Share This Article
Wayaj is delighted to join Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency as part of this growing community of travel organizations, companies and professionals who are coming together to find solutions to climate change.
Wayaj was founded to fight climate change
Wayaj was set up precisely to offer travelers and hoteliers solutions in the fight against climate change. We are particularly well positioned to influence the reduction of carbon emissions by empowering travelers and hoteliers to play their part.
Wayaj was founded in 2017 by Nelly O Gedeon, in response to an eye-opening experience she had when on holiday in Togo, West Africa. Nelly was having lunch in a water-front restaurant when she noticed a structure which appeared to be built in the ocean. As co-owner with her husband of an engineering firm in New York, she was intrigued as to why this would happen. When she asked about it, she was shocked to learn that the structure was actually a highway which had been engulfed by erosion and rising sea levels.
Nelly returned to New York deeply moved by her own first-hand experience of the devastating effects of climate change and started researching the impact on the climate by the travel and tourism industry. She quickly discovered that countries who contributed the least to climate change were actually those who were being most affected. She was driven to do something about this and that is when Wayaj was born.
Wayaj empowers travelers and hoteliers
Wayaj offers travelers a simple and accurate way to research and book hotels based on hotel sustainability credentials as well as offering tips on how to travel in a more earth friendly way. It also allows them to offset their carbon footprint and choose from a number of carbon offset projects.
Wayaj hotel members are required to complete a detailed Hotel Sustainability Rating (HSR) form which follows the latest environmental science. This gives them a score which demonstrates transparently their sustainable practices. Wayaj offers advice to member hotels about ways in which they can continue to improve on their sustainability journey as well as offering them additional sustainability compliance services. Hotel members also have access to the Wayaj carbon footprint calculating engine (CFC Engine™) which they can whitelabel on their own website and allow guests to offset the carbon from their transport and actual stay in the hotel calculated using real data from the HSR.
We will also be working with destinations to develop local carbon offset projects so that they can have a direct impact within their region. Also travelers will be able to choose projects which meet their own personal preferences.
Wayaj offers travelers and hoteliers a collaborative opportunity to come together and create a collective impact on reducing carbon emissions.
Some Wayaj members have already declared
As Wayaj hotel members are committed to reducing their impact on the environment, it is not surprising that some of them have already ‘declared a climate emergency’, either as part of a hotel group, tour operator or individually. Like Far and Wild who include a significant number of Wayaj hotel members such as El Karama Hotel, Six Senses Laamu, Bom Bom Principe Island, Garonga Safari Camp and Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar.
We are also very proud to include some real environmental pioneers amongst the Wayaj Earth Friendly Hotel Collection, including MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge with a hotel sustainability rating of 97.6, Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary with 93 and Andante Hotel with 93.
We will be recommending to all Wayaj hotel members that they declare a climate emergency as part of their own sustainability strategies.
Our declaration commitments
Finally these are the five actions we commit to undertake:
1/ Develop a ‘Climate Action Plan’
We will be developing a Climate Action Plan which will include not only a review of our own business operations but also how we can empower and encourage Wayaj hotel members to improve their own sustainability credentials.
2/ Share our commitment and progress publicly
We will share our initial public declaration, our ‘Climate Action Plan’, and update on progress against our targets each year.
3/ Cut carbon emissions
We accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We will ensure our ‘Climate Action Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per trip arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
4/ Work together
We will encourage Wayaj hotel members, their suppliers and our partners to make the same declaration; we will share best practices with the hospitality industry and travelers; we will actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
5/ Advocate for change
We recognize the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism.