On September 25, 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, leaders from around the world will commit to 17 Global Goals to make the world a better place to live in for all. The travel and tourism industry has a role to play in this mission.
Here are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how World Expeditions contributes to all but four of the Goals:
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
The World Expeditions Foundation and Community Project Travel works to improve access to education in underprivileged communities across the globe. It’s philosophy reflects a focus on education as paramount in improving the standard of living in poor and indigenous communities, believing it empowers young people with a valuable asset for the future and in turn helps to assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Both our Community Project Travel and Huma Charity Challenge programs work with underprivileged schools in countries like Peru, India and Tanzania to build greenhouses to enable more varied fruits and vegetables to be grown in harsh environments, bringing an end to hunger and bringing a more balanced and nutritionally rich diet to students.
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Our travel program is active and promotes a healthy lifestyle. We offer adventure travelers, of all ages, the opportunity to engage in hiking, cycling, rafting, paddling or mountaineering activities around the world.
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The World Expeditions Foundation and Community Project Travel works to improve access to education in underprivileged communities across the globe.
Our World Expeditions Schools division engages youth in experiential learning through travel, allowing today’s youth to experience the world in a way that allows them to learn through giving and grow through experience, in their formative years.
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Our Carbon Offset program offers our travelers the opportunity to mitigate the carbon emissions produced by their air travel. The carbon credits that they purchase support renewable energy projects around the world.
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
World Expeditions employs hundreds of people around the world to ensure that our itineraries are operated by local people, who have unrivaled knowledge and passion for their country. Our guides and support crew in many developing nations rely solely on tourism for their income in environments with limited options. Our employment standards are in accordance with the guidelines provided by each country’s Labor Union.
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
The efforts of the World Expeditions Foundation and our Community Project Travel program all assist in reducing the inequality within and among countries. We also contribute to this through our commitment to employing local people and opening up new tourist routes to bring the benefits of tourism, for example Trek the Great Himalayan Trail.
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Children working and living in tourist areas are especially vulnerable to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Our Child Protection Code of Conduct, developed in conjunction with World Vision, ensures children are safe when our travellers are interacting with them. We educate all our travellers about what they can do to be Child Safe Travellers.
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Our commitment to Responsible Travel permeates our business. We implement responsible and sustainable travel practices in the field and we educate our employees, partners, industry and travelers to help them make well-informed responsible choices when they travel. Our Responsible Travel Guidebook is the source of all our initiatives.
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Since 2010 World Expeditions has enabled our travelers to mitigate the carbon emissions produced their air travel. The carbon offsets we purchase on their behalf are sourced by Climate Friendly, a reputable carbon management company. They have rigorous quality assurance processes and support only the best, most effective projects that prevent carbon emissions being generated.
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
In conjunction with global animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, we have developed our Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct to outline to our stakeholders (local operators, employees and travellers) our expectations in regards to the treatment of animals, across all the possible encounters with animals that can be had on our itineraries.
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
The 7 Principals of Leave No Trace underpins our operations in the natural environment. This minimal impact approach ensures that we protect and conserve the wilderness regions we travel through. Our 10 Pieces Litter Collection initiative ensure that we combat the global problem of litter pollution and our No Wood Burning policy in Nepal directly combats the critical issue of deforestation.
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
As members of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), we support the belief that the travel industry can become the world's first global peace industry. Every traveler is potentially an "Ambassador for Peace”. We urge our travelers to read and enact the IIPT’s Credo of the Peaceful Traveler.
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
What can you do?
Spread the word about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The more people that know about the goals, the better chance we have at achieving them by 2030.
And travel responsibly. To learn how you can be a Responsible Traveler, read our recently released Responsible Travel Guidebook