At Ireland Wild Escapes, we are fully committed to assisting with conservation efforts in Ireland.
Protecting our environment
The wilderness regions in Ireland are prime wildlife conservation areas, considered to be hugely important on a European as well as Irish level. The EU Habitats Directive lists certain habitats and species that must be protected within special Areas of Conservation (SACs). These Irish habitats include: raised bogs, blanket bogs, turloughs, sand dunes, machair (flat sandy plains on the north and west coasts), heaths, lakes, rivers, woodlands, estuaries and sea inlets. The 25 Irish species which must be afforded protection include Salmon, Otter, Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Bottlenose Dolphin and Killarney Fern.
Our built environments include ancient archaeological sites, historical building and ruins.
Preserving our local customs and traditions - Sustaining local economies
At Ireland Wild Escapes our vision is to showcase the unique offering of indigenous Irish customs and traditions of the regions of Ireland. Offering our valued customers an opportunity to engage in these authentic cultural experiences and activities, helping to support, conserve and protect these precious traditions and ways of life. We believe we act as a vital conduit, by linking our local suppliers and local communities to our clients, who want to travel more responsibly. Helping to empower local communities and encouraging local people to continue their traditional lifestyles, to grow economic sustainability in the area. We encourage and support our local suppliers to make their experiences more sustainable and immersive in the local culture of their area. As passionate promoters of Irish cultural heritage and conservation travel, we ensure that our experiences educate and promote responsible travel in Ireland. As a tour operator, we live and work on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. Our mission is to help sustain the local economy by keeping the money local – contracting locally, employing locally, spending locally and encouraging our clients to spend more locally too. “When locals thrive, we thrive!”
Ireland Wild Escapes passionately believes in the three pillars of sustainably
This document will be reviewed yearly.
1. Vision/mission/company ethos
- At Ireland Wild Escapes our core values are
- Services Quality & delivery
- Community and Environment
At Ireland Wild Escapes our vision is to showcase the unique offering of indigenous Irish customs and traditions of the regions of Ireland.
As passionate promoters of Irish cultural heritage and conservation travel, we ensure that our experiences educate and promote responsible travel in Ireland. Offering our valued customers an opportunity to engage with these authentic cultural experiences and activities responsibly, helping to support local suppliers, preserve and protect local traditions and ways of life.
We believe we act as a vital conduit, by linking our local suppliers and local communities to our clients, who want to travel more sustainably, by making access to these experiences possible. Helping to empower local communities and encouraging local people to continue their traditional lifestyles and to grow economic sustainability in the area. We encourage and support our local suppliers in making their experiences more sustainable and immersive in the local culture of their area.
As passionate promoters of Irish cultural heritage and conservation travel, we ensure that our experiences educate and promote responsible travel in Ireland.
Our mission is to help sustain the local economy by keeping the money local – contracting locally, employing locally, spending locally, and encouraging our clients to spend more locally too. “When locals thrive, we thrive!”
- Ireland Wild Escapes is aware that its business activities impact upon the environment and we are committed to alleviating those negative impacts as it’s our mission/vision.
2. UNWTO definition
- At Ireland Wild Escapes, we believe that sustainable tourism is tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities (UNWTO, n.d.). We therefore aim to reduce our negative effects and increase our positive impacts.
3. Continuous improvement
- We know we have a lot to do, and this is just the start, but we at Ireland Wild Escapes are committed to conserving and preserving local customs & traditions, protecting our environment, and economically empowering our host & local communities.
- We will continuously strive to improve all our sustainability efforts.
4. Measuring and reducing negative impacts
4a. Energy consumption
- We commit to measuring our electricity consumption every month and do the following to reduce consumption:
- Turn off lights and appliances in office when not in use.
- Research current energy supplier and if required switch to a new energy supplier that achieves least 51% of their energy mix from renewable energy sources.
- Set ourselves a target of at least 5% energy use reduction across the next 12 months
- Educate, encourage, and send tips to our suppliers on how to save electricity and to give information to visitors on how to save electricity when on tour (and beyond) with researched best practice information and tips on how to reduce their electricity consumption.
4b. Water consumption
- We commit to measuring our water consumption every 2 months and do the following to reduce consumption:
- Add water bottles to toilet cisterns in the office to reduce water consumption.
- Use the dishwasher on eco mode in office
- Install aerators – low flow shower heads to improve our water usage
- Set ourselves a target of at least 5% water usage reduction across the next 12 months
- Educate, encourage, and send researched best practice information and tips to our suppliers on how to reduce water consumption and to give information to visitors on how to reduce water consumption when on tour (and beyond) with researched best practice information and tips on how to do this.
- Encourage our suppliers & visitors to bring and use own reusable water bottles when on tour and beyond.
- Encourage suppliers and visitors to use biodegradable cleaning products and toiletries.
4c. Waste production
- We commit to measuring our waste consumption every week and do the following to reduce consumption:
- Reduce purchase of plastic products for the office
- Buy & reuse glass in our office where possible
- Not using single use plastic products in our office
- Commit to using FSC certified paper
- Add ‘do not print’ policy to our email correspondence
- Setting ourselves a target to increase our recycling rates by 15% over the next 12 months
- Help our clients with reducing waste when they come to Ireland by providing them with some tips prior to arrival.
- Encourage our guests in our pre-arrival communication to bring their own reusable water bottle
- Educate, encourage and send tips and researched best practice information to our suppliers on how to reduce, reuse & recycle waste production and to give information to visitors on how to reduce waste production when on tour (and beyond) with researched best practice information and tips on how to do this
- Advise suppliers & visitors and give information on how we recycle in Ireland (as this might differ from other countries)
- Advise and show clients where they can refill their bottles across the country, with help of the map from https://refill.ie/tap-map/
- Educate & inform suppliers & visitors on single use plastic
5. Ethical purchasing
- At Ireland Wild Escapes we are committed to:
- Buying products that are only produced in Ireland, and where possible produced within 50 km of our business.
- Changing products that we purchase towards certified products (where possible). Referencing ecolabelindex.com
- Reducing our consumption and only buying what is required for the office
- Buying products with less environmental impact
- Educating & encouraging our suppliers to commit to purchasing goods or services that are more sustainable and ethical.
6. Carbon Management
- We aim to reduce our carbon footprint on an ongoing basis – for example, the resource consumption reduction activities around energy, water and waste will help bring down our footprint
- We encourage our guests/clients to use public transport wherever possible and provide them with information on how to reach required locations and meet points with public transport
- To offset our remaining emissions, we plan to partner with South Pole to select specific projects at a slightly reduced rate per tonne/carbon as part of our membership with Sustainable Travel Ireland. We aim to partner by Dec 2023
7. Responsible sustainability marketing
- At Ireland Wild Escapes we commit to marketing our product ethically by not greenwashing
- We know we can’t always get things right first time. We therefore commit to honestly communicating where we are on our journey and our improvements.
8. Social responsibility
We support our local community by
- Outsourcing all our activities & experiences to our over 105 regional and local based suppliers, promoting the various area’s nature, history and culture, keeping money local within in the regions and communities of Ireland
- Living and working in the community
- Encouraging our visitors to spend locally
- Volunteering in various community initiatives
- IAAT: Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism – Board member – secretary & active member https://iaat.ie/
- Letterfrack Tidy Town Association – Committee member https://www.facebook.com/LetterfrackTidyTownsCommittee/
- Connemara Green Association – Committee member & annual event manager Connemara Green festival https://connemaragreen.ie
- Connemara Community Radio – radio presenter https://www.connemarafm.com/
- Cleggan Coastguard Services – member & drone pilot https://www.facebook.com/people/Cleggan-Coast-Guard
- Connect Ukraine – Ukraine refugee community support initiative – community support group member
- St Thomas Church, Moyard – select vestry member https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofStThomasMoyard
Donating to local initiatives examples:
- Local angling clubs – Oughterard Anglers- funds to assist with hatchery conservation efforts
- National tree planting programmes – Trees on the Land – donations to help buy & plant trees for native woodlands in Ireland
- Inagh Valley Native Woodland Restoration project– Donations and creating interactive & educational paid experiences to assist with restoration of local habitat to native woodlands
- Joining forces and engaging with local & national stakeholders to promote responsible & sustainable travel practices:
Failte Ireland, IAAT, Galway County Council, Connemara & Aran VEDP, Inagh Valley Native Woodland Restoration project
9. Supporting Biodiversity
- We support and conserve Irish biodiversity by our:
- Volunteer work on local Connemara Green Association that acts for conservation change actions for local biodiversity & conservation e.g. Pearl mussel, wild Atlantic salmon & sea trout. Invasive species control
- Encourage clients when booking an experience on our websites to donate to planting a native Irish tree (e.g. Trees on the Land and Inagh Valley Native Woodland Restoration project)
- Committed to conservation efforts in the area and Ireland nationally
29 MAY 2023
29 MAY 2023
Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Causeway Coast and Glens
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