Policy and procedures based on sustainability

Campus Adventures is fully committed to deliver only responsible travel; where satisfied clients, an intact environment and nature conservation is more than important for us, as well as maximizing the positive impacts on local communities and people.

We believe that an active contribution and behavior toward sustainability is an obligation for everyone who live on this planet and working together on it will help to make a better world, no matter if you only can contribute a bit. It is your daily conduction that makes the difference.

Our sustainability policy is based on social, environmental and economic impacts and in the following we describe in more details how we bring our commitment into practice.

1. Sustainability Management & Legal compliance

Campus Adventures has appointed 1 employee (Santiago Cardenas) and a supervisor (Marjolein Rientjes) who are responsible and who coordinate the sustainability tasks of the company.

At the section www.campus-adventures.com/responsible travel, Campus communicates with its customers, partners and suppliers its sustainable mission statement.

At the section www.campus-adventures.com/responsible travel, Campus communicates with its customers, partners and suppliers its policy about management of social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts.

Health and Safety training & control for our employees are implemented.

Campus has implemented a sustainability guideline for its customers which is provided upon arrival in Ecuador.

Our plan to contribute more actively with a better structured sustainability action plan including control and a follow-up is elaborated BUT for 2020 our goal is to get a simpler, well overlooking action plan including planned actions that has a real chance of success, monitored and accompanied by a realistic time schedule.

Our sustainable management has informed our team about our Sustainability Policy and it is part of our office regulation to be committed and improving it.

We commit to complying with all national legislation, regulations and codes of practice.

2. Internal management: social policy & human rights

We commit to sustainable internal management by having clear written and well-communicated social policy that includes the following principles:

Campus Adventures is fully committed   buy the following social policy:

  • To grant employees a contract termination with notice (ideally minimum one month) and without penalty
  • To include labor conditions according to national labor law and a job description in the employment contract;
  • Wage rate is to be mentioned in the contract and equals or above the national legal wage;
  • To determinate and compensate of overtime working hours based on agreement, depending on the efficacy, efficiency in work and commitment of the employee
  • To provide public medical insurance according to the national law;
  • To grant employees fixed paid yearly holiday and sick leave.
  • To have health and safety policy for employees which complies to national legal standards;
  • To obey national concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;
  • To provide the opportunity for employees to voice out their complaints and expectations by an open, annual and private meeting as well as they have the opportunity to talk in case it presents a complaint.
  • To have a clear written disciplinary procedure that is effectively communicated with employees;
  • To provide periodic guidance and training for employees on roles, rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues. This includes fire and relevant natural disasters;

We commit to practice human rights by ensure the enforcement of following practices:

  • To prohibit discriminations, regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training and senior positions, or promotion in terms of gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/beliefs or sexual orientation;
  • To ensure all employees have an equal chance and access to resources and opportunities for personal development through regular training, education, depending on their commitment, availability and capacity .

3. Internal Management: Environment and community relations

Campus is fully committed to practice environmental protection and enhance community relations by ensuring the enforcement of following practices:

  • Actively reduce and recycle the use of disposable and consumer goods
  • Favor the purchase of sustainable goods and services, office and catering supply, giveaways and merchandise;
  • Purchase products in bulk, to reduce or no-use of packaging materials;
  • Set copy and printing machines by default to double-sided printing or recycle the paper if possible;
  • Use cleaning materials which are non-hazardous, non-eutrophic and biodegradable and are certified with an eco-label or locally fractured supported by a statement and product ingredients;
  • Print brochures on environmentally friendly paper, with a printing company that works with a certified environmental management system, if locally available at reasonable costs;
  • Implement measurements to reduce brochure wastage or an ‘internet only’ policy;
  • Have an active commitment to measure, monitor and reduce energy consumption;
  • Calculate and compensate CO2 emissions and compare different periods;
  • Purchase green energy and energy efficient lighting for all areas, when available;
  • Switch off Lights and equipment when not in use, use automatic switch on/off system with timers or movement sensors and set equipment by default in the energy saving mode, where this is feasible;
  • Prefer low energy equipment when buying new items, including considerations of cost and quality;
  • Have an active policy to reduce water consumption, implemented and monitored on a monthly or yearly basis for benchmark purposes;
  • Use sustainable water sourcing, which does not adversely affect environmental flows;
  • Install water saving equipment in toilets, re-use waste water and/or collected rainwater;
  • Develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling policy, with quantitative goals;
  • Take measures to reduce the amount of packaging materials and forbid non-recyclable or non-biodegradable package materials;
  • Forbid non-refillable plastic bottles of drinking water for office use;
  • Separate all materials which can be recycled and organize collection and proper disposal;
  • Implement waste reducing methods when using ink and toner cartridges for printing and copying, whenever feasible;
  • Recycle or properly dispose of batteries;
  • Minimize and substitute the use of harmful substances and manage properly the storage, handling and disposal of chemicals;;
  • Reduce transport related impacts by tele-work, tele/video meetings, work-at-home policies or other means;
  • Maintain and properly check motorized company vehicles, to reduce emissions and energy use and make sure they comply with the legal emission standards,
  • Inform to all staff members, about their roles and responsibilities with respect to internal environmental practices;

4. Partner agency

Based on an inventory of our clients, Tour Operators, we have implemented a few actions about sustainability:

We commit to this by;

  • Paying attention to the local benefits of communities when selecting local accommodations and activities;
  • Informing our clients on the Travelife existence;
  • Having a cooperation contract including an annex of the national code of conduct for the most important local partners to encourage their practices towards sustainability;
  • Having a written contract with our clients and an annual commercial agreement with most of our providers

5. Transport

We try to ensure that vehicles used on tours do not cause more than average pollution. We believe that transport is an important aspect of sustainable tourism, and we do our best to decrease the average pollution level.

We commit to this by;

  • Selecting the most sustainable options considering safety, reliability, price, and comfort when selecting transport options to a destination. Although in Ecuador do not offer sustainable travel options, we try to schedule efficient routes.
  • Integrating and/or promoting one or more sustainable holiday products/packages based on (international) certifications and internal actions and attitude, including clean transport (no excessive pollution), sustainable accommodations if possible, and sustainable activities.

6. Accommodations

We try to achieve a tourism supply chain that is fully sustainable. Our lodging suppliers play an important role in achieving this, and are stimulated and motivated to adapt sustainable practices.

We commit to this by;

  • Selecting accommodations that comply with sustainability and quality standards with a special focus on the following items;
    • Do they have a signed sustainability contract
    • Do they have a water saving program
    • Do they have an energy saving program
    • Do they have a waste management program
    • Do they have an energy reduction system
    • Do they have a sustainable supply chain
    • Do they have a child protection policy
    • Do they conduct CSR activities
    • Do they train employees in Health & Safety
  • To try to motivate and encourage accommodation suppliers to become sustainably certified;
  • Preferring and selecting accommodations that are locally owned and managed;
  • Selecting accommodations that employ local communities but only in case they comply with the international standards;
  • Encouraging accommodations to follow best practices/trainings on responsible tourism;
  • Clearly and actively communicating our sustainability requirements regarding accommodations and additional services;
  • Giving clear preference to accommodations that work with internationally acknowledged (e.g. GSTC recognised) and/or Travelife certification;
  • To implement a standard sustainability clauses in all contracts with accommodation providers that focus on child labour, anti-corruption and bribery, waste management and protection of biodiversity; this is really difficulty to obtain.
  • Ensuring that through our accommodation supply chain, the rights of children are respected and safeguarded by;
    • Having a clause in contracts throughout the value chain stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children;
    • Having a clause dedicated to this aspect in their contract that enables the travel company to end the contractual agreement prematurely if the accommodation supplier does not take adequate measures to prevent sexual exploitation of children;
    • Training employees in children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases;
  • Working with accommodations and restaurants that incorporate elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities;
  • Terminating cooperation with accommodation in case of clear evidence that contracted accommodations jeopardize the provision of integrity of basic services such as food, water, energy, healthcare, or soil to the neighbouring companies.;

7. Excursions and activities

We value animal and community welfare extremely high and aim at tours that only leave a minor footprint. We are safeguarding the authenticity of the communities and the natural environment, and are strongly against harming wildlife and polluting the environment.

We commit to this by;

  • Having an inventory of environmentally or culturally sensitive excursions which are offered in each destination;
  • Advising guests on behaviour standards during excursions and activities with a focus on respecting the local culture, nature, and environment;
  • Communicating our sustainability objectives and requirements to contracted and other relevant excursion providers by distributing this information via code of conducts, discussions, and/or meetings, to minimise negative visitor impact and maximise enjoyment;
  • Not offering any excursions that harm humans, animals, plants, natural resources such as water and energy, or which are socially and culturally unacceptable;
  • Not offering any excursions in which healthy wildlife is held captive, except for properly regulated activities in compliance with local, national, and international law;
  • Not being involved with companies that harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species unless it is part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilisation is sustainable and in compliance with local, national, and international law;
  • Having environmental-sensible and -committed certified guides to guide our guests in sensitive cultural sites, heritage sites, or ecologically sensitive destinations;
  • Promoting and advise our guests on excursions and activities which directly involve and support local communities by purchasing services or goods, traditional crafts and local (food) production methods, or visiting social projects;
  • Promoting and advising our guests on excursions and activities which support local environment and biodiversity such as visiting protected areas or environmental protection projects;

8. Tour leaders, local representatives and guides

We aim at involving as many locals as possible by employing them in the tourism business. We stand for a fair and safe working environment that supports and respects local communities.

We commit to this by;

  • Ensuring that all employees have a written employment contract, including labour conditions and a job description, and fully understand the terms and conditions;
  • Preferring to work with local tour leaders, local representatives, local tour guides, porters, drivers, cooks, and other local staff in case of equal ability, and provide training as required;
  • Ensuring that our local partners comply with all applicable international, national, and local laws and regulations, industry minimum standards, and any other relevant statutory requirements whichever requirements are more stringent;
  • Paying tour leaders, local representatives, guides, porters and other local staff contracted by us a fair wage within a limited time (max 8 days after the delivered their invoices);
  • Ensuring that our local employees are informed on relevant aspects of our sustainability policy and comply with it, by training and information sessions;
  • Having our tour leaders, local representatives and guides inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g. protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g. tips, dressing code and photography) and human rights (e.g. sexual exploitation);
  • Training our employed tour leaders and local representatives on the avoidance of sexual exploitation of children. This will include awareness on how to check the requirements concerning exclusion of child abuse;

9. Destination

We aim to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts at destination to ensure the sustainable development of the places that we operate in.

We commit to this by:

  • Consider sustainability aspects in the selection process of new destinations and possibly offer alternative, non-mainstream destinations;
  • Not selecting destinations in which tourism leads to structural negative local effects, (unless the company’s involvement results in clear counter balancing effects);
  • Consider selection of new destinations, which are reachable through more sustainable means of transport;
  • Comply with legally based spatial planning, protected areas and heritage regulations. Also with destination management strategies of local, regional and national authorities;
  • Support initiatives that improve the relationships between accommodations and local producers but this depend on the quality and reliability of the local producers.
  • Support biodiversity conservation, including protected areas and areas of high biodiversity, through financial contribution, political support, and integration in product offers;
  • Forbid buying souvenirs which contain threatened flora and fauna species as indicated in the CITES treaty and the IUCN ‘Red List’; or historic and archaeological artefacts (except as permitted by law);

10. Customer communication and protection

Customer’s welfare and information are very important to us.

Prior to booking, we commit to this by:

  • Make available a company guideline for client consultation, which is followed by client advisors;
  • Ensure that customer privacy is 100% protected;
  • Comply with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages, and not promise more than is delivered;
  • Make product and price information clear and complete, with regard to the company and its products and services, including sustainability claims;
  • Promote (Certified) sustainable accommodations, excursions, packages and/or transport options, with logos or other messages; ensuring they are recognizable to consumer and presented as the “better” option;
  • Inform the customer about sustainable alternatives concerning accommodations, excursions, package holidays and transport options, if available;
  • Clearly inform (potential) direct customers, about sustainability commitments and actions;

After booking and during holidays, we commit to this by:

  • Provide Information to consumers about the natural surroundings, local culture and cultural heritage in the holiday destination;
  • Inform customers about risks and precautions related to health and safety matters in the destination;
  • Keep a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergency situations;
  • Train personnel and keep guidelines available, on how to deal with emergency situations;
  • Provide clients with documented guidelines and/or codes of conduct for sensitive excursions and activities, to minimize negative visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
  • Inform clients about applicable legislation concerning the purchasing, sales, import and export of historic or religious artifacts and articles containing materials of threatened flora and/or fauna in the destination;
  • Motivate clients to use local restaurants and shops (where appropriate);
  • Encourage clients to contribute with `pack for purpose` or similar actions.

After holidays, we commit to this by:

  • Include sustainability as an integral part of the research into client satisfaction.
  • Have clear procedures in case of complaints from clients.
The latest on COVID-19

The disruption of travelling due to the COVID-19 has impacted all counties in the world.
This does not mean the end of travelling, indeed, we are preparing a save comeback by monitoring closely the COVID-19 situation and following updates and guidance from local and international health authorities and from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In meanwhile, we´d like to inform you that Campus Adventures continues working although with a reduced staff and partly we work from home. This means, you can contact us from Monday to Friday by mail (info@campus-adventures.com) or another medium. If you need information or if you are interested in (re) scheduling a holiday for the coming future, it is a pleasure to help. Please take into account that we probably need a bit more time than usual to reply.