploring the South Downs National Park. From our comfortable hotel in Bramber we walk through pretty villages and rolling landscapes which have inspired literary greats such as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.

Amalfi Coast Walking
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 184kg per person
A relaxed walking holiday along spectacular Amalfi Coast trails, from cliff top hikes to woodland walks. There’s time to discover Amalfi, Positano and the island of Capri. Stay on a peaceful farm overlooking the Mediterranean and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals.

Cycle through Morocco
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 436kg per person
Feel the wind rush past your face as you freewheel towards the northern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Pedal through red-rock valleys, cruise past lush almond groves and meet local Berber farmers tending to their crops of barley, olives and figs.

Inca Trail Trek
7 nights. Carbon Footprint: 190kg per person
Hike through a dewy cloud forest, and ascend mountain valleys towards the infamous Inti Punku (Gate of the Sun). As the ancient temples of Machu Picchu come into view, your heart skips a beat, and the lush green terraces of this sacred Lost City entice you in for a closer look.