Reducing our waste and cleaning up into 2020
COVID-19 has managed what governments and environmental organizations have not: to bring back the blue skies all over the world and crystal-clear canals in Italy. The virus along with the economic slowdown and quarantine measures, have had a massive impact on pollution. NASA’s satellite images show a drastic change in atmospheric NO2 concentrations. While we are not suggesting that the virus has had a positive effect globally, a disruption in supply chains and global logistics has reduced pollution and slowed climate change. As countries focus on localized production, we see a clear reduction in carbon emissions that benefits our planet.
Rather than relying on a global pandemic to combat climate change, we understand that companies need to reduce waste and pollution with a sense of urgency. Khiri Travel addresses these problems alongside our support of local conservation projects. As we do our best in all our offices, Khiri Travel starts by monitoring the resources that our business use. We know exactly how much electricity and water we’re using and not only separate; but, also weigh our waste. Only by measuring our impact on the environment can we start improving and reducing our footprint: once we identify where we fall short, we can develop strategies and implement policies to use fewer resources and reduce our waste. We track our staffs’ commute and business flights and have calculated our annual carbon footprint. Khiri Travel is currently looking for feasible frameworks that will eventually make our office’s Carbon Neutral.
One of the biggest challenges for every company is waste, but we refuse to pile on more garbage and exacerbate the problem. As we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible, we still struggle to use less plastic. Our office managers came up with innovative and fun solutions: our Cambodia and Laos branches have introduced a “Plastic fee”. For every piece of plastic our staff brings into the office, we make a small donation into a common pot, all of the fees are then donated to local conservation projects in their respective countries. In Vietnam, our teams have handed out beautiful bamboo bottles, so they no longer need to use single-use cups to drink coffee, water, or juice.
Our Myanmar office organized a recycling workshop where our staff made beautiful handicrafts out of waste! As we all practice social distancing, it can be something fun all of us can do with our loved ones while we stay at home. Let’s do our part and look in our bins for anything that we can reuse or turn into new, useful items!
Throughout the year, we also organize various projects to clean up the environment in our destinations. Our teams participate in regular clean-ups with local organizations, hotels or agents: In 2019, Khiri Vietnam organized a “Plastic Fishing Tour” to clean Saigon’s canals. Our Thailand team picked up trash on the beaches of Koh Samed, while Khiri Myanmar cleaned Botataung Jetty.
For our company outings, we donate and sponsor tree planting activities as well. The Myanmar staff planted 500 trees in Thanlyan; while, our team in Cambodia put another 100 trees in the ground at Koh Pdao Island.
As we pass on this message within our supply chain, Khiri Travel wants all our partner suppliers, drivers and tour guides to follow our lead. We ask all our suppliers to sign a sustainability contract, which urges them to comply with basic social and environmental guidelines and have detailed sustainability assessments in place. The assessments include energy, water, and waste management. Whenever possible and needed, we provide guidance, training, and advice for our committed stakeholders. We want to make sure that we support products that don’t harm our environment.
Khiri Travel believes that together, we can protect our destinations, promote sustainable tourism, and fight climate change. Our goal is to motivate everyone, from our janitors to our CEO, to get involved and be held accountable. It is the only way to become a more responsible business. We believe in collaborating and sharing knowledge with partners, suppliers, and clients. Together, we can get through these difficult times and overcome the challenges ahead.
You can click here to read more about our initiatives and efforts in our annual sustainability report 2019.