Eco Tours Australia | green initiatives
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Eco Tours Australia | Ecotourism projects
Eco Tours Think Green Initiative
Here at Autopia Tours, we are committed not only to showcasing the wonders and beauty of nature with our guests, but also ensuring they are preserved and cared for well into the future; we believe future generations should have access to the same natural assets as the current generation.
That’s why we have strong environmental sustainability ethics ingrained into all areas of our business. With Autopia Tours excited to report a 100% offset of all transport emissions for the 2017-2018 financial year, equivalent to the removal of 209.32 tonnes of CO2-e from the atmosphere! We as a team are all working hard to ensure everything, from the paper we use to the vehicles we tour in, have the smallest impact possible.
We are also proud supporters of many programs committed to the conservation of natural, cultural and social assets. If you would like to find out more about these programs or would like to get involved please email us at [email protected]
Our planet is the most precious resource we have and one worth fighting for!
What is climate change and what does it mean for us?
Climate change is the warming of average temperatures across the globe. Although the Earth goes through natural phases of warming and cooling, the rate at which the temperature is now increasing is faster than anything seen previously.
There is now strong scientific evidence this global warming trend is linked to human activity. The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which are responsible for Earth’s warm climate. As the amount of these gases increases, the amount of solar radiation trapped inside our atmosphere increases, causing the warming trend. We have also interrupted the natural carbon cycle with the amount of deforestation occurring, as there are less plants to absorb the carbon from the atmosphere than ever before.
The increase in average temperatures affects all of Earth’s natural systems. As the temperature increases, the amount of evaporation over oceans increases, changing the rainfall pattern. It is expected we will experience larger and more severe weather and rainfall events as a result. Ocean temperatures are also increasing, causing ice sheets in the polar regions to breakdown and melt, resulting in large influxes of freshwater into the oceans. This not only causes sea levels to rise, but the reduction in salinity also has the potential to change ocean currents, affecting our climate further.
These potential changes can severely change how we are able to travel and live. The beautiful coastal regions we currently enjoy are at risk of flooding. Wildlife we journey to view are at risk of losing their homes or becoming extinct. Bushfires and severe storms could destroy our natural wonders.
Climate change is certainly a huge challenge, however being aware of the problem also gives us the power to make a difference now for a better future.
Being a responsible tour operator
We operate across many environments that are each significant and fragile in their own ways. Responsibility, for us, means protecting the natural environments we visit, minimising our contributions towards climate change, protecting and celebrating the diverse cultures we encounter.
Providing a safe and enjoyable operating environment for all, ensuring our operations also provide benefits to the regions we visit, ensuring equal opportunity is available to all.
We follow minimal impact best practices and being open to new and innovative changes.
Autopia Tours are committed to ensuring tourism in Victoria remains a sustainable and healthy industry.
Why do we need to travel responsibly?
Sadly, our love for these places is sometimes what puts them most at risk through unsustainable practice. As a traveller, you can minimise your impacts by choosing responsible accommodation and tour providers. Ecotourism providers are those that recognise the environmental risks and manage their operations in a manner that minimises risks and also promote sustainable travel with their guests. You can find these providers on Ecotourism Australia’s Green Guide.
Being aware of how the choices you make can potentially impact the environment is essential. Zoos Victoria have also outlined several ways you can Act for Wildlife that will help protect our wonderful animal species into the future.
What is at risk?
The beautiful and iconic 12 Apostles may be lost due to changing sea levels and rising levels of ocean acidity. Coastal wonders such as Loch Ard Gorge and Phillip Island could be lost to rising sea levels.
Increasing temperatures pose a threat to the amazing mountain ash forests, Grampians National Park and the Otways from the increased risk of bushfire. The rising temperatures could also mean we lose our wonderful winter snow season in the alps. Once these regions are gone, they are lost forever. That is why we are committed to ensuring our tours are conducted in the most ecologically sustainable manner possible.
Habitat destruction and human interference are also threatening our wonderful and unique wildlife. Australia has the highest extinction rate of any continent, something we are committed to halting! Being aware of what is at stake is the first step.
Recognising the many animals that need our help and understanding the processes involved in helping ensure their survival is invaluable. are involved in many wildlife conservation programs within the regions we visit.
Autopia Tours contributions towards minimising climate change
First and foremost, we recognised that our vehicles are the largest contributor of greenhouse gases from our business. Therefore, we have proudly partnered with Green Fleet and are committed to completely offsetting all of our vehicle and transport emissions each year.
Autopia Tours recognises, that as a transport based operator, we must realise any potential changes that can be made to our operations which will reduce our contributions towards greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Offsetting ensures the greenhouse gas contributions we make can be absorbed through forest protection and tree planting programs. For more information visit https://greenfleet.com.au
How you can travel responsibly
As a traveller, there are certain practices you can adopt which will minimise the impact you have towards climate change as well. read more
You can even make changes at home too. How large is your ecological footprint? Try the WWF’s footprint calculator to find out:
You can even make changes at home too. How large is your ecological footprint? Try the WWF’s footprint calculator to find out:
How we support
Pallets with Purpose
Innovation During a Crisis – The Get Lost Travel Group have traded buses and passengers, for pallets and power tools, launching an inspirational diversification during the COVID-19 crisis.
Under normal circumstances, GLT employs 70 staff nationally and carry over 100,000 passengers each year on our tours throughout Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. But like most tourism businesses around the world, our company was devastated by the COVID-19 crisis when tour operations came to a standstill in early April.
CEO Paul Beames was heartbroken after standing down the entire workforce. “I went to the depot determined to change the destiny for our crew. On the way, I tripped over a bunch of wooden pallets on the nature strip from the neighbour’s factory. I sparked a conversation and discovered they were destined for landfill. I commented that was such a waste as they were in perfect condition and the neighbour happily offered them to me and said he could offer a steady supply.”Paul continues, “with plenty of space in the depot and a shed full of tools, I started knocking together some prototypes. It blew me away how funky some of the designs from the wood grain polished up. I looked around and thought, we have all this vacant space, massive workbenches, lots of tools and a lot of talented people. I knew if I could convert the space into a furniture factory, I could re-employee some of the guides who had been stood down. And Pallets with Purpose was born”.
The JobKeeper payments, some ingenuity and pure determination, has allowed GLT to re-engage 20 Tour Guides so far, who have not only learnt a new skill, but they now have a reason to leave the house each day and support a company they love.Paul explains “I was in a position to help our team through this difficult period by providing purpose, employment, connectedness and above all else, positive mental health. Since we have re-engaged some of the team, I’ve had grown men break down in tears. We’ve all been in tears. Having a purpose and reconnecting (while practising social distancing, of course), has been an incredibly positive emotional experience for all of us”. Industry legend Safari Pete has been a tour guide at GLT for four years. He recalls the moment he got the call from Paul about returning to work on Pallets with Purpose. “I thought it was very entrepreneurial to come up with this idea. But it was also a selfless act by Paul whereby he was putting the welfare of the team before himself or the business.”Darren Donlen has also been a guide with GLT for nearly six years and is now the acting Foreman at the depot come factory, managing the prototypes and a team of 20. He said, “sitting alone at home by myself was lonely and beginning to feel like Groundhog Day.
This business innovation has given me purpose, mental stimulation and socialisation with a bunch of great people”.With no tours running there is no income at GLT, so the goal is to sell these 100% recycled hardwood products to cover some of the unavoidable outgoings until tours are up and running again.
Connect with us: #pallets_with_purpose
Trash Bags on Tour
Organising cleanup days at local beaches they had the idea of taking the concept ‘on the road’ to clean up the beaches along the GOR. Within four weeks of the girls bringing the idea to Paul, the first TBOT departed with Autopia providing the transport, driver, and meals free of charge for the 24 participants.
Collaborating with GORCC and Green Spectrum who came along to do educational talks during the tour, the 43 passengers on board the two tours that departed in May and June 2018, worked together to collect 50.6kg of rubbish from the beaches along the GOR. The information was put on Tangaroa Blue Foundation database which is an Australian registered charity focused on the health of our marine environment.
- Stay up-to-date with TBOT Facebook
- Climactic Podcast – TBOT Profile (May18)
- VTIC Victoria Tourism Industry Council – News (Jan18)
- ABC Open – Explore Stories from Australia (Jul18
- The Sustainable Hour 94.7FM The Pulse Radio – Centre for Climate Safety (Aug18)
Koala Clancy Foundation
Autopia Tours love wildlife and sadly, some of the koala population is struggling through disease, habitat destruction and declining population numbers.
Therefore, we felt it was our duty to help protect some of the wildlife that makes our tours so special! Our mountain biking tours visit one of Victoria’s key koala habitats, the You Yangs Regional Park. We are therefore proud sponsors of the Koala Clancy Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation passionate about the health and well-being of wild koalas in this region. They aim to raise awareness of the issues koalas are facing in Victoria and to get visitors involved through education, research and how to responsibly view and interact with koalas.
A portion of every ticket for our mountain biking tours goes straight towards the Koala Clancy Foundation, so as a guest of this tour you can be assured you are contributing the sustainability of koala populations in the region.
Autopia Tours have also assisted in tree planting days in the You Yangs through our university programs.
We also recognized the importance of working within our local area. Thus, when we contacted our local council, Hobson Bay City Council, we spoke with them about programs in our local area that we could become involved with. Now working closely with their conservation department, Autopia Tours have helped our local community through their tree planting and re-vegetation program.
We have so far helped replant some of the Paisley Drain Reserve area, with over 2000 new plants becoming established which will help protect the soil and provide habitat for wildlife. This site was once considered highly degraded, however through planting programs such as this, it has now become a valuable wetland and mangrove conservation area and is home to many bird species.
While coal provided people the opportunity to revolutionise industry in the past, we understand it is no longer the way for the future due to its finite and environmentally degrading nature. Therefore, we are proud to be moving our depot over to a solar system. After consultation with earlier this year, we have decided to invest in the installation of a solar system at our depot that is large enough to supply us with renewable energy for all of our power needs. This is in conjunction with our initial consultation over minimising our overall energy use. By 2018 Autopia Tours will proudly be 100% supported by renewable energy captured on site. Not only will this reduce our negative environmental impacts, it has also been forecast this will be a highly cost-effective solution over the long term.
Our Phillip Island day tours now include entry into Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Antarctic Journey, an interactive and informative display about the Antarctic region. This is a project managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks in partnership with the WWF, with the aim to increase awareness of environmental issues around the Southern Ocean. Locally, the WWF are focused on protecting creatures of the Southern Ocean through sanctuary zones and have so far established 2 of the world’s largest marine sanctuary zones in the Antarctic region. Seals, whales, penguins, sea birds and fish are all benefiting from WWFprograms.
We are proud to be supporting such a vital cause and hope that our guests depart with a deeper understanding of the issues this part of the world is facing. Part of their ticket sales also goes to the WWF.
Wipe for Wildlife
We proudly support Wipe for Wildlife and Who Gives a Crap choosing recycled toilet paper for our workplace.
Wildlife is so important to us here at Autopia Tours, we have chosen to Wipe for Wildlife at the workplace, using only recycled toilet paper and tissues! We’ve chosen Who Gives A Crap, who not only protect our precious forests, but also give back to the world by helping struggling communities to develop much needed basic facilities for hygiene and sanitation.
Thousands and thousands of invaluable trees are cut down annually just to make toilet paper. The trees we are losing provide homes and food for wildlife, absorb carbon from the atmosphere and prevent soil erosion. Who Gives A Crap produce their toilet paper from recycled textbooks and office paper; materials that have already been removed from the environment. By choosing recycled toilet paper, we reduce the need for deforestation of bushland and habitat. If you would like to go only recycled also, visit Zoos Victoria or Who Gives A Crap to sign up!.
Being a travel and transport-oriented company, we believe this is a huge step forward in reducing our ecological footprint and are very excited to have joined this program.
Emissions from vehicles and flights contribute to the greenhouse effect and hence lead to climate change and global warming. Offsetting with Greenfleetsupports native reforestation programs such as tree planting along the Great Ocean Road. Forests absorb carbon emissions from the atmosphere, so programs like Greenfleet helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases remaining in the atmosphere, neutralising our vehicles contributions towards climate change.
Autopia Tours is excited to announce we have offset 100% of all our transport emissions for 2016-2017, equivalent to the removal of 209.32 tonnes of CO2-e from the atmosphere.
By choosing to tour with Autopia, our customers are contributing to the restoration of native Australian forests through Greenfleet initiatives and are having a minimal impact on climate change.
Click here to view our Greenfleet Offset Carbon Emissions Certificate for 2016-17.
We take our commitment to the environment seriously!
Eco Print Supplies
Printed brochures are a great way for us to communicate with our guests, however they are also resource intensive to produce and distribute. They consume large amounts of paper and ink and may only be used the one time before they are thrown out! We decided there had to be a better way while still being able to maintain communication with potential guests.
We discovered Mystique, a printing company that share our strong environmental values! By switching our printing needs to Mystique, Autopia Tours’ brochures are now made with all recycled paper and natural inks and by a company that completely offsets all of their carbon emissions also! Mystique are also local for our business, reducing the intensive energy consumption required for long transportations.
We would like all this effort to continue on down the line too, so we also ask our guests to please be mindful when disposing of brochures they have finished with. We suggest handing them back to where you picked them up from or passing them on to other travellers who may find them useful also.
We proudly compost all our office fruit and vegetable waste in our recycled tyre vegetable garden.
Many of our employees live in and around the city area, so we decided to build a communal staff vegetable garden on site so all staff are able to enjoy the benefits of fresh herbs and vegetables!
We also wanted to do this as sustainably as possible, therefore we decided to only use recycled materials and organic soil. Discarded tyres have made great planting boxes for many of the vegetables and these have the added benefit of remaining warm which helps the plants to grow. We then sourced recycled materials through Planet Ark, who produce planting boxes from 100% discarded ink cartridges.After establishing the garden, we decided it was best to update our waste management policies also, by incorporating a compost system as well.
All staff are now encouraged to dispose of all their organic waste, such as food scraps, into the compost system so that valuable nutrients are recycled back into the ground and feed our new garden as well.
We proudly support Planet Ark tree planting days in at-risk regions throughout Australia.
Protecting our remaining forests is only part of the solution towards climate change issues; another is to rebuild those forests that have been destroyed. We decided it was time to start giving back to the regions that have supported us by joining Planet Ark in their tree planting days. Their program aims to replant Australia with native vegetation which are drought resistant, protect waterways from sediment fall and erosion and also encourages native wildlife to return to areas they had abandoned.
Our staff have had fun getting outdoors as a team, getting their hands dirty and knowing they’ve made a difference for the better. If you’re living in Australia and are keen to get involved also, you can register your interest to take part in one of their tree planting days through their website.
We recognise that there could be significant amount of waste produced through our business operations.
We therefore needed to look at each area of the business and realise ways to minimise the amount of waste we produced. Moving to digital feedback forms, introducing a large onsite recyclable skip, introduction of an onsite organic waste compost system, daily food ordering, ordering non-perishable goods in bulk, carrying drinking water on board our buses for our guests and introducing a policy of not printing unless necessary and avoiding any single use or disposable items has drastically reduced the amount of waste we produce daily. Instead, Autopia Tours have created a culture where waste is minimised through either reduction, reuse or recycling wherever possible.
Workplace LED Lighting
We installed LED lighting on our workplace and reduced our energy consumption by 65%.
We want to be there for our guests when they need to contact us and that means our office remains open for the majority of the day. This requires a lot of energy use through lighting for the offices. We recognized there had to be a more efficient way of doing things, so we contacted the Hobson’s Bay City Council, who recommended we switch all of our lighting over to energy efficient LED lights.
The process caused minimal disruption to our operations and we have seen our energy consumption drop by around 65% as a result. We are now even looking at replacing traditional on/off light switches in areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms and walkways with either timers or sensors to ensure they are off when not in use, further reducing our energy use.
If you are looking to reduce your energy consumption or Light$mart Program, try contacting your local council to find out more about what options are available for your region.
Head Office - 42 Macaulay St, Williamstown North, VIC 3016
391 Sevenoaks St, Beckenham, WA 6107
16-18 Bourke Road, Alexandria, NSW 2015