Conservation Initiatives at NHA
The list below is a sample of environmental and conservation programs in place at Natural Habitat Adventures. Our Green Team, a group of dedicated employees representing departments across the company, is constantly looking for opportunities to further weave sustainable practices throughout our home office and field operations. We view sustainability as a work in progress, and we welcome your feedback or suggestions for how we can continue to improve. Feel free to email us.
Conservation in our global field operations
Conservation in our global field operations
- Carbon-Neutral Travel: Through our Carbon Pollution Reduction program, NHA became the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company. NHA has partnered with Sustainable Travel International to invest our offset funds in the Makira Forest Initiative, a collaboration between the government of Madagascar, Wildlife Conservation Society and Conservation International. The initiative protects 350,000 hectares of besieged old-growth forests in the eastern part of the country. Since 2006 NHA has paid to offset 100 percent of all on-trip carbon emissions including those resulting from transportation, activities and accommodations, as well as all emissions resulting from our office operations including employee travel. Click here to learn more.
- WWF Partnership: Because of our shared commitment to conservation, WWF selected NHA as its travel partner in 2003. Our unique alliance as providers of conservation-focused travel allows NHA and our guests to play a role in WWF's mission to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. We accomplish this through an economic presence in the communities we visit, through educational outreach, and via direct financial support to WWF. Click here to learn more.
> Since 2003, WWF has received nearly $2 million from NHA and our guests.
> Every traveler is given a two-year subscription to WWF's World Wildlife magazine on our behalf, providing WWF with a continuing source of thousands of new affiliates, and providing our guests with ongoing information about and opportunities to support WWF's mission.
> Our naturalist guides gain access to the most up-to-date information on WWF's conservation efforts and research, enhancing the knowledge and experience they offer to our travelers.
> WWF experts frequently meet up with our groups in different destinations to share their knowledge and insights with our guests. Our goal is to educate and inspire our guests to become passionate supporters of the conservation of our priceless natural heritage.
- Greening our Fleet: In 2008, NHA introduced our first alternative fuel vehicle, a 12-passenger transfer van that runs on used vegetable oil. Utilized for our U.S. and Canada adventures, the van is known for emitting an odor of French fries, and near-zero emissions. That same year, NHA introduced the planet's first hybrid safari truck, designed to utilize the emerging hybrid technology compatible with the rugged needs of the adventure travel and safari industry. The vehicle has 4-wheel drive, enhanced suspension, specialized photography windows and a sliding roof for wildlife viewing. It is also outfitted with safety devices and conveniences such as tow capacity, on-board dining gear and fire-prevention devices. It is our goal that these vehicles will not only reduce our own carbon footprint but also encourage the entire adventure travel industry to collectively create or choose alternative-energy options required for participation in our worldwide adventures.
- Plastic-Free Travel: We go to great lengths to reduce the use of plastic water bottles during all NHA adventures, providing our guests with filtered water to drink in reusable water bottles. We are also a proud supporter of Travelers Against Plastic (TAP), a campaign to spread awareness about the impacts of using disposable plastic water bottles while traveling. You can also support TAP by signing the pledge to not use plastic water bottles while traveling.
- Alternative Transportation: NHA has developed a reward system that provides points to employees for biking, walking, carpooling or taking public transportation to and from work. At the end of the year, employees redeem their points for free gear and apparel from Patagonia™. This program is highly popular with our staff and enjoys a high rate of participation. We’ve estimated that on an annual basis, the program results in at least 14,000 fewer miles commuted by car, and prevents the emission of at least 16,000 pounds of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
- A Green Office: Our home office has been outfitted with a number of “green” components:
> Our building’s rooftop solar array is one of the largest in Colorado and produces more than 122,000 kWh of electricity per year. Our remaining energy is purchased through renewable energy credits provided by Clean and Green.
> Green building materials were used in the recent retrofit of our building, including recycled carpet, sunflower-seed counters, kirei board (made from straw) cabinets, VOC-free paints, flooring made from salvaged wood and bamboo, recycled concrete, cork wall covering, and used furniture to reduce waste.
> Natural Habitat Adventures is committed to zero-waste standards in our office, adding composting collection to an already robust recycling program that includes materials not collected in most businesses, such as paperboard and yogurt containers.
> Whenever possible, we utilize green office supplies.
> All of our cleaning supplies are natural, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly.
> Our catalog is made with 100% recycled fiber and 100% post-consumer waste, processed chlorine-free, designated Ancient Forest Friendly, and manufactured with electricity that is offset with Green-e certified renewable energy credits. By printing our catalog in this manner versus conventional paper stock, each year we conserve the equivalent of 1,562 fully-grown trees, 715,333 gallons of water, and prevent the release of 148,526 pounds of greenhouse gases, according to calculations made by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Paper Task Force.
> Along with other companies that share our office building, we participate in an organic garden, which grows some of the produce used in our cafeteria.