This is a living document that we will continue to adapt to the ever changing climate crisis. We will continue to educate ourselves and follow through our commitments. We will review annually on or before 12 May
To ensure our tourism business is viable in the long term, we at Two Rock Outdoor will endeavour to protect and enhance the environment on which our livelihood depends ensuring an outstanding experience for our clients.
We aspire to:
Ensure a fair economic advantage to all communities we visit.
Minimise as much as possible our economic, social and environmental impacts.
Commit to align ourselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and changing models for a more sustainable tourism sector
We view climate change as an issue of 'complexity' with interlinked thresholds and tipping points; that pollution, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, global warming, economics, ozone layer depletion, Carbon and Methane emissions as per our planetary boundaries are interrelated and a holistic approach to sustainabilty must urgently be taken. We agree to embrace transparency and accountability as our sustainability pillars as we map out our route to becoming a more sustainable business.
Darran is currently undertaking a Diploma in Enviornment, Sustainability and Climate with University College Cork
- Vision/mission/company ethos
At Two Rock Outdoor every hike, event, and tour is guided with safety, conservation and preservation in the heart of our business. We believe in education through experience, keeping groups small and following the principles of Leave No Trace. We further work to not just to protect but improve where possible the environment and ecosystems on which our business depends.
It is our vision to facilitate sustainable growth in the area of hillwalking and climbing on the Island of Ireland and become an industry leader in the area of sustainable mountain recreation. We are aware that our business activities impact upon the environment and we are fully committed to alleviating these negative impacts.
- UNWTO definition
At Two Rock Outdoor, 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.
- Renewable Energy Supplier Our current energy supply comes from Electric Ireland. According to the most recent information available in 2020: 63.7% of Electric Ireland's power is generated from renewable sources.
- Continuous improvement
We know we have a lot to do, and this is just the start, but we acknowledge that working on sustainability is a journey not a destination and a journey we will take with our customers to grow with and in a fashion that protects, sustains, and enhances the areas we visit.
- Measuring and reducing negative impacts
a. Energy consumption
We commit to measuring our electricity consumption every month from (June 2022 onwards and do the following to reduce consumption:
- Get an energy baseline measurement to improve month on month, year on year.
- Instal LCD lights (75% complete)
- Air dry 100% of our washing
- Double glazed windows installed
- Switch off appliances when not in use
- We have ensured our energy network supplier is a green one reducing our carbon footprint
Our ultimate goal is to reduce our Above is a list of some of our objectives but this is not exhaustive. We will be conscious in our consumption day to day creating small habits that will add to a large saving in the long term. We are now committed to measuring our electricity consumption every month. Our current office is not our forever home but we aim to improve in measuring and mitigating our energy consumption as we grow and newer technologies become available. We will not only offset the business consumption but that of our household too. We further extend this to times when we use hotels and B&B accommodation. On these occasions we aim not to use excessive heat, turn off all appliances and lights when away from our room and we will seek our providers with values on sustainability that match our own.
Ultimately, we aim to reduce our energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will explore renewable energy, we have installed a solar panel in our van which is used to charge phones and power laptops when we are on the road. Our target across the first 12 months of measuring is a 10% decrease in usage.
b. Water consumption
We now measure our water use at the water meter in the business every month and do the following to reduce consumption frame and reduce consumption by:
- Approx. 75% of vehicle washes will use waterless cleaning products except where the vehicles are exceptionally dirty
- We have 2 water butts for harvesting rainwater for gardening purposes
- We will before 2023 review install water saving shower heads and aerator for taps,
- Use only environmental cleaning products where possible
- Harvest water
- Use appliances on eco mode
We commit to measuring our water usage with the aim of a 10% reduction across a 12-month period.
c. Waste production
We commit to measuring our waste consumption every month and do the following to reduce consumption:
- Take larger items to the recycling centre
- Provide recycling options on board our vehicles
- We consider the waste we bring with us on the hills and during picnics. To reduce this, we offer snack options with local coffee shops and coffee trailers. We engage with our providers, encouraging the use of compostable or ‘keep’ cups.
- We make our own lunches at home packaging in washable containers
We are firmly against the use of single use plastic and have not purchased a single use plastic bottle since 2019. Our current aim is to be completely zero single-use plastic by our next review in March 2023. In line with the EU Directive on single-use plastics we apply this to:
- Water bottles and containers
- Coffee Cups containing plastic
- Lunch and Dinner containers
- Plastic Bags
- Wet Wipes
Where suitable and affordable alternatives are available, we will always choose this option.
We provide information to our clients on Ireland’s waste management journey as we continue on our own sustainability journey e.g., refill stations around the country available on https://refill.ie/tap-map/
We only use Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) certified paper. In autumn 2022 we will explore bulk buying options for our business for office supplies and cleaning products.
All of our hiking equipment we use ourselves, lend or rent are of the highest industry standard and are built to last. We always have zips repaired before retiring equipment and repair when possible, promoting circular economy.
- Ethical purchasing
When purchasing goods, we ensure that where possible we support local producers and providers. We will shop local within 50km of our business address and shop Irish where possible. Some of our technical kit is sourced abroad but in this case, we purchase only from companies with a robust sustainability policy.
We search for the following in all our PPE and technical equipment:
- Certified climate neutral
- Use recycled fabrics and materials
- Use sustainable packaging when shipping
- Follow the Responsible Down Standard
- Designed to last the harsh weather we endure on the Island of Ireland.
- Brands that support animal welfare
We believe Ireland is a true testing ground for outdoor equipment. We will look at the Ecolabel.
- Carbon management
We have attended the Sustainable Tourism Ireland 'Carbon Management Workshop'. We will be fully transparent in documenting our footprint. Our aim is to leave no stone unturned. We now measure to mitigate and to actively identify means of reducing our carbon footprint in all aspects of our business. We will not ignore the paradoxes of tourism on an island and where we cannot mitigate, we are now committed to offsetting with a certified project.
Where there is an opportunity to offset the carbon, we cannot eliminate; we will aim to incorporate social justice and responsibility into our measures knowing that the lowest emitters of carbon most often feel the greatest impacts of climate change.
Our work involves a lot of driving, we see this as an opportunity. We have worked with walking clubs in Ireland that have traditionally flown to the UK for walking trips and we now offer a transport option using ferry. This has reduced the number of flights taken by 14 - 17 people per trip and car rental has been reduced from 4 cars to 1 minibus and trailer.
- Each driver undertakes an eco-driving course as part of CPC training (Certificate of Professional Competency).
- Our vehicles are serviced regularly.
- Tyres are tested regularly to ensure they are properly inflated.
We aim to measure, then reduce our carbon footprint by: Dec 2022 and are currently looking to find a partner to offset our remaining emissions. We aim at having found our partner by next sustainability policy review, May 2023
We have calculated our annual Carbon footprint average taking the higher figure over years 2020 and 2021, our years in operation. This shows water to be our highest carbon footprint, we will work hard for reductions in this area.
Result: 21.27 tonnes
- Responsible sustainability marketing
We know that it is important to communicate our efforts in an honest way. We are aware of the risk of greenwashing, and we therefore commit to back our words up with actions, evidence and sincerity.
- Social responsibility
We are aware that tourism activities can have a negative impact on local communities, we therefore work to create awareness about this on our tours and events. We support communities we visit by avoiding peak times where possible. Areas exhausted from erosion through footfall; we do what we can to avoid these areas completely choosing areas with boardwalk with larger groups for instance.
We always park responsibly and promoting responsible parking with our clients in all areas we visit
Here are some of the activities supporting local Community in 2021:
We are actively seeking a local NGO to support; we have reached out to charities supporting biodiversity as we feel Ireland’s biodiversity currently faces many challenges including disease and loss of habitat. Our chosen organisation will be added here soon.
- Supporting Biodiversity & Conservation
We support and conserve Irish biodiversity, our business depends on it. Mountains have their own delicate ecosystems, habitats and landscapes. Mountains are by definition; raised landforms, every metre of ascent brings you to new vegetation, habitats and climates. They define borders, influence the weather and provide refuge.
Biodiversity is one of the key reasons we visit mountain areas. We guide every hike with conservation and preservation as our top priorities and to cause as little disturbance as possible to these delicate areas. We put careful thought into our own impact on the areas we visit on our hikes and consider everything from footfall, transport, litter and the eco-systems as a whole.
Our aim is to share our experience and what we know about these landscape with all our clients. Offering bespoke experiences, uniquely adapted to every individual and group knowing they can be as diverse as the landscapes we visit.
We follow all advice given on pollinators.ie and the principles of the All-Ireland-Pollinator plan. We have to date:
- Planted for bees in our garden.
- Installed 1 Swift box
- Installed 1 hedgehog house
- We avoided cutting grass until June 1st
- We avoid cutting hedges during nesting season
We aim impart our own knowledge of the mountain ecosystems and delicate balance within and share our passion for these places. Improving knowledge, connection and awareness creates a greater hope of preserving and improving these areas for future generations.
We will do our best and we are always open to suggestions on how to do better.
- Signed Co founder and Sustainability Manager
Date: 26 August 2022