This year FCM Travel Solutions’ parent company Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) became a contributing member of the United Nations Global Compact. FCTG also launched the Worldwise initiative, born from the deep-seated passion, integrity and social activism of our people and our customers.
The decision to become a member was to demonstrate our commitment to being caring and responsible global citizens.
For FCTG, Responsible Travel means operating our business in a manner that respects the environment and wildlife, and benefits local people, their cultures and economies.
Endorsed by chief executives, the UN Global Compact is both a practical framework for action and a platform for demonstrating corporate commitment and leadership. To join the initiative, an organisation must voluntarily pledge to operate responsibly, in alignment with the UN Global Compact’s ten universal sustainability principles.
Addressing these principles, FCTG are currently:
- Undertaking a comprehensive audit of our suppliers to identify areas of specific concern in social, environmental and wildlife protection areas.
- Establishing communication systems for external parties on issues of responsible tourism.
- Creating a website to serve as a focal point for internal and external communication and encourage company-wide input on responsible tourism.
- Creating educational materials to help bring all FCTG employees on board with the project.
- Drafting an annual report (Communication on Progress) for internal review.
Progress for 2017
Our audit of 15,000 worldwide suppliers and partners is well under way, assessing how they are meeting responsible tourism standards as part of the Worldwise journey.
A key Worldwise goal is to encourage our customers to make informed travel decisions, so they can benefit the social, economic, environmental and wildlife welfare of the destinations they visit. By way of example, FCTG knows that we can use our influence to help end the practice of cruel animal attractions. To achieve this we do not criticise consumers interested in animal attractions, but rather inform them about potential problems and, where appropriate, provide them with suitable alternatives.
We are encouraging our customers to seek accommodation options that comply with environmental best practice. We also urge our customers to be respectful of the people and cultures in the countries that they travel to. We are working with suppliers and local communities to adopt best practice methods, or with support, establish a new livelihood that will not cause their families or any animals harm. Our ground operators and suppliers work closely with sanctuaries and animal rescue places, which can in turn help the non-compliant businesses become sustainable. Rewarding the people who do the right thing, by sending our customers to them, rather than punishing those who do not, will be the real catalyst for change.
New partnership to help some of the world’s most vulnerable children
Another key focus for Worldwise is social responsibility. Our goal is to build a brighter future in the communities where we work, live and travel, and our partnership with ReThink Orphanages provides the opportunity to work together to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children.
This partnership is an opportunity to be part of the movement to help those 8 million children, and will assist in our audit of suppliers and partners to identify potential issues in social, environmental and wildlife protection areas.
FCTG is excited at the power of the Worldwise initiative to positively affect communities across the globe. We believe everyone can play an important role by making informed travel choices that demonstrate respect for the journey and the destination, so that we all tread lightly upon the earth, and travel the world in peace.
For more information on Worldwise’s progress, or how you can make informed and responsible travel choices, please visit fctgl.com/responsible-travel.