At International Friends, part of GTI Travel Ltd, we recognise the importance of making travel more sustainable.
Mindful action to favour our natural world is encouraged among all of our staff. Sustainability conflates both environmental and social aspects, which is why we take great pride in our support for charities and communities. Utilising local specialists for guided walks and educating customers on how they can respect the natural habitat, International Friends feel strongly about preserving biodiversity.
Located by the sea and surrounded by ever-decreasing farmland, our Broadstairs office sees the impact that a flood of visitors can leave on a place. With the ability to regularly modernise our fleet of vehicles, we feel extremely privileged to be able to address and take action against this climate crisis that truly does hit home.
Modernising our ways
Through our Operations:
We use local specialist guides, saving travel.
We arrange for customers to dine in locally owned, small businesses to support local economies.
We promote using public transport to get to meeting points
Targets for all vehicles to be hybrid or electric by 2030 are being set.
All e-tickets are digital.
Staff travel is via trains, we plant a tree with each train booking we make.
To decrease fuel consumption, we have access to a wide range of different size vehicles to prevent empty seats.
We have a Sustainability Co-ordinator, working with a tailored action plan for all branches to innovate our operations and revitalise daily routines.
In the International Friends Office:
Most managerial roles are held by women.
We have regular send outs with advice, information and updates of our Sustainability journey.
Sustainability Champion of the month incentives
A very vast collection of indoor plants, cleaning our air and creating a calming work environment.
A strict waste management system is in place, recycling is an office rule
The printer has been downsized due to lack of use and is switched off by default to discourage use and save energy.
Printing is black & white and double sided by default, we print onto scrap paper only.
Our tech is supplied by a local business, mostly refurbished and second hand.
Phones are purchased second hand, tech is restored when in trouble instead of replaced.
Our staff are all encouraged to go for walks on their breaks, with litter-pickers on hand.
When desks are left, electrical equipment is switched off from the plug to conserve energy.
How you can travel sustainably with us
We are all aware of the impacts of climate change, but sometimes it is hard to know what you can do to help. When touring with International Friends, we'd like to make it easy to make environmentally-conscious choices.
For every location visited on our Small & Friendly Day trips, we have this symbol to give you some tips on how you can visit here sustainably or how the location you will visit is acting with care for their environment.
On our Small & Friendly day trips and Shore Excursions:
You do not need to print your e-ticket, you can download these onto mobile devices if you'd like to keep them to hand.
Visit places with an open mind, being respectful of other beliefs and practices.
Take reusable or zero-waste supplies such as thermal flasks, water bottles and bottled hand sanitiser with you to cut down on plastics.
Utilise public transport to get to meeting points.
When given the opportunity to shop, look for an independent, small or local business to keep your money local.
Stick to allocated pathways to avoid disturbing any natural habitat or trampling plants, as pretty as flowers may be please do not pick them!
Return any maps or brochures you use when touring a location. In most locations, this information is also available online.
On our Private day trips:
Request a local specialist for your guided tour. Perhaps a guided walk instead of a panoramic drive?
Select your vehicle based on how many seats will be filled to help decrease the carbon footprint. (See tour specific vehicle details if you have luggage/mobility aids)
Take a lunch break in a locally owned or independent business, keep your money local.
Shop sustainably: bring reusable bags, avoid chains, keep an eye out for locally made products.
Bringing snacks? Use reusable packaging to minimise waste.
If there is a big group of you, instead of booking multiple separate vehicles, please get in touch and we can arrange one of our larger executive coaches for you. (Subject to availability)