Biking.ie Sustainability Policy - September 2022
1. Our vision, mission and company ethos
·At Biking.ie we believe in preserving, respecting and nurturing Irish green space, minimising erosion and promoting a “leave no trace” ethos.
We are aware that our business activities impact upon the environment and we are committed to alleviating those negative impacts and in doing so we want to inspire our customers and suppliers to join us on our sustainability journey, so we commit to communicating our values, goals and achievements.
2. UNWTO definition
At biking.ie, we believe that sustainable tourism is tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities (UNWTO, n.d.). We therefore aim to reduce our negative effects and increase our positive impacts.
3. Continuous improvement
Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement, and we are aware that we have a lot to learn. Below are the means by which we have started our sustainability journey and commit to continuously improve
4. Measuring and reducing negative impacts
4a. Energy consumption
·We commit to measuring our electricity consumption every month and do the following to reduce consumption:
· Use low energy bulbs and motion sensor lighting outside.
· Introduce energy saving heaters for our staff
· Introduce energy efficient drying areas for equipment
· Switch to a renewable energy provider
· Turn off all appliances when not in use.
· Educate our staff on how to reduce energy consumption
· Clean and open windows to maximise natural day light and promote natural air drying
· We commit to a time frame of 12 months to reduce our energy consumption by 20%
4b. Water consumption
· We commit to measuring our water consumption every month and do the following to reduce consumption:
· Recorded usage using a water submeter
· Rain water capture system for bike wash
· Aerater hose head for bike wash
· Educate staff to reduce water usage especially at bike wash
We use environmentally friendly cleaning products inside and outside
· Portable toilets with bioproduct usage
· We have introduced our own water filtration system so people can refill their bottles at our location. We are registered on refill.ie, a public database for free drinking water locations.
· We do not offer single use plastic bottles, but instead sell reusable water bottles filled with our filtered water.
4c. Waste production
· We commit to measuring our waste consumption every month and do the following to reduce consumption:
· We measure our waste usage monthly
· Informing our customers and staff of our strict recycling policy at our sites
· Having clearly defined and labelled recycling, compost and refuse bins
· We promote and encourage our suppliers who use recyclable materials
· We host weekly litter picks at the trails and surrounding forestry. We incentivise this by offering free tea/coffee to people that collect waste (which we dispose of) while they walk.
· We do not sell single use plastic water bottles at our sites
· We aim to reduce the selling of products with plastic packaging, by providing locally baked fresh food.
· We compost all our tea leaf and coffee grains in our local forest gardens
· We promote the use of no touch keep cups
5. Ethical purchasing
· At Biking.ie we are committed to purchasing certified products where possible.
We commit to:
· buying products in bulk to reduce delivery energy supplies
· To purchase products, we only really need
· To purchase biodegradable cleaning products
· To use local family run businesses who supply our coffee, loose leaf teas, fresh and baked food and organic dairy produce.
· To reduce our pre-packaged confectionary bars by instead providing local home baked goods.
6. Carbon offsetting
· We aim to reduce our carbon footprint by:
· Planting 400 native trees by 2023 and Irish Pollinator plants in our small scale forest gardens at our locations.
· To reduce our waste production by 20% in 6 months
· To maintain 50% of our staff commuting by bike to work.
· We are currently looking to find a partner to offset our remaining emissions. We aim at having found our partner by 2023
7. Responsible sustainability marketing
· We know that it is important to communicate our efforts in an honest way. We are aware of the risk of greenwashing, and we therefore commit to:
· Ethical digital marketing by operating the highest level of regional compliance in relation to data usage and privacy.
· We will never sell or misuse customer data
· We will actively block all 3rd party digital media placements on external websites that do not align with our corporate values.
· All promotion including product, pricing and purpose will be displayed accurately and truthfully.
· Our SEO will be done ethically and on merit based on genuine relationships and partnerships.
· We know we can’t always get things right first time. We therefore commit to honestly communicating where we are on our journey and our improvements.
8. Social responsibility
· We support our local community by collaborating with other likeminded business and community enterprises who share our vision on environmental protection and minimising waste production. We will achieve this by maintaining our weekly forest clean ups, promoting our staff commute to work by bike, educate our customers on ‘Leave no Trace’ principles and buying our supplies locally where possible.
9. Supporting Biodiversity
· To protect and conserve our local biodiversity we have
initiated our own onsite forest gardens at our locations.
· We do not use pesticides at our locations and maintain natural nesting habitats for our forest animals
· We consult with local permaculture consultants on developing and evolving our biodiversity plans.
· Are involved in local tree planting schemes in Wicklow and Dublin
· Are members of local community-based Biodiversity groups and nationwide ‘Trees on the land’ schemes
Head of Sustainability