Lower-carbon holidays is need of the hour

A new study has broken down full holiday CO2 emissions for the first time – revealing some important key findings for both industry and consumers. Activist company Responsible Travel commissioned the report, authored by professor Stefan Gössling, of Lund University and Dr Ya-Yen Sun of the University of Queensland.

The pilot study uses raw data to measure the carbon impacts of transport, accommodation energy and food options across a selection of holidays. It highlights a pressing need for the tourist industry to design holidays with reduced emissions across food, accommodation and transport – offering greater plant-based choice, minimising food waste, focussing on local, seasonal produce – and switching to renewably powered accommodation.

“Select food and accommodation judiciously.”

Justin Francis, founder and CEO of Responsible Travel, said: “We know we have to fly less, but that’s not the only significant contributor to the carbon emissions of your holiday. Your food is a significant, and sometimes the single biggest source of CO2 emissions from your holiday. To get to net zero carbon 2050, we’ll need to fly less and change what we eat.  This is a small pilot study, but it starts that conversation.”

He added: “The significance of the broader impacts we see here are such that as consumers, we have to change how we approach travel as a whole – and as an industry, we have to help facilitate that. We need to see a radical review of tourism in favour of lower-carbon holidays – but there are robust and workable solutions here that can be beneficial to both consumers and companies themselves.”

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