Measuring our carbon footprint

Boat Bike Tours is working towards becoming a carbon neutral tour operator from 2021 onwards.

The classic Dutch saying meten is weten (‘to measure is to know’) sums up the first step of our sustainability journey. We first needed to understand our greatest impacts before we could take action. So in 2018 we ran a pilot study to determine our baseline carbon footprint.

The study covered our head office and three boats in our fleet: large, medium and small. The survey measured the estimated impact of all aspects of our tours including consumption of fuel, energy, water, meat, food, straws, paper placemats, towels, bedlinen and office supplies; and waste produced such as carbon emissions, garbage, recycling and grey/black waste water.

Main forms of impact

The study confirmed the three biggest areas of impact on our tours:
fuel consumption/carbon emissions to power boats and provide electricity on board
water consumption/waste water from laundry, guest usage and food preparation
meals, in particular meat consumption

The study data was also converted into a single value to determine our carbon footprint: approximately 266 kg of equivalent CO2 emissions per guest per week in 2018.

Boat Bike Tours sustainability strategy

Based on our pilot study, we came up with a three-step sustainability strategy:

  1. We measured an estimated average 266 kg CO2 emissions equivalent per guest per week in 2018
  2. We aim to reduce CO2 emissions from 266 kg to max 160 kg per guest per week in 2021 and beyond
  3. We will offset the remaining 160 kg CO2 emissions we can’t (yet) reduce by buying carbon credits through a carbon offset partner

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