Today, easyJet holidays launches its inaugural sustainability strategy led by its vision for “a world where travel makes a positive impact on the environment and local communities”, underpinned by ambitious sustainability commitments which will guide its activities over the next five years. The holiday company has also gone live with a new sustainability hub on its website to share more on its commitments and roadmap of actions.
The announcement is supported by new consumer research having found that 65% of people say holiday companies could be doing more to encourage customers to travel sustainably, and the pandemic having made consumers care more about their holiday sustainability as over a third (35%) say it’s now even more important to them.
As part of its strategy, the company has created a roadmap of short, medium and long-term actions to embed sustainability into the company’s culture and business decisions over the next five years. Its commitment to ensuring high standards are maintained across the supply chain will be overseen by a sustainability steering committee headed up by Matt Callaghan, Customer and Operations Director and a member of easyJet holidays’ management board and working closely with and drawing on the extensive sustainability knowledge and experience of Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays CEO and Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability easyJet together with her team. easyJet holidays will also work collaboratively with its industry and destination partners in ongoing consultation, with the aim to build knowledge and share best practice to accelerate industry action on critical environmental, economic and social issues.
The new strategy is focused on three core pillars – create better holiday choices which is about making sustainable travel affordable and accessible to everyone; keep our holidays special which is maximising the benefits and minimising the negative impacts of travel and tourism including a commitment to support hotels it works with to achieve certification by a GSTC accredited certification body or certification to a GSTC recognised standard, and transform travel for everyone which means embedding sustainability into business decisions and behaviours and driving meaningful change in the industry. easyJet holidays has already announced becoming a GSTC member and joining the Future of Tourism Coalition.
One key area for the holiday firm will be supporting 100% of its directly contracted hotels to achieve certification by a GSTC accredited certification body or certification to a GSTC recognised standard by the end of 2025. This is supported by new research which shows one of the top three ways consumers would research a sustainable holiday is by looking for holidays with official sustainability certification (35%). The holiday company is also committed to supporting locally owned and run businesses and activities as well as upholding labour standards, promoting health, safety and wellbeing, and respecting equal pay rights.
easyJet holidays’ new mission, which will underpin this five-year plan, has responsible travel at its heart. It says: “When it comes to sustainability, we want to raise the bar, positively shake things up and lead the industry. To make sustainability part of our everyday culture, enabling us, our partners, and our customers to reduce their environmental footprint, and make a positive impact on the people and places that make our destinations so special.”
Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays’ CEO, said; “I’m proud to launch our new sustainability vision and mission, developed together with our people and partners, which supports our ambition to reimagine what it means to travel by providing holidays that don’t cost the earth. This new strategy is underpinned by a thorough assessment of the environmental, social and economic topics on which easyJet holidays has the biggest impact, as well as the topics which most affect our stakeholders – from our hotel partners to our customers.
“We’d like to thank all of our partners who have generously shared their insights and expertise to help us develop an approach that is both ambitious and achievable. Over the next five years, we will be working to integrate sustainability into every aspect of our business and actively evolving our approach. As easyJet holidays, we’re at the beginning of our journey and we know that this won’t be easy, but we’re committed to positively shaking things up within our own business, with our partners and across the industry.”
Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, said; “The GSTC Criteria serve as global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC are committed to accelerating the adoption of more sustainable practices across the travel and tourism industry, so we’re delighted that easyJet holidays has tangible plans with their partners to become more sustainable and to make it as easy as possible for travellers to make more sustainable choices. We look forward to engaging with easyJet holidays to achieve their goal of enabling of their contracted hotels to be certified as sustainable and support locally owned and run businesses and activities.”
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive at ABTA said: “ABTA believes that travel and tourism is a powerful force for good: creating economic and social value, sustaining jobs, supporting businesses and boosting inward investment for destinations where many livelihoods depend on tourism.
“To deliver the benefits of tourism, and address crucial environmental and social challenges, travel companies need to integrate sustainability into all areas of their business. We work with our members, destinations and other stakeholders on these issues and we’re also proud that our dedicated company Travelife for Accommodation has its standard recognised by GSTC and is a leading sustainability certification programme that drives sustainable practice in the accommodation sector.”
Embedding sustainability into the company’s culture and business decisions is part of easyJet holiday’s mission to be the most trusted holiday provider in the UK. This new sustainability strategy follows the company’s recent announcement that it is the first major UK tour operator to offset the carbon emissions associated with its holidays, so the fuel from its flights, transfers and the energy from hotel stays. This move will also be applied to all trips since easyJet holidays launched in November 2019. Carbon offsetting will be undertaken through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards – Gold Standard and VCS – and will include forestry, renewable and community-based projects.
easyJet holidays is building on easyJet’s commitment to sustainability. easyJet has been focused on reducing its carbon emissions for a long time - transitioning its fleet to increasingly more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, flying them in ways which maximise fuel efficiency, and optimising passenger loads as much as possible. In 2019, it was the world’s first major airline to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used on all its flights. The airline is also fully committed to decarbonising aviation, in line with the UK government and EU targets of net zero emissions by 2050 and has several partnerships to support technological step change. easyJet is also going beyond carbon to take action on a range of sustainability issues and has so far reduced the amounts of plastic associated with the food and drink sold on easyJet flights from over 27 million individual items.
 The research was commissioned by easyJet holidays and conducted by Censuswide from 3rd to 6th September 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 2,008 UK adults.
 Answer combines ‘Very important’ & ‘Somewhat important’ responses
 The research was commissioned by easyJet holidays and conducted by Censuswide from 3rd to 6th September 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 2,008 UK adults
Notes to editors:
easyJet holidays’ sustainability strategy launch film can be found here: Package holidays that don't cost the earth
About easyJet holidays
easyJet holidays offers great-value beach, city and lakes holidays to more than 100 destinations across Europe, directly through its website and through over 3000 travel agent partners. The ATOL-protected holidays company combines easyJet’s flexible flight programme, with handpicked hotels and best-in-class technology to provide hassle-free personalised holiday experiences which can be secured with a deposit of just £60 per person. The holidays operator is an ABTA member too, providing additional reassurance to customers under the UK’s most trusted travel scheme. With a range of holiday types, from adult and family to luxury and undiscovered, transfers included on beach holidays, 23kg hold luggage included on all bookings, and over 5,000 hotels, across over 500 resorts, customers can holiday the way they want.
All easyJet holidays are covered by its Protection Promise, an industry leading policy giving customers ultimate flexibility, protection and reassurance and letting them book with total confidence. The Promise offers a refund guarantee, freedom to change a booking, a reduced balance due date, a Best Price Guarantee, deposit refunds, to ensure flexibility if there are known restrictions at home or in destination.
In 2021 easyJet holidays became the first major UK tour operator to offset the carbon emissions from its package holidays, comprising the fuel used for flights and in-destination transfers, as well as the energy used from hotel stays without any cost being passed to customers.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s role in providing assurance for impartiality and competence of Certification Programs that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it provides assurance for those that do.
The GSTC is an independent and neutral organization, legally registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.
The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.
We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.
ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.
About Travelife for Accommodation
Travelife for Accommodation is an internationally recognised accommodation sustainability programme with around 1,500 Members in around 50 countries. Members can access practical tools and resources to improve their business’ environmental, financial and social impacts in preparation for an onsite audit that will assess their compliance with the GSTC-recognised Travelife Standard. Travelife offers one of the most comprehensive accommodation sustainability certifications with requirements covering environmental impacts, fair labour, human rights, child safeguarding and animal welfare. For more information about Travelife visit www.travelifestaybetter.com