Here at EST Adventure, we are committed to making adventure travel as fun as possible. Still, we acknowledge that adventure travel can sometimes have a negative impact on local communities. For this reason, we are not only committed to ensuring memorable experiences for our travellers, but also to ensuring that we operate in a responsible manner. Responsible travel and sustainability are thus central to our ethos. These values are more than just words on a paper. We do our best to integrate the principles of sustainability in our daily operations and during our trips. We expect our travellers to do the same. Using the natural habitats of Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro requires us to respect these environments and to leave them intact for future generations.
Our policy focuses on fostering environmental, economic, and social responsibility. We ensure that our operations are beneficial to everybody involved in our business by relying on a series of rules and guidelines. Please be kind and follow them thoroughly.
1) ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our environmental commitment
Our first goal is to be committed to the environment. We are well-aware of the fact that our environment needs to be preserved, not only during our visits to the natural habitats of Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro, but also within our own working settings. For this reason, we seek to preserve the environment both in our offices and during our trips. In our offices, we always ensure that we are protecting the environment through an efficient and responsible use of resources. And when planning trips, we always make sure that they are designed in a manner that reduces the negative environmental impact. Here is the list of activities we engage in for protecting the environment in our offices and during our trips.
In our offices
- We avoid printing, unless we have no choice. We find it important to recycle all papers, which we do through collaborating with recycling companies.
- We prefer to send our brochures in a pdf than in a print form.
- We recycle all plastic bottles whenever we drink water or soft drinks.
- We collect plastic caps and donate them to the “Cap for Handicap” initiative, which sells the caps to buy orthopaedic aids for people with disabilities.
- We seek to be energy efficient by engaging in actions such as setting automatic computer shutdown at 8pm and using Skype rather than travelling to meetings.
- We use energy-efficient lightning, such as LED bulbs, in our offices.
On our trips
- We inform our travellers regarding the ecosystem in Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro.
- We are partners with the Via Dinarica system, which promotes the execution of sustainable and ecological tours across the Dinaric Alps.
- We remind our travellers not to pollute the environment or leave litter during trips.
- Our tour guides raise awareness on how travellers can practice the principles of reuse, recycle, and appropriate waste disposal during trips.
- We encourage our travellers to refill water bottles during trips, so as to avoid the unnecessary purchasing of bottled water and subsequent waste disposal.
- We encourage our travellers to collect bottle caps during their trips so they can be donated to the “Cap for Handicap” initiative.
- We tend to use vehicles with low carbon emission on all our trips.
2) ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY
Our economic commitment
Our second goal is to act in an economically responsible way. Such aspect of sustainability is important because it ensures that local economies are benefiting from our business. Through our economic commitment, we seek to support the local economy and therefore aid the functioning of our local society. As it was the case with our environmental commitment, our actions for preserving the local economy are implemented both in our offices and during our trips. Below you will read about activities that we engage in order to aid the local economy.
In our offices
- We hire predominantly local staff.
- We purchase locally produced goods, rather than imported products.
- We buy all our working and travelling equipment locally, unless we have no other choice.
- Whenever possible, we encourage local involvement and provide financial support for projects that benefit the local communities.
- We encourage our staff to get involved in charity and fundraising projects that help the local economy.
- We don’t work with middle men, foreign-owned companies, or disreputable organisations. We achieve our responsibility aims through working with local organisations only.
- We don’t engage in any form of bribery or fraudulent activities.
On our trips
- We always hire local guides, rather than bringing guides from our home city. This way, we don’t only help the local economy, but we also ensure that our travellers are provided with personal and genuinely local perspectives.
- We book accommodation at locally-owned (i.e., ‘ethno’) places. We avoid large hotel chains because we want to support the local economy and provide our travellers with authentic experiences. We believe it is better to pay local owners than large businesses.
- We take our travellers to taste local food, in local restaurants. Again, this helps us to support the local economy and give our travellers a sense of local tastings.
- We encourage our travellers to not bring any pre-packed food or beverages on trips. Better to buy something during the trip as this will support the local economy.
- We provide our travellers with opportunities to buy locally-made products, such as paintings, weavings, baskets, and carving products. Whenever possible, we make sure that local markets and shops are visited during our trips.
3) SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our social commitment
Our third goal is to be committed to our society and its members. We use social responsibility as an ethical framework that obliges us to act for the benefit of both individuals and the society at large. We understand that social responsibility is a duty of all our employees and travellers who wish to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems. We place a value on respecting our employees, travellers, locals, and local cultures. This way, we ensure that we are friendly and useful to everyone involved in our business. Here’s a list of activities we engage in so as to foster social responsibility in our offices and during our trips:
In our offices
- We promote social equality through being willing to employ people of all ages and both genders.
- We ensure the happiness and satisfaction of our employees. If issues arise at work, it is our uttermost duty to address them and foster fair employment practices.
- We consider cultural issues when planning trips to new destinations.
- We encourage our staff and travellers to act in a socially responsible manner.
- We are always willing to participate in social projects that aim to enhance the well-being of people in our community.
On our trips
- We do everything we can to provide fun, enjoyable, and safe trips to our travellers.
- We provide our travellers with rules of conduct and tips on how to get involved in local culture and society.
- We work with accommodations and organisations that respect both travellers and local communities.
- We foster the respect of cultures in all destinations we travel to and abide to laws of each region.
- We encourage the understanding of the local way of life so that our travellers can get the most out of visiting local destinations.
- We inform our travellers regarding relevant customs and traditions whenever we are in a situation where locals may feel sensitive.
- We provide information about Balkan, effects of war in the 90s, and relevant history. This way, we ensure that our travellers are introduced to the local background.
HAVE SOME COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS?
Please write to us to give us comments or feedback about your vacation. If you have any suggestions on how we can reduce environmental impact and increase benefits to our travellers and local communities, please remember to let us know!