To coincide with World Environment Day on the 5th June 2019 (the theme of which is air pollution), South America and Polar specialists, Chimu Adventures, highlight their favourite sustainability initiatives in South America and the polar regions which contribute positively both environmentally and culturally.
One of Chimu’s unique selling points is that they work with their own DMC’s in South America. This ensures their standard of client service and ethics are maintained throughout all operations in the continent. They have also partnered with select polar suppliers who focus heavily on sustainability. Examples of their DMC and partner’s sustainability efforts are outlined below.
In March 2019, Chimu Brazil contracted a car leasing company for their Rio transfers which have just imported Brazil’s first electric cars. Not manufactured in country, heavy importation taxes mean each vehicle costs approximately US$75k. This is, therefore, a major step towards sustainable transport in Rio. Chimu Brazil also work with Amazon river boat, the MV Tucano, which now uses electric motors for its small craft excursions. This cuts emissions and noise pollution in the river and jungle which, ultimately, results in a better wildlife experience for guests.
Chimu Ecuador is partners with Ecuadorian Amazon ecolodge, Hakuna Matata, which protects over 100 hectares of forest. The area has been recovered, starting with paddocks that are now secondary forest and will eventually be primary forest. The lodge promotes respect for the indigenous cultures and their ancestral knowledge of the rainforest through employment and collaboration opportunities. Hakuna Matata is currently financed by its partners and depends on this funding to continue.
In December 2018, Chimu partnered with world leaders in sustainable exploration travel, Hurtigruten for voyages to the polar regions. This collaboration has seen a powerful alignment of values in terms of sustainability and quality. Hurtigruten are the pioneers in responsible tourism as the first cruise liner in the world to remove all single use plastics from their voyages (32 tonnes of plastic from their fleet in total) and the first ever to operate hybrid powered expedition ships. Biogas (waste from the fishing industry combined with other organic material) is also used on their expeditions where the supply is possible.
Chimu co-founder, Chad Carey, says: “I am immensely proud of the sustainability ethics of our Latin America operations and recent Polar partnerships. This isn’t a new thing for us, sustainability was always front of mind when we started the business 15 years ago, and it is something we want to continue with more than ever in 2019. This year, we will continue to check how our products, including hotels and ships, measure up in terms of sustainability and this will be used as selection criteria.”
The first World Environment Day launched in 1974. It is a United Nations day which promotes action and awareness to protect our environment. Since its inception, it has been recognised globally and is celebrated in over 100 countries.
By highlighting the ongoing efforts of their suppliers in the sustainability field, Chimu hope to show potential clients the reciprocal benefits of travelling with an environmentally and socially conscious tour operator to both the traveller and the people and places they visit.