The climate challenge
In December 2018, world leaders at COP24 in Poland agreed on rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit a rise in average world temperatures to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Rising to that challenge demands unprecedented changes: the October 2018 report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities. The private sector has a decisive role to play in this transition towards an energy-efficient, lower-carbon future and, as a sector leader, TUI has a responsibility to play its part.
Tourism constitutes a growing part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Together, travel and tourism contribute some 5 %* of global carbon emissions, with half arising from aviation. Quality holiday experiences depend on beautiful, biodiverse destinations, thriving communities, stable weather systems and customer comfort – all of which are at risk from climate change. A reduction in global carbon emissions is therefore essential for our industry.
TUI’s ‘Step lightly’ strategy aims to reduce the environmental intensity of our operations and sets clear stretch targets to reduce carbon emissions across aviation, cruise, hotels, offices, retail shops and ground transport. Across the business, TUI has deployed specific carbon reduction initiatives – from airline and cruise fuel programmes, to retail energy savings and reducing printed brochures. Managing our carbon footprint benefits the bottom line; in total these initiatives have saved the Group € 78 million between 2012 and 2018**.
* Climate Change and Tourism: Responding to Global Challenges – UNEP
** an approximate figure for savings that have been tracked, gross of any upfront Investments required, part of previously identified cost savings.