Taking steps to minimize our impact on the environment, providing a safe and enjoyable workplace, and promoting the health and well-being of our team members, customers and the general public, are actions that we value a lot at HTG. We are always trying to improve our services and expand our social and environmental responsibilities.
HTG commits to:
• comply with all relevant national legislation and regulations
• ensure that sustainability is at the core of our business and taken into consideration in our business decisions and day-to-day operations
• continuously improve the environmental and social sustainability performance
• strive to achieve international best practice in key areas of environmental management including energy efficiency, waste/pollution management (especially prevention), and water conservation
• support local economies and local environmental/social initiatives
• raise sustainability awareness both internally and externally
We ensure the enforcement of our commitment above by operating in line with the following policies:
For our employees
• Pay fair living wages equal or above the minimum wage
• Compensate overtime and grant annual paid holidays and sick leaves as per the Greek Law
• Treat staff ethically and ensure equal opportunities for all our employees without any kind of discrimination
• Provide health and safety standards for our employees through medical insurance
• Ensure comfortable, healthy, and friendly working conditions for our employees
• Ensure all agents are properly motivated at all times
• Refuse child labour and all forms of forced and compulsory labour
• Not hindering any trade union memberships
• Provide regular awareness and capacity building, training and opportunities for our staff
• Offer traineeships / internships to students
For our office
• Implement sustainable procurement in our purchasing decisions by following the criteria below:
– Preference for locally produced items that promote local culture and heritage
– Reuse / fix what is available as much as possible instead of buying a new one
– Choose natural/non-toxic products and energy/water efficient equipment
– Avoid single use/disposable items and un-recyclable products (ex: plastic bags, straws and bottles)
– Opt for products that can be reused many times and recycled at the end of their life
– Buy in bulk or with minimal packaging
• Actively reduce water, energy and paper consumption
– Use energy-efficient and water-reduction equipment (water pump filter, dishwasher, dual toilet flush)
– Implement a “switch off” (instead of stand-by or “sleep” mode) policy in the office for lights, a/c, heating, computers, printers, and other office equipment after office hours
– Ensure doors and windows are closed when A/C or heating is on. Regularly clean A/C filters and maintain heating unit. Recent purchase of 2 dehumidifiers for long-term savings in electricity and heating bills.
– Print on both sides of paper, avoid printing if not absolutely necessary
– LED lights installed throughout the whole premises
– Only use washable glasses/tableware/cutlery (no plastic/single use)
• Waste is reduced, separated, recycled and disposed of properly.
– Separate waste into recyclables and trash that goes to landfill
– Refill ink and toner instead of buying new ones
– Printing is avoided where possible. Put preference in using digital form (emails, google drive, e-brochures, e-sales catalog, e-itineraries, etc)
• All staff members receive regular sustainability training and information
– Key staff are encouraged to go through Travelife basic training and exam
– Regular training / info session will also be conducted informally in the office to all staff members
– Awareness and engagement are delivered through periodic email memos, and verbally from our sustainability coordinator.
For our suppliers
• Promote/choose businesses (hotels, apartments) owned and managed by locals as much as possible.
– Build long-term relationships with local suppliers and help them improve their products and services to grow their business
• Whenever transportation is involved, whether the fleet is under our ownership, or companies we co-operate with for taxi/minivan/bus needs, we ensure that all vehicles meet the highest European Emission Standard, which is to date, Euro VI and above.
• Inform all our suppliers of our commitment and active pursuit towards sustainability using Travelife as a tool and encourage them to join process.
• Ensure that our excursions are developed with sustainability in mind
– Where available, we give preference to activities and attractions that operate on the basis of acknowledged and controlled sustainability standards.
– In sensitive cultural sites, heritage sites or ecologically sensitive destinations, guests will be guided by skilled or certified guides.
– Include activities that directly involve and support local communities, local environment and biodiversity protection
• Ensure that our guides and tour leaders are aware of our sustainability commitments and are supported to practice them
– Preference is given to local guides, fair employment and labor conditions are guaranteed.
For our local community
• Support local community projects / initiatives that promote environmental protection, conservation, or cultural heritage.
• Support local purchasing when quality, service, availability, and price allow
• Support and encourage local SMEs on sustainable local livelihood development (such as community guesthouses, restaurants and local transportation modes)
For our customers
• Provide clients relevant and accurate information about the destination and activities including safety, health and security.
• Offer exceptional service with unique value. We promote and recommend trips that we love and that us agents would organize for ourselves.
• Ensure travelers’ privacy, health, safety and insurance.
– Provide customers with a 24h reachable contact and guidelines in case of emergency situations while on their trip
– Take into account clients’ satisfaction and complaint
• Raise awareness about responsible tourism principles.
– Inform our customers about our sustainable commitments
– Communicate to our clients sustainable offers (accommodation and excursions), activities that sustain the destination that is visited.
– Suggest places/create products that aren’t as well known by tourists (less famous, farther away, less infrastructure).
– Provide travelers information about rules and regulations in sensitive areas (national parks, archaeological sites and sanctuaries, protected areas), illegal souvenirs, preference for local services and goods, respect of traditional culture and customs, sustainable transport, sexual exploitation, protection and respect of children, and detrimental effects of orphanage visits.
• As part of our commitment to the communities in which we operate in, we provide financial support to local charities and non-profit organizations every year. So far, HTG has been delighted to be able to help local organizations such as:
– “Emfasis” foundation, by donating a vehicle for the transport needs of doctors and volunteers of human help, and
– “Axion Hellas” by offering complimentary transportation of volunteer doctors.