Vacansoleil and Corporate Social Responsibility

Eindhoven, august 2017

We are aware of the fact, that as a travel company and an employer, we have an impact on the world around us.  We don’t just affect the environment, but also the quality of life of people. Of our guests, employees and the partners we work with.

With this in mind, we are continually taking measures to minimize negative impact and increase all possible positive impact.

One of the areas we can’t affect that much is a very important one, the transportation of our guests to the campsites. However, it’s true to say that the lowest impact per kilometre of all types of travel is a driving holiday with four occupants. That happens to be the average number of people that we welcome to our campsites per car. With cars becoming ever more clean, efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels, this is resulting in an increasingly favourable situation

A comparison list made at the start of 2017 showed the following CO2 emissions created by a return journey to a destination 1200 km from home:

By Plane:                                         560 kg CO2 per person
Touring car:                                      90 kg CO2 per person
Train:                                               75 kg CO2 per person
BMW X5 25D:                                 83,4 kg per person
Volkswagen Passat 1.6D:               61,8 kg CO2 per person

In addition to this, campsites are mostly richly planted and vegetated areas, where trees and plants ensure an important absorption of CO2.

The facts.

A camping holiday most definitely affects our environment. Our focus on sustainability is part of our corporate policy and we’re very pleased to be able to share these policies with our partners:

  • A  large and increasingly growing number of our campsites are now “Green Key” certified.
  •  When selecting our suppliers, we take into account sector related sustainability labels. From office supplies to safari tents and from production to eventual recycling. A lot of the mobile homes we purchase annually are up to 98% recyclable and the wood used for our verandas and safari tents are from sustainable timber
  • We are testing the use of solar panels on our mobile homes.
  • Energy conservation is a regular topic of discussion within our facilities consultative structure: We have reduced our electricity consumption by 14% at head office between 2015 and 2016, by raising more awareness for sustainability and making targeted investments regarding our power consumers: one of our objectives for the upcoming year is to reduce total energy consumption (electricity and gas)at our head office by a further 5%. This is an issue we are investing greatly in.
  • We have been separating our waste flows for many years now (and it’s cost effective too!);
  • Because 90% of our guests indicated they no longer regarded a printed holiday brochure as an essential item, we were able to make the decision to reduce the amount of brochures that we printed.  From 2017 onwards we will no longer use printed holiday brochures.
  •  Since 2013, Vacansoleil has provided loading points for electric cars at the office and accommodated non- standard vehicles.

We have also selected a number of important issues, where we are actively attempting to impact positively on a social level:

  • We started the Vacansoleil Foundation in 2012, with the intention of supporting those that really need our help, in the countries where we are active. On a human scale, through specific projects, with manpower, finances and Vacansoleil products.
  • The Vacansoleil Foundation does this in the broadest sense: from a carefree holiday, to a special children’s party or a custom made sports prosphetic.
  • The Foundation is governed and run by Vacansoleil affiliated staff and unpaid volunteers;
  • Vacansoleil strives to be an engaging and considering employer at all times: with detail for specific personal circumstances: a solution based approach is always leading, so that we can stimulate maximum employment levels.

Will we change the world with these actions? Probably not.

Will we be successful in everything we do here? No, but luckily the results are mostly positive.

Will we make a difference with what we do? Yes we definitely think so and we’ll do our utmost to keep making an ever increasing difference!

If you, valued reader of these words, think you can help us with your ideas or suggestions, you’ll make us very happy.