Shift to a circular business model through the redesign of products, services and processes, with an initial focus on food waste and plastic.

The Circular Economy is a new way to think about how we make, use and reuse products and services. The aim is to keep resources and materials in the life cycle for as long as possible. It is based on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems.

The European Commission has adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan, as part of the EU Green Deal and the commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. TUI has also committed to the Circular Economy approach; we will change the way we operate and use resources in order to become a circular business by 2050.

Examples of relevant product types as part of our circular business approach include plastics, food & food waste, water & wastewater, packaging, electronics, textiles, construction & buildings and vehicles and fleet. Our initial steps are focussed on educating colleagues across the Group about circularity through masterclasses and other training, as well as engaging our procurement teams to embed in the procurement process. TUI will continue and intensify its relations with suppliers to have all relevant information about their sustainability performance and offer of more sustainable and circular products and materials containing also recycled material available.

TUI has a set of Circular Economy Commitments focussed on changing the way we operate and use resources. This will involve all areas of our business model, but we are initially focussing on food waste, plastic waste and our procurement processes.

To support our circular business work, we are members of the Sustainable Transformation Group on Circular Economy, coordinated by the Antwerp Management School, and are also part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation community.

Plastic reduction and global pledge

Growing plastic pollution negatively impacts travel and tourism, particularly near the beaches and oceans which are so important to our destinations. At TUI we have been working hard for many years to reduce plastic use across the business and find alternatives. We are proud of the progress we’ve made to remove 257 million pieces of single-use plastics from our hotels, cruise ships, airlines and offices against our 250 million commitment (2018 – 2020).

In 2020, TUI joined the Advisory Group of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by UN Environment Programme and UN World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments, associations and NGOs to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards a circularity in the use of plastics.

We extended our co-operation in 2021 to become a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative, endorsing the common vision and committing to eliminate the plastic items we don’t need; take action so all plastics we do need are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and collaborate with others to improve the recycling and composting rates for plastics.