Welcome to TICOS the Tourism Industry Carbon Offset Service. We are an independent organisation run by tourism professionals, and are the official carbon service of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO).
TICOS is a service for all travel and tourism related companies who want to:
- minimise their impact on climate change
- contribute to sustainable development benefits
- ďput something backĒ into their own destinations
Itís widely recognised that holidays and the transport that they involve produce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. It doesnít take a genius to understand that a degraded environment and complex changes in weather patterns will have a significant impact upon the whole future of tourism, especially in those destinations most at risk. The tourism industry accepts that it has a key role to play here, by developing strategies to reduce the adverse effects of its activities.
TICOS works with many partners including industry associations, tour operators, service and transport providers. Our role is to source and rally support for specific projects that both help to achieve greenhouse gas reductions and at the same time support local communities, the environment and education.
Look at the FAQs page of our website for more information.
Our principalsí extensive experience of tourism destinations has helped us establish a range of potential projects which will make a significant contribution to reducing and offsetting the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. Youíll find details of projects on our project pages. These projects from around the world include ideas for new alternative technology, new forms of non-fossil-based fuels, the capture and use of natural power such as wind, wave and solar energy, and ambitious goals such as the eradication of fossil-based fuels from some tourism destinations.
Most importantly, itís not just about carbon reduction: all projects must also have a matching environmental, social, economic, educational or pro-poor benefit. Only after a TICOS project has been carefully evaluated and passed by our science and research team is it offered for funding to our service users. Once funding has been agreed each project is monitored through to completion and any company contributing to a project is able to monitor exactly how its money is being spent.
We want TICOS to be different from most other programmes dealing with climate change. We will treat the science and the solutions very seriously but at the same time we want to show that our action to reduce and offset the impact of greenhouse gas emissions can have many other benefits including some warm human stories. Tourism is by nature a fun industry: if itís also responsible and sustainable it should give enjoyment to millions of holidaymakers and bring benefits to host destinations around the world. So, when we can establish meaningful carbon programmes which also have a human story to tell we will post this under the 'Changing Lives' heading.
One of the main considerations in the development of TICOS is to ensure that it operates to the highest standards. We want to ensure that the whole process is transparent and that money raised is used wisely and efficiently and that the programme provides excellent value for money. TICOS is a voluntary scheme and we have developed our own procedure both to provide a high level of due diligence and to reflect the nature of the services which we provide. The TICOS Procedure incorporates the following elements:
- Financial integrity
- Due diligence
- Project selection criteria
- Funding arrangements
- Carbon calculations
- Calculation of additional benefits
- Project management and delivery
TICOS partnerships policy
TICOS is committed to working with a range of partners to achieve meaningful climate change benefits for the companies using our services. Many of the projects we support have been submitted by members of major international NGOs, voluntary organisations and charities. In particular we have actively sought out project proposals in tourism destinations which are also World Heritage sites and natural areas being managed by members of the World Commission for Protected Areas.
We also work closely with tourism industry associations and recognised tourism charities in the management of projects; for example, TICOS is the preferred climate change programme for the Association of Independent Tour Operators. We firmly believe that climate change is an issue which should unite the travel and tourism industry worldwide and we are happy to offer help and assistance to all to achieve this aim.