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The Importance of Being a Sustainable Traveller

Since Canada announced yesterday that Canada will be opening it’s border for vaccinated US Visitors on August 9, it is timely to consider our responsibility as travel reopens for the conference industry. We can practise sustainability to work towards a brighter future.

Many of us have had a bit of time to slow down over the past 16 months and consider how to do things better when we returned to some sort of normal.  I, have recently started to consider how to become a more sustainable traveller. Getting started can include steps as big or small as you are comfortable with. Even increasing your awareness on sustainable travel and taking the time to learn more about how to make a small difference will help.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Frequency – consider avoiding or reducing some non-essential travel
2. Options – shift to more sustainable modes of transportation where possible
3. Sustainable suppliers – engage with and promote the most sustainable suppliers making a difference and helping to change the status quo
4. Calculate your carbon footprint – show you care for the environment and communities across the world by carbon offsetting. Here’s a calculator that you can try:

Did you know that the International Air Transport Association lists sustainable aviation fuel as one of the key elements to help the aviation industry achieve its ambitious 2050 emissions reduction goals? When booking your next flight, consider what the airline’s positioning on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). While sustainable aviation fuel is not currently widely available in Canada an Industry-led Partnership to Advance the Availability of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Canada is underway. In July of 2020, Air Transat and SAF + Consortium signed the first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) offtake agreement in Canada. This agreement formalizes a Canadian commercial airline to work hand in hand with a clean fuel developer in reducing its environmental footprint.

Choosing air carriers that are active in reduction emissions is only one of the ways you can become a more sustainable traveller. Being more sustainable starts with knowledge. Won’t you join me in a commitment to learning more about how we can all play a role in becoming a more Sustainable Traveller?

Sandra Moniz, CMP, CMM, DES
Tourism Calgary, Meetings + Conventions

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