MISSION STATEMENTAlive’s mission is to provide a service of excellence and added value to its customers. Its core business is corporate travel management, also operating in the area of events, Pharma, leisure, DMC& PCO.
We understand that it is our responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable society at an economic, social and environmental level, involving our employees and all the other partners in this same objective. In this sense, we are committed to values such as the respect for business ethics, the protection of human rights and fair working conditions, the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and the protection of the environment, as a way to achieve sustainable development and help our customers to travel responsibly.
We decide to engage in the sustainability certification process to learn, improve, implement and promote good sustainability practices on social, environmental, and economic aspects of our business. We will work and set actions to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts of our operations. We aim to positively influence, inspire, and equally respect with dignity our team members, clients, suppliers, and partners, and to be an example of best practice in our country and the entire region.
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE COMPANY STRUCTURE
Our company considers sustainability as part of its structure.
The company has appointed a Sustainability Coordinator, who actively oversees the implementation of this policy and the action plan, and regularly communicates with colleagues and management on the effect of the implemented policies and actions, the status of the objectives and formulates recommendations for next steps.
Name: Sara Silva
Job title: Internal Audit Manager
Contact Phone: +351 218 933 184
- Coordinate Travelife reporting and certification;
- Ensure a general understanding of sustainability and our Company policy among all staff;
- Oversee our Company action plan and gain input and support from colleagues for its implementation;
- Improve sustainability of product offerings and supply chain;
- Report regularly (at least twice a year) on sustainability progress and challenges within the
Company to the management;
- Support internal and external communication regarding our Company’s Sustainability Policy and actions.
ACCESS TO THE POLICY
The corporate sustainability policy is accessible to all employees, suppliers as well as the general public.
- Sustainability is a standard topic on the agenda of our office meetings.
- We have developed standard communication tools for reaching out to our suppliers, requesting them to follow sustainability standards in whichever way they can.
This policy will apply to all operations, from management to the executive level of our company.
Staff, suppliers, and partners are expected to fully uphold objectives under this policy whenever possible within prevailing budgets.
We acknowledge we have limited influence over third parties. While we cannot control the decisions of these parties, we commit to educate them of our policy and encourage them to align operating practices with policy objectives.
The company has a sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities and time planning. Action plans are developed on an annual basis, with the input of all employees.
Staff members can take responsibility for the implementation of specific actions, and the company acknowledges them as driving force for successful and continuous sustainability improvements.
Periodically our company holds a meeting with all management. Sustainability is a standard item on the agenda for this meeting; to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy and action plan and discuss any new ideas. We take notes of any key updates and decisions made during the meeting.
In case we identify any discrepancies between planned targets and actions, such as delays or obstacles, we will discuss with our team what measures we can take to overcome these and achieve the desired result. We will make an alternative plan and continue accordingly.
If we identify that the target or action cannot be achieved for any concrete reason that is out of our hands, we will:
- Put the target or action on our “potential actions for the future” list, so that we could try again at a later stage; and
- Replace the uncompleted target or action with a new idea.
- SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT AND LEGAL COMPLIANCE
We commit to:
- Have an active sustainability coordinator who has completed the basic Travelife Sustainability training and exam and is in charge of monitoring, reporting, and implement the sustainability policy and action plan.
- Define and public publish our sustainability mission statement and policy
- Conduct a baseline assessment of the company’s performance on sustainable practices
- Ensure company’s transparency in sustainability by public reporting and communicating;
- Involve the staff in our sustainability action plan and ensure that the staff is fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and is committed to implementing and improving it.
- Comply with all national legislation
- INTERNAL SOCIAL MANAGEMENT
We commit to:
- Grant employees the freedom of employment and contract termination with notice and without penalty
- Include in the employment contract: labor conditions according to national labor law, a job description, wage rate equals or above the national legal wage;
- Determine and compensate for overtime working hours based on agreement;
- Provide medical and liability insurance according to the national law;
- Grant employees fixed paid yearly holiday and sick leave;
- Offer equal opportunities in regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training, and senior positions to every candidate and not apply discrimination connected to gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religious belief, and sexual orientation;
- Declare not to hinder trade union membership, collective labor negotiations, and representation of members by trade unions;
- Have a health and safety policy for employees that complies with national legal standards;
- Have first-aid kits and trained staff available at all relevant locations;
- Obey national regulations concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;
- Measure regularly employees’ satisfaction and complaints and take action for improvement;
- Offer to our employee’s opportunities to gain experiences on the nature of their work and advance in a career within the company
- Create opportunities for students in participating in traineeship/internship;
- INTERNAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
We commit to:
- Actively reduce and (when possible) avoid the use of disposable and consumer goods.
- Act to find solutions and improve our internal waste management.
- Comply with the national legislation concerning waste disposal.
- Implement waste-reducing methods.
- We use refillable toner.
- We use mostly glass and ceramic cups, plates, and glasses.
- Print on environmentally friendly paper.
- We have a “paperless” policy.
- we are using more environmentally friendly and biodegradable paper pods.
- We have a container to the coffee capsules, which were recycled by our supplier and used as fertilizer in some agricultural projects.
- we are using a container for recycled batteries.
- Favor the purchase and the use of sustainable goods and services.
Measure, monitor, and find solutions to reduce energy and water consumption:
- Our offices are in a new building and technologies connected to the water system are modern and set to minimize freshwater waste.
- We have a dual-flush toilet.
- Heating and cooling systems are turned off when offices are closed.
- We monitor water bills and search methods for improvements.
- Use only green energy and efficient lighting for office purposes.
- Set all our equipment on energy-saving mode.
- Prefer low energy equipment when buying new items, including considerations of cost and quality;
- Use sustainable water sourcing, which does not adversely affect environmental flows.
- provide periodic guidance, training, and/or information to all staff members, about their roles and responsibilities concerning internal environmental practices.
- Reduce transport-related impacts by telework, video meetings, work-at-home policies, or other means.
- Measure and reduce staff-related travel and use more sustainable modes of transport. Maintain and properly check motorized company vehicles, to reduce emissions and energy use and make sure they comply with the legal emission standards.
- PARTNER AGENCIES
We commit to:
- Informing key partners on the Travelife and national tourism standards.
- Informing key partners about the travel companies’ sustainability policy and that they are expected to comply with it and/or communicate it to final customers where relevant.
- Including key sustainability clauses in new contracts with inbound/receptive partners.
- Motivating incoming/inbound partners to participate in sustainability trainings for travel companies.
We commit to:
- Selecting the most sustainable options considering price and comfort when selecting transport options to the destination.
- Considering and giving preference to more sustainable alternatives when selecting transport options for transfers and excursions in the destination, taking into account price, comfort, and practical considerations.
- Integrating and/or promoting one or more sustainable holiday products/packages based on a recognized methodology, including sustainable transport, sustainable accommodations, and sustainable activities.
Our company is committed to promoting sustainable accommodation. In most cases we do not select the accommodation for our clients, and our accommodation suppliers are usually the international bed banks. In any case, it is our policy to recommend our clients the most sustainable accommodation options within their budget range. When we do have a change to select the accommodation, we will give strong preference to units that are certified or that follows sustainable practices throughout all aspects of their operation.
Sustainable Accommodation Principles
In our effort of selecting the most sustainable accommodation providers available, we prefer establishments who follow these core principles:
- The right comfort for the right price
The establishment is hygienic, sanitary and safe and is able to offer a good comfort and service to the expectation of our clients. Sustainable accommodation practices can be found in all price ranges; hence we aim to identify the most sustainable options available within the budget of our clients.
- Fair business
The establishment follows fair business practices, including transparency and adherence to law, human rights and economic/social equity, and environmental and animal protection.
- Minimizes impact on the environment and society
The establishment places high priority on sustainable practices, aiming at minimizing its effect on the surrounding environment and society.
General Sustainability Considerations
Internationally certified accommodation currently does not exist in several destinations, however there are establishments that are known for their good practices. Sustainable practices can be found in all budget ranges. Hence our company mainly looks at their practices to identify the more responsible suppliers.
Evaluations of the accommodation by our company can be made in several ways:
- Site visit
- Client feedback form
Stimulating enhanced sustainable practice
Our company follows a long-term strategy to improve the sustainability of regular accommodation suppliers. Upon request or self-initiative, we collaborate with our to promote sustainability among accommodations in our destinations.
In addition, we may share best practice standards and guidance to our accommodation suppliers, including information about hotel certification.
We commit to:
- Motivating and encouraging partner accommodations to become sustainably certified.
- Preferring and selecting accommodations that are sustainably certified in our proposals.
- Encouraging accommodations to follow best practices on responsible tourism.
- Including standard sustainability clauses in all contracts with accommodation providers that focus on child labor, anti-corruption and bribery, waste management, and protection of biodiversity.
- Ensuring that through our accommodation supply chain, the rights of children are respected and safeguarded and has a zero-tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
- Terminating cooperation with accommodation in case of clear evidence that contracted accommodations jeopardize the provision of the integrity of basic services such as food, water, energy, healthcare, or soil to the neighboring companies.
- EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES
We commit to:
- Advising guests on behavior standards during excursions and activities with a focus on respecting the local culture, nature, and environment.
- Not offering any excursions that harm humans, animals, plants, natural resources such as water and energy, or which are socially and culturally unacceptable.
- Not offering any excursions in which wildlife is held captive, except for properly regulated activities in compliance with local, national, and international law.
- Not being involved with companies that harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species unless it is part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable and in compliance with local, national, and international law.
- Having skilled and/or certified guides to guide our guest’s insensitive cultural sites, heritage sites, or ecologically sensitive destinations.
- Promoting and advise our guests on excursions and activities which directly involve and support local communities by purchasing services or goods, traditional crafts and local (food) production methods, or visiting social projects.
- Promoting and advising our guests on excursions and activities which support the local environment and biodiversity such as visiting protected areas or environmental protection projects.
- TOUR LEADERS, LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES, AND GUIDES
We commit to:
- Work with certified tour guides, union members, in order to ensure that all legal requirements in terms of fair labor conditions are met.
- Provide local guidance in-house (our staff) , who are aware of our policy and committed to our “Code of conduct”.
- Ensuring that the tour guides we contract are qualified, trained regularly, and sign our code of conduct.
- Inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g. protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g. tips, dressing code, and photography), and human rights (e.g. sexual exploitation).
Before the tour:
Inform travelers about eco-friendly means of transportation in the destination city and provide detailed directions to the meeting point (when applicable);
Inform clients about the potable water situation in-country, and advise on whether they can bring a reusable water bottle for tap water, or suggest other eco-friendly solutions (e.g., portable water filter) to minimize single-use of plastic during the tour;
Inform clients about the dress code, especially if visiting culturally sensitive areas or religious places;
Inform clients about the company’s photography policy (e.g., ask locals before taking pictures) and sites where they will not be allowed to take photographs.
During the tour:
Help travelers behave responsibly and appropriately in the destination;
Support the learning and practice of the local language (basic words);
Inform guests about how to behave to minimize their footprint (e.g., which side of the sidewalk to walk on, regulations about smoking in public places, illegal souvenirs to avoid purchasing etc.);
Guide travelers towards positive ways of supporting your local communities while in the country and after their return home (e.g., donating to non-profit organizations, purchasing souvenirs from responsible shops, dining at vocational training restaurants);
Inform your guests about risks and precautions related to health and safety matters in your destination (e.g., Is tap water drinkable? Is pickpocketing common?);
Inform your travelers about political or social issues in the destination;
Discourage the purchase of endangered flora and fauna products that may be offered for sale;
Prohibit guide and passenger participation in commercial sexual activities and/or illegal drug use;
Provide tips on how to minimize waste, and give information about any specific waste management regulations, for example how recycling and composting works in your city, where guests can refill their water bottles, etc.;
Provide site interpretation when visiting natural areas or cultural heritage sites.
After the tour:
Ask for constructive feedback, and be sure to include questions about responsible travel (e.g., if the guest learned anything new, if sustainability practices met their expectations, etc.);
Deliver what you promised (e.g., send photos you promised to send, restaurant recommendations);
Keep the traveler informed about how their money was spent (e.g., if donations or carbon offsetting are included in the tour price);
Provide an opportunity or ideas of how travelers can continue to connect with the destination, the company, and each other after the tour.
As a corporate travel Agency, in most of the cases we do not select destinations.
When we do have the possibility to propose destinations (Leisure and Mice areas ) our sustainability policy is clear when indicates that Alive advises against travel to destinations where Human Rights are not respected, and prioritizes more sustainable destinations. On the other hand, it proposes trips to lesser-known destinations, to mitigate the negative impact that excess tourism entails.
We intend to provide social and environmental benefits to the communities we visit. We understand the importance of visitor dispersion and of not exceeding the carrying capacity of destinations; therefore, we encourage the promotion of lesser-known areas (with the approval of the local community), to prevent over tourism and its negative impacts.
Accessibility for all to Tourism facilities, products and services is a central part of our sustainable tourism policy. It is therefore both a social and business responsibility to consider accessibility when selecting new destinations.
We commit to:
- Consider sustainability aspects in the selection process of new destinations and possibly offer alternative, non-mainstream destinations.
- Not selecting destinations in which tourism leads to structural negative local effects, (unless the company’s involvement results in clear counterbalancing effects).
- Consider the selection of new destinations, which are reachable through more sustainable means of transport.
- Comply with legally based spatial planning, protected areas, and heritage regulations.
- We do not allow the purchase of souvenirs containing threatened flora and fauna species, and illegally obtained historic/archaeological artefacts, drugs or illegal substances, and abide by local and international laws in place to prevent this.
- Support locally produced souvenirs and indicate which suppliers offer them for our clients.
We commit to:
- Ensure that customer privacy is not compromised.
- Comply with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages, and not promise more than is delivered.
- Make product and price information clear, complete and accurate, concerning the company and its products and services, including sustainability claims.
- Provide destination information, including sustainability aspects, which is factually correct, balanced, and complete.
- Inform clients about the environmental impact of different transport options to reach the destination (in case these are not included in the package), and to offer sustainable alternatives, where available.
- Promote (Certified) sustainable accommodations, excursions, packages, and/or transport options, with logos or other messages; ensuring they are recognizable to consumer and presented as the “better” option.
- Inform the customer about sustainable alternatives concerning accommodations, excursions, package holidays, and transport options, if available.
- Clearly inform (potential) direct customers, about sustainability commitments and actions.
- Provide Information to consumers about the natural surroundings, local culture, and cultural heritage in the holiday destination.
- Inform consumers about key sustainability aspects and issues in the destination and receive recommendations on how to make a positive contribution.
- Inform customers about risks and precautions related to health and safety matters in the destination.
- Keep a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergencies.
- Train personnel and keep guidelines available, on how to deal with emergencies.
- Provide clients with documented guidelines and/or codes of conduct for sensitive excursions and activities, to minimize negative visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
- Provide customers with information about commercial, sexual, or any other form of exploitation and harassment, particularly of children and adolescents.
- Inform clients about applicable legislation concerning the purchasing, sales, import, and export of historic or religious artifacts and articles containing materials of threatened flora and/or fauna in the destination.
- Motivate clients to use local restaurants and shops.
- Inform clients on sustainable transport options in destinations, when feasible.
- Encourage clients to donate to a local charity and sustainable initiatives.
- Measure systematically client satisfaction and take into account the results, for service and product improvements.
- Include sustainability as an integral part of the research into client satisfaction.
- Have clear procedures in case of complaints from clients.