Understanding the impact of school trips abroad
At Halsbury, we're committed to reducing our impact on the environment, whilst we still believe passionately in the educational value of school trips abroad and we stand firm in that belief.
In addition, we believe that school travel helps children to understand the world around them and the challenges it faces, one of which is climate change.
However, the environmental impact of travel cannot be ignored. So, we’re committed to reducing the environmental impact of our school trips, as well as encouraging our customers and suppliers to do the same.
What are we doing?
We’ve already started the long process of reducing our impact on the environment:
- We’ve installed solar panels at our head office in Nottingham.
- We provide our customers with information on how to travel in a more eco-friendly way – including choosing to travel by coach rather than air.
- We promote the use of our online app when schools are out on trips, thereby helping to reduce waste.
- Our exhibition stands are all single-use plastic free.
- We’ve signed up to the cycle to work scheme, to encourage our staff to leave their cars at home.
- We now work a hybrid home/office system, so staff can reduce their carbon footprint by not having to commute to the office 5 days a week.
- All marketing paper stock is FSC certified.
Is this enough?
We understand that the measures we’re taking within our office and on our trips are small in comparison to the impact that air travel has on the environment.
We’re investigating ways of offseting any carbon emissions that we’re not able to reduce, thereby ensuring that our trips are carbon neutral, and part of this is to partner with likeminded travel businesses.
We acknowledge that carbon offsetting air travel is a short-term fix for a much bigger problem, and we will continue to look into ways of taking this further.
However, it is the only viable option open to us until such time as the aviation industry is able to bring Low Carbon Alternative Fuel to market as a practical and cost-efficient alternative to traditional fossil-based fuels.
Having said that, several of our partners are committed to a number of initiatives or already have plans in place. Examples include:
- One of our key partners, A&O Hotels is doing what it can to support sustainable tourism. For instance, in all their properties they use water and energy-saving products (e.g. energy-saving lamps and showerhead aerators that reduce water consumption, saving 1/3 of water for every shower taken).
- British Airways were the first airline in the world to commit to being carbon neutral by 2050, with initial investment in new planes that are 40% more efficient than older models. British Airways have also formed partnerships to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel, zero emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft and carbon capture technology.
- Another key partner, easyJet, joined the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign in November 2021, which also commits to the 2050 carbon neutral deadline.
- Valencia, one of our language tour destinations, was among the first cities in the world to acknowledge, verify and certify the carbon and water footprint of the tourism activity in the city and in 2021 committed to a sustainable tourism strategy for the city to be carbon neutral from a tourism point of view by 2025. This includes converting to using renewable energies, having only electric powered transport and creating more green spaces to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.
- Another of our key destinations, Disneyland Paris, also has a longstanding commitment to sustainability via replacing plastic straws and stirrers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water resources and encouraging biodiversity across their parks and hotels.
To sum it up...
We believe that the best way to help the environment is through education. After all, education is what we’re all about!
We cannot force anyone to be environmentally friendly or force all airlines to provide non-fossil fuels at an affordable cost. But we can help to educate.
We want to educate ourselves, our customers and our suppliers with regards to providing more sustainable school trips, so that children can continue to enjoy enriching experiences abroad without such a heavy impact on the environment.