Our Sustainability Values
We strive to foster care and concern for the planet by connecting people with place, and helping people understand how special our world is as they walk in nature with us. We want to see people and Planet Earth thrive, and it is our responsibility to act with integrity, ensuring we keep sustainable practices at the heart of what we do. To do this we have developed a Company Scorecard, which focuses on environmental, safety, guest, staff, community, and financial performance metrics. These metrics help us stay focused on what matters and act as trail markers for what we can work to improve on, and what direction we should walk in.
Below is some more information about how we operate.
We recognise the importance of taking meaningful climate action, and so we work with a great bunch of experts to identify areas where we can reduce emissions, measure emissions, and offset emissions where we are not able to practicably reduce them.
One of our company scorecard objectives is to reduce our key metric of carbon emissions per guest (kgCO2e/guest) year on year, whilst working towards developing a science-based target approach aligned with keeping global warming below a 2°C increase, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.
To this end, we have signed on to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, and have partnered with local carbon accountants to measure and provide recommendations for reduction of emissions, and with the Australian company Carbon Neutral to offset emissions.
Carbon Neutral is one of Australia’s most long-standing carbon offset providers in Australia, and through the purchasing of Gold Standard PER credits, we support the development and regeneration of the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor is located within South West Australia, an area Conservation International (a world authority on biodiversity conservation) calls a globally significant biodiversity ‘Hotspot’ due to only 30 percent of its original vegetation remaining in more or less pristine condition due to agricultural expansion.
As more than 90% of the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor planting area was cleared during the twentieth century to allow for the farming of crops and livestock, the work Carbon Neutral does is of vital importance. The project began in 2008, and since then more than 30 million mixed native species of trees and shrubs have been planted across over 16,000 hectares. In 2023, the project expanded to nearly 21,000 hectares.
Our mission is to provide superb, guided journeys out of everyday life, into wild land and sea scapes. We take our guests into the beautiful places of lutruwita/Tasmania and wider Australia and immerse them in these special places through our knowledgeable guides’ storytelling, interpretation, and practical demonstration of their care and concern for Planet Earth.
To ensure that our walks are as minimum impact as practicable, our Guides utilise the principles of Leave No Trace when guiding our multi-day bushwalks and will spend time on track teaching our guests about biodiversity, climate change, the history and context of the environmental landscapes they are walking through, and how humans have the ability to show care and concern for Planet Earth not just on track, but back home in their daily lives as well.
Our guides have interpretation training opportunities at places like Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Raptor Refuge so they can teach our guests about best practices for local wildlife encounters, and we operate Limited Edition walks throughout the year with specific focuses including Birding Walks, Environmental Pilgrimage and Botany.
Upon employment all of our staff commit to a core set of principles, the “Working in Parks” agreement, which highlights their obligations as company representatives working in these protected areas. The principles are derived from our core values as well as the values, objectives and principles of the parks that we have the privilege to operate in.
The Tasmanian Walking Company acknowledges the palawa and pakana as the Traditional Owners of the land and waters of lutruwita.
We acknowledge the Gadubanud and Girai Wurrung as the Traditional Owners of the land and waters of the Great Ocean Trail.
We acknowledge the Ngarrindjeri, Ramindjeri, Narrunga, and Kaurna, and their connection to Kangaroo Island.
We acknowledge the Western Arrernte and Central Arrernte as the Traditional Owners of the land and waters of the Larapinta.
We acknowledge the land we walk on is, was, and always will be first nations people’s land. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and acknowledge the generations to come.
The Tasmanian Walking Company acknowledges the ongoing healing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the role we can play in supporting this process of reconciliation.
We stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders seeking justice, acceptance, and recognition as the Traditional Owners and custodians of Country, where sovereignty was never ceded.
It is incredibly important for us to recognise that the lands and waters we travel through on our trips are not just environmental landscapes, they are cultural landscapes too, that speak to a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environments.
The Tasmanian Walking Company commits to ensuring a spirit of respect and continuous improvement with regards to Culture and First Nations connection to place. To support this commitment, the Tasmanian Walking Company is currently in the process of developing a Reconciliation Action Plan with support from Reconciliation Tasmania, and in consultation and communication with local palawa/pakana community members.
We also have partnered with the ALCT to support the training and development of Aboriginal guides, and as we expand our operations on mainland Australia, we look forward to working with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure we walk and work with integrity - paying respect and amplifying the voices of those who are custodians and have connection to the special places we walk in.
Transportation of goods is a large portion of many businesses' environmental footprint. For food and wine and other consumables, we use local produce or suppliers. We prioritise sourcing food and wine from each walk’s local area to ensure freshness as well as to keep us accountable for only using produce when it is seasonally available. As a benchmark, we aim to source 90% of our food from local suppliers and producers.
For all other goods and services, if the option is there we will always shop locally. Telling the story of the area we are in is important to us and we reflect this value through the suppliers we choose to work with.
Menus and stocklists are updated to reflect the availability of fresh local produce and all food miles are tracked as a part of our carbon emissions.
Watch the video below to find out more.
Our accommodation nodes vary across our walks, from yacht cabins, to remote standing camps, alpine mountain huts, and coastal lodges. The one thing they have in common is they are built and maintained with a focus on the full lifecycle impacts of our assets - taking into account building materials, repair and maintenance schedules, and design technologies, all to ensure we can operate our accommodation nodes as effectively and efficiently as possible whilst reducing our impact on the environments they are located in.
As we are bushwalking experts, not building experts, we work with a wide range of knowledgeable people including architects, electricians, and sustainable design consultants to make sure that we are building well, and for the future.
We also ensure that our contractors agree to work in line with our guiding principles, our values and our vision, so that any construction activity being completed on behalf of Tasmanian Walking Company has total emissions measured, flora/fauna in and around construction sites are surveyed and monitored to minimise any harm, and contractors are asked to prioritise local employment and local suppliers where possible as part of their Project and Contract scoping and administration processes.
Over the course of developing walks and associated facilities over many years, AWC/TWC has developed its own set of Ecologically Sustainable Design Criteria, which are referred to when designing new product proposals.
Since Ken Latona and Joan Masterman first designed the original ‘Cradle Huts’ in the 1980s, Tasmanian Walking Company has been proud to work with architects, builders, and sustainable design and technology experts, all working to ensure we build well, and in a way that considers the landscape being built on, and the flora and fauna that call these landscapes home.
As part of building well, and more broadly as part of reducing our impacts on the lands and waters we operate in, we pay special attention to our water and waste systems, and we are always looking for ways to know better and do better. Our water is predominantly collected from rainwater tanks and our waste is carefully removed multiple times a year.
To ensure the safety and integrity of our water and waste systems we are working with a host of experts, including environmental engineers, process engineers, sustainability experts, and companies like TerraCycle and Veolia to ensure that we divert as much waste as possible from general waste streams.
All of our offices and departure bases utilise TerraCycle zero waste-boxes, and we prioritise working with suppliers that are actively working to reduce or recycle their packaging waste. Our Assets & Maintenance teams also are in the process of installing monitoring technology that tracks our water and power consumption, and they use this information to improve the efficiency of our systems.
To ensure that we are providing safe drinking water in the remote locations we operate in, the Assets & Maintenance team have also recently upgraded our solar capacities at some of our accommodation nodes to ensure UV water filtration devices can be adequately powered.
For the activity-specific consumables we have, including old packs and raincoats, we send these to local community groups or initiatives like Offtrack’s ‘2nd Life’ project, that works to reuse, rehome, or recycle old outdoor gear.