By joining this trek you can be assured that you will not be contributing to deforestation or the associated soil erosion and loss of biodiversity but rather you'll be making a significant contribution by supporting our efforts to set the standards for a sustainable trekking service.
We stay in tents, not lodges and teahouses. Why does that make a difference? We want to support the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas. Many lodges and teahouses burn wood to heat their water for cooking and hot showers. This in turn contributes to deforestation, associated erosion and loss of biodiversity. That is why twenty five years ago, we pioneered the use of only kerosene above and below the tree-line – to ensure that we are loyal to our policies of making a minimal impact on the environment. Also, we want to stay off the beaten track. We believe that you will get a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural beauty of your surroundings if you are away from the hordes which follow the ‘tea-house trails.’
Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while traveling.
The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely.
Porters are an integral part of your trip, and we have a close association with the IPPG, IMEC and Porters Progress to improve the conditions for porters. As well as paying our guides out of season, and an above-average take-home wage, our porter welfare supplement includes insurance, all meals on trek, appropriate clothing and accommodation for ALL our porters on all our treks. Their safety and comfort is as important to us as our customers.
We have committed US $3000 to sponsor the Porter Rescue Post at Machermo which has been set up by the IPPG. This facility is for the benefit of sick or injured porters in the Everest region and building has already started.
Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travelers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travelers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.