Name of Company: Rainbow Trek & Expedition P.Ltd
Date of approval: 27 June 2017
Our company wants to contribute in a positive way to its environment. Therefore we are committed to promoting sustainability. Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to our company’s professional activities and management.
We aim to contribute to economic, environmental and social progress with a view to achieving sustainable development, and to help our clients achieve responsible trips. Therefore, we follow and promote good sustainability practice, to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities and to help our clients and partners to do the same.
Our Sustainability Policy is based upon the following principles:
- To comply with, and exceed where practicable, all applicable national legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
- To integrate sustainability considerations into all our business decisions.
- To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.
- To minimize the impact of all our office and travel operation activities.
- To make clients and suppliers aware of our sustainability commitments, and encourage them to adopt sound sustainable management practices.
- To review, annually report, and to continually strive to improve our sustainability performance.
- To ensure accountability and transparency in our sustainability performance.
This Sustainability Policy identifies 4 core values and 5 areas of sustainable practices throughout our business operations.
Our company respects and promotes human rights as described in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and we request our suppliers to do the same.
Our company respects and follows national labour standards across our operations. We have a Human Resource policy that describes our internal employment standards in detail.
Our company will take into account our potential impact on the environment and seek to avoid or, where avoidance is not possible, minimize these impacts. Respective policies in this document are put in place to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts.
Our company is committed to applying high standards of honesty and integrity consistently across our operations. We operate according to our corporate values and are committed to preventing corruption and bribery in all its forms and do not tolerate it in our business or in those with whom we do business.
Our company considers sustainability as part of its structure.
The company has appointed a Sustainability Coordinator, who actively oversees the implementation of this policy and the action plan, and regularly communicates with colleagues and management on the effect of the implemented policies and actions, the status of the objectives and formulates recommendations for next steps.
Name: Keshav Prasad Dahal
Job title: Managing Director
- Coordinate Travelife reporting and certification;
- Ensure a general understanding of sustainability and our Company policy among all staff;
- Oversee our Company action plan and gain input and support from colleagues for its implementation;
- Improve sustainability of product offerings and supply chain;
- Report regularly (at least twice a year) on sustainability progress and challenges within the Company to the management;
- Support internal and external communication regarding our Company’s Sustainability Policy and actions.
The corporate sustainability policy is accessible to all employees, suppliers as well as the general public.
- Sustainability is a standard topic on the agenda of our office meetings.
- We have developed standard communication tools for reaching out to our suppliers, requesting them to follow sustainability standards in whichever way they can.
- A summery of our sustainability principles and actions are communicated on our website.
The company has a sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities and time planning. Action plans are developed on an annual basis, with the input of all employees.
Staff members can take responsibility for the implementation of specific actions, and the company acknowledges them as driving force for successful and continuous sustainability improvements.
Periodically our company holds a meeting with all (available) office staff, at least once a month. Sustainability is a standard item on the agenda for this meeting; to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy and action plan and discuss any new ideas. We take notes of any key updates and decisions made during the meeting.
Twice a year our company holds a general meeting with our guides, to monitor and evaluate our performance during the trips and at the destination level.
Starting with those aspects that are directly under our control, our company has established sustainable office operations. Happy staff means happy clients.
- Our office has installed solar panels, which provide majority of our electricity.
- Energy from the main grid comes from hydropower.
- Our office follows strict “switch off” policy and all staff is responsible for switching off any lights and equipment that is not in use.
- We use energy saving light bulbs (CFL / LED) across the whole office and only switch on lights when really necessary.
- Our office is connected to the government water (Melamchi). Our office has its own spring well. Our office harvests rainwater. Our office has no access to water; we use a bucket that we fill at the neighbours.
- Taps are regularly checked for leakage and immediately repaired when necessary.
- The office supplies drinking water in 20L bottles for office staff and clients.
- We measure the number of drinking water bottles we consume every month.
- Cups, glasses and water bottles are available at the office or brought by the staff themselves.
- Our waste water is treated through the government system. Though this treatment is limited, it is out of the control of our company.
- Whenever we use water for washing dishes or cleaning office, we re-use this water for flushing the toilet.
- Our company collects rainwater, which is used for flushing the toilet.
- Our toilet water goes into a septic tank.
- Our company only works with FSC and/or ISO certified paper (easily available in Nepal).
- Lokta (local recycled) paper preferred where possible (e.g. visiting cards), however due to the limited quality of this paper it cannot be used for everything.
- Paper is always used on two sides; either by printing on two sides or by using one side as scrap paper.
- Our office minimizes waste in all possible ways.
- Biodegradable waste is separated and composted. It can be donated for example to http://www.biocompnepal.com
- A local private recycling company collects paper, glass and plastic. For example via http://himalayanlife.com/en/th-work/ (Pokhara), http://www.jamarko.com.np (Kathmandu) or any of these https://www.environmental-expert.com/waste-recycling/companies/location-nepal (Kathmandu)
- For all other waste, our office makes use of the government waste collection system.
- Usage of batteries is kept to a minimum.
- First aid kit is available in the office in a place accessible to all staff.
- Fire extinguisher is available in the office in a place accessible to all staff.
- Safety conversations (earthquake, fire, flood, transportation, etc.) are held on a regular (at least annual) basis.
- Office staff prefers coming to office on foot, by bicycle or by public transportation.
- We minimize official travel for office staff. When travelling abroad, flights are offset where possible.
- When guides and porters travel, public transportation by bus is preferred.
- Preference is given to locally produced food, where possible organically grown.
- No MSG
- Catering is selected based on varied, nutritious and hygienically prepared food.
- When using catering, our company provides re-usable boxes for food transport to avoid use of plastic, aluminium and paper wrapping.
- Food waste is kept to a limit.
- Our office serves Nepalese tea and coffee, which is widely available.
- Where possible organic and/or fair trade tea and coffee is preferred.
- Where possible, our office is cleaned with only water.
- Necessary detergents are used to ensure hygiene and sanitation in the office.
- We minimize and substitute the use of harmful substances, including pesticides, paints, and cleaning materials by harmless products and processes.
- Storage, handling and disposal of chemicals (if any) is properly managed.
To offset our operational carbon:
- We hold an annual tree planting ceremony with all our staff.
- We support the construction and maintenance of biogas installation(s) in our destination(s).
- Our office is decorated with plants (where possible, oxygen generating plants are preferred).
- Sustainability signs in our office help remind our staff about our policies.
- We minimize pollution from noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone-depleting compounds; and air, water and soil contaminants from our building, if any.
Our company aims to properly communicate its sustainable practices and achievements to partners, suppliers, clients and the general public.
The company enables and facilitates sustainability related questions from customers and other stakeholders.
- The contact details of our Sustainability Coordinator are clearly communicated on our website.
- We include questions on sustainability in our Client Feedback Form.
- Sales staff is properly trained to respond to sustainability questions or refer them to the Sustainability Coordinator.
- Hard copy materials for travel trade shows are kept to a minimum.
- Left over materials at the end of a trade show are always taken back to our office.
Our company has developed specific policy guidelines for five main areas where we integrate sustainable practices. These policies fall under the scope of this general Sustainability Policy and are available as separate documents.