CO2 neutral trips to the Indian Ocean
are now possible with Mauritius Conscious
Climate change represents a vital threat to human societies; even more so, to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), like our home island in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius. With coral-reef degradation, rise in sea-levels and the threat of more often and more intense natural disasters, islanders like us, and our future generations, will find it extremely difficult to adapt to the loss of ecosystems that our livelihoods depend upon. CO2 neutral alternatives, choices and lifestyles are more than ever necessary to aim at offsetting the environmental damage done to our planet.
Tourism, victim and contributor of Global Warming
Despite tourism’s great contribution to the development of island nations like Mauritius, we can’t neglect its negative impact on the environment and to the own country’s unsustainable development. Tourism alone is accountable for up to 80% of CO2 emissions in SIDS, as per a study conducted by the UNWTO.
Scientific studies reveal that the Tourism Sector contributes in almost one tenth to Global Warming, responsible for 8% of all Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions emitted. From this number, an alarming 75% is produced by transportation services, mainly long-haul flights required to access remote destinations. But it is in remote islands like Mauritius or Maldives, where economies are dependent on tourists’ arrivals and, moving away from air travel represents a real challenge.
The way forward: CO2 neutral trips
Limiting the negative aspects of tourism is no longer enough. Today, tourism needs to embrace restorative actions to benefit the places we visit. That’s exactly the mission behind Mauritius Conscious and its latest CO2 offsetting initiative: Go CO2 neutral!
In collaboration with Aera, the first carbon finance company in Africa, we use carbon credits to support and accelerate low-carbon technologies in Mauritius. To do so, all of Conscious Travel’s bespoke trips now include their CO2 footprint compensation, considering round-trip flights from the travelers’ departure points to cover-up for the whole carbon emissions of their trip.
How to offset CO2
Since the Kyoto Protocol (2008), an international treaty where 192 parties committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the avoidance of CO2 production in developing countries can be rewarded with carbon credits. These certificates can be monetized and traded to generate additional revenues for CO2 mitigation projects on ground (Aera, 2015).
To calculate the carbon credits of every trip, Mauritius Conscious’ Travel Consultants compute the CO2 footprint of travelers’ flights, accommodation and land transportation that constitute our tailor-made trips, based on:
- the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) carbon emissions calculator
- the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) tax rebate scheme for vehicles producing above 158gCO2 / km
- hotel stays’ carbon calculation based on the Hotel Carbon Management Initiative (HCMI), by International Tourism Partnership and the World Travel & Tourism Council
Depending on the amount of CO2 produced per trip, Mauritius Conscious adds the costs to offset it to the final quote of travelers (an average of €20 for a 15 days-trip from Europe).
On the excursions side of things, all of Mauritius Conscious’ curated Partners offer CO2 free alternatives to commercial boat trips, helicopter rides and day-tours in vans. Through their multi-day trips, travelers get involved in hands-on activities around the reforestation of endemic forests, permaculture, organic agriculture and litter clean-ups in natural areas.
The monetized credits collected by Mauritius Conscious are destined, through AERA, to the first solar photovoltaic project in Mauritius, locally known as La Ferme Bambous. If you have plans to hike the Corps de Garde mountain during your discovery of the Island, you will be able to spot the 15 MW solar farm from the heights.
Electricity in Mauritius is mainly generated from coal and heavy fuel oil; by supporting a renewable energy project we help avoid producing 22,000 tons of CO2 from fossil fuels every year. La Ferme Bambous has a direct, positive impact on 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG)*, and is already accountable for 2% of the 16% renewable energy generated in Mauritius.
Learn more about Mauritius Conscious’ Sustainable Travel Policy, or
contact our Travel Consultants to plan your next CO2 neutral trip to the Indian Ocean!