Sustainability is at our heart
Tourism continues to be a growing industry in a world where global megatrends are changing how we live, work and travel. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism accounts for 9.5% of global Gross Domestic Product and employs 266 million people, making it one of the largest industries in the world. The reality is that such opportunity also brings responsibility. For example, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Network (UNWTO) associates travel and tourism with 5% of global carbon emissions.
We believe that well-managed tourism is capable of generating positive economic and social development. At Thomas Cook Group plc we are just as committed to sustainability as we are to our transformation. Sustainability is driving and shaping our new culture and is critical in every element of our transformation as well at the heart of our customer-focused profitable growth strategy. For us this means having the best people, the best products and the best processes in place to create and sustain a thriving business.
Our vision for sustainability is simple. For us it is how we meet our needs today and contribute to the future of our business, the environment and the people and communities with whom we work. In this way we aim to create a strong and robust business that will operate responsibly and ethically in the generation of value creation over the long-term.
Our vision is underpinned by the Thomas Cook Business System and supported by our Code of Conduct. The Code covers all of the areas material to our business, from how we operate sustainably by engaging with the communities in which we work and to which our customers travel, through to protecting the children who travel with us, and live in the destinations we visit. The Code represents a commitment we each make and a philosophy that is embedded within every aspect of our behaviours and fundamental to how we deliver holidays to our customers in a responsible way.
Sustainability and business strategy
Our Transformation is geared around sustainable value creation. For us this means having the best people, best products and best processes in place to create a thriving business. To ensure the sustainability of our transformation the Group has developed the Thomas Cook Business System, and we have used this framework to structure our approach to sustainability. For instance:
– By working with suppliers to ensure a sustainable supply chain and developing new products we are enabling profitable growth through trusted personalised products. In 2014 we increased the number of Local Label sustainable excursions by 80%.
– By engaging and energising our employees through talent development, we are enabling top to bottom leadership and effective performance management. In 2014 we launched our One Million Hearts Programme to provide more contact between all our employees and our customers.
– By increasing efficiencies and minimising wasteful practices we are becoming a leaner and more innovative business. In 2014 we reduced energy consumption across our office and retail estate by 35% in one year.
– By digitising our business, and for example reducing paper consumption, we are delivering our high tech, high touch approach. In 2014 an innovative app for our pilots has reduced paper usage by 1.4 million sheets.
Delivering our Group vision for a sustainable future
As a worldwide travel business we are faced with a broad range of issues and sustainability-related challenges. Our key sustainability issues are those we have identified as both important to our stakeholders and to our business. Engagement with stakeholders – those groups who influence our business or who are influenced by it – continues to inform our sustainability strategy and ensures we focus on the most important issues, while driving improvements in our performance. The issues we face are determined by the size, nature and geography of the respective parts of our business and we prioritise those issues which will further our business strategy, are of concern to stakeholders and where we have the ability to influence the outcome.
In 2010 we shared the sustainability targets that would take us to 2020. Since then, thousands of colleagues around the world have worked together to deliver some fantastic achievements. Examples include:
– Engaging all employees in sustainability in the roll out of our Code of Conduct.
– Bringing sustainability to life for more than 65 million customers through communications and consumer campaigns, including the Travel Foundation’s Make Holidays Greener.
– Supporting charitable activities and community programmes by raising more than £7 million.
– Running one of the most efficient airlines in the industry, with 71.5gCO2 per passenger kilometre, compared with an average for the five largest European airlines of 93.11 gCO2 per passenger kilometre.
Managing sustainable development
We see sustainability as the responsibility for every employee and an activity that requires strong leadership that starts with the Group Chief Executive and his direct reports. The Board retains the responsibility for the long-term success of the Group and the Health, Safety and Environmental Committee has oversight of the consistent policy for managing health, safety and environmental risks to the Group’s businesses.
You can view all of our previous sustainability reports, by clicking here.
Policies and Aims