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Travel-Focused Climate Change Studio

Recognising the gravity of the global climate crisis, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is hosting the Climate Action Leadership Studio this September in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is to acknowledge specifically the travel and tourism industry’s role in addressing and mitigating climate change.

Registration is now open for the one-day event, which features several highly-regarded speakers and hands-on sessions designed to equip participants with information, resources and strategies to guide climate action initiatives within their own companies.

The September 20 Studio will occur the day after the ATTA’s annual Adventure Travel World Summit event. All travel-related professionals are encouraged to attend the event, regardless of Summit attendance or ATTA membership status.

One of the travel and tourism industry’s core values is to care for the environment and those working in the industry realise proactive climate action is critical for the industry’s future. Yet, despite a personal and professional interest in environmental conservation, travel is a major contributor of climate change.

Climate change will affect all travel companies across the world eventually with financial consequences. Developing strategies to tackle and mitigate these challenges is essential for both travel-related businesses and the planet.

Casey Hanisko, president of the ATTA,

Sustainability is already at our core and critical to healthy adventure travel now and in the future. Addressing climate change as a collective and pooling our knowledge and best practices is good for the planet, and frankly, imperative to the future of our industry.”

The Climate Action Leadership Studio will empower tour companies and other travel-related professionals to remain relevant in these changing dynamics. During the one-day event, participants will learn practical ways businesses are handling climate change, actions that can be implemented immediately for the benefit of the climate and business bottom line, and information on how best to communicate about climate change.

Presenters include:

  • Jim Kane, director of corporate social responsibility, Exito Travel (an air partner to more than 100 tour operators throughout the Americas)
  • Jens Olejak, director of sustainability energy, managing director for Sweden, South Pole Group
  • Eric Balian, managing director, Terres d’Aventure – EAD Group
  • Steven Goodman, business development manager, Climeworks
  • Jeff Bonaldi, CEO, The Explorer’s Passage
  • Elín Sigurðardóttir, co-owner, Icelandic Mountain Guides
  • Christina Beckmann, senior director, strategy + impact, ATTA

Goodman said,

The urgency of climate change demands effective solutions today. At Climeworks, we’re focusing on direct air capture and storage. We believe the travel community could be a valuable partner in building awareness and sparking uptake among travelers.”

According to a 2018 paper published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change, travel-related activities make up 8% of global greenhouse emissions. Discourse about the Paris climate agreement and consequences resulting from a warming planet have thrust the issue into mainstream conversation, escalating awareness of travel’s carbon impacts.

This statistic comes into sharper focus when viewed through a lens related to values and behaviour. A recent study from Edelman of 8000 people across eight markets found consumers believe brands are a more powerful force for societal change than government and two-thirds of consumers buy based on values.

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