Sawday’s leads the way with a manifesto that includes becoming net zero by 2030 and promoting low-season tourism to reduce over-crowding. Olivia Palamountain reports
Having a positive impact on the environment, communities and the travel industry has always been at the core of Sawday’s and its subsidiaries – Canopy & Stars and Paws & Stay – and now the company’s efforts have been recognised internationally.
The UK-based collection of self-catering residences, hotels, B&Bs and inns has been announced as one of the highest scoring B Corp travel companies worldwide, with a B Corp score of 122.3.
B Corp is a status awarded by a nonprofit organisation called B Lab, that was started in 2006 as a way to help companies maximise the positive impact of their business.
It has since become a powerful community of like-minded companies across the world, all working to use business as a force for good.
The announcement of Sawday’s B Corp score coincides with the group’s annual Impact Report, which looks at both the successes and the challenges of the previous 12 months.
Highlights from the report include reaching net zero (whereby greenhouse gas emissions are balanced out with greenhouse gas removal) by 2030, encouraging clients to explore new destinations or travel out of season as a way to combat overtourism (including capping the number of places the group works with in certain locations) and fundraising support through its charitable trust.
The company is also committing to protecting outdoor spaces and improving access to nature for people with disabilities and disadvantaged young people, donating all the proceeds from this year’s Canopy & Stars Wild Cards to the Wilderness Foundation.
Mike Bevens, managing director, says: “We are immensely proud to be [one of] the highest scoring B Corps in travel in the world, but our impact is not something that will ever stand still. It’s part of how we work and will always adapt and evolve, our Impact Report is a snapshot of where we are now, our net zero commitment, our campaign to improve access to nature and our overtourism policy, a first step in tackling this huge issue, but also where we’d like to be and our plans for 2023 and beyond.”
Sawday’s has also assigned a new sustainability and impact manager, who will “take working better to whole new levels”, says Bevens. He states on the company’s website: “An enormous research project showed us the scope of our carbon emissions and the first steps in bringing them down, but we [have also] launched bold new initiatives like capping the number of places we represent in areas that suffer from overtourism.
“We’ve always believed in sustainable and low impact growth, but unfortunately some of the travel and tourism industry has an insatiable appetite for expansion which is fuelling overtourism. We believe tourism can, and should, be done in a way in which communities are positively supported and not subjected to environmental damage, crowding and housing issues. “