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Climate Friendly Travel Services are finalists at the Smiley Charity Film Awards

Words by Abi Scaife

The Corporate Cause section in the Smiley Charity Film Awards is a chance for businesses to demonstrate how they’re giving back. It’s a hugely important and impactful category, allowing us to celebrate their partnerships with charities and causes that benefit our world.

As we get closer to the Charity Film Award ceremony on the 20th of March, we caught up with Olly Wheatcroft, the Co-Founder of one of our finalists - Climate Friendly Travel Services.

The climate crisis has been on everyone’s minds in recent years - but tourism is still a huge part of the global economy. How do we balance the two, for a sustainable future?

Climate Friendly Travel Services is an organisation that supports tourism destinations and stakeholders with their climate strategy. Working from within the SUNx Group, they are helping to make tourism into a sustainable industry that benefits the planet and its people.

Why did you choose to get involved with this cause?

Through the SUNx Group, created with Maurice Strong, the pioneer Climate Activist, we have been developing the concept of Climate Friendly Travel. We identified an opportunity to support Tourism Destinations that are seeking guidance on how to implement effective measures to combat Climate Change but don’t have the budget to spend huge amounts of money on employing consultants to produce detailed environmental audits and strategy reports. 

CFT Elements

Climate Friendly Travel Services was then created within the group so that we could effectively work with Destination Partners. We are primarily focussed on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as they are the countries most affected by Climate Change but are the ones that have created the least impact and have the least financial resources to respond. Climate Friendly Travel Services has been created as a social enterprise where 25% of our profits go into Climate Friendly Travel initiatives for education and capacity building.   

Why is it so important for businesses to get involved in charity work and give back?

Tourism can be a force for good. On the positive side it drives 10% of GDP and employment globally, but as much as 50% in many LDC and SIDS countries. However, on the negative side, it has similar percentage impacts in terms of global emissions and the environment. We believe that with the right support, Climate Friendly Travel can achieve sustainable growth and that as a social enterprise, we can harness the commercial drive for profitability to invest back into the areas which will drive positive change, primarily the Climate Champions of the future and local market development.


How can businesses best support the causes they are involved with?

We have a simple model – we encourage Tourism destinations to incorporate their Climate Friendly Travel commitment and action transparently to their market and governance stakeholders. Then we help support their transformation to fully operational Climate Friendly destinations. We think this model has a broader general application through commitment, collaboration, and transparency.

Climate Friendly Travel Services’ entry into the Charity Film Awards can be found here. To learn more about Climate Friendly Travel Services, you can visit their website.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article. 

The Climate Coalition. This is the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Find out more and support them here.

Climate Reframe.  Climate Reframe is committed to supporting the climate and environment movement in its transformation towards greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). Find out more.

Every Can Counts. This is a not-for-profit recycling programme, encouraging people to recycle more often, to protect our planet. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Climate Action, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Partnerships for the Goals.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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