Waypoint Tallinn - Sustainable company

Travelife certified 

Waypoint Tallinn is one of the first tour companies in Estonia, who is focused on planning and organising everyday operations in a sustainable way. For many years we have been committed to sustainability and we are happy that our long-term efforts and frontrunner positions has been awarded. We joined Travelife in 2020, received the certificate in 2021, and we will go through the audition process in every 2 years. 

Below you will find our general sustainability report about our main goals, activites and results

♦ Enrich the life of visitors with authentic local experiences

The goal was achieved through the following action:

  • Develop tours, which take local culture and customs into account and give something back to the community.  

Main results

  • We choose our partners based on our company values, which also support the idea of introducing and supporting local culture.
  • We prefer to use smaller local companies (we support entrepeneurship).
  • We have focused more on smaller group tours to improve the experience and make it more personal. In 2021 the average group size was 11 persons.
  • We constantly work out and suggest tours which help to support local residents, and enables us to give guests and inside look into the everyday life of the local people.

♦ Preserve and improve destinations and their living culture

The goal was achieved through the following actions:

  • Follow legal requirements related to our activities and set internal standards ensuring industry best practice.

Main results 

  • We offer sustainable (cycling and walking) city tours and nature tours, which help to take our guests away from the  overcrowded tourist sites in the city centre.
  • We have developed tours, which are authentic, consider the environment and support local businesses. Roughly 95% of our tours focus on attractions outside the Old Town of Tallinn. 
  • Waypoint Tallinn is a proactive company. We participate in and contribute to discussions with the city government of Tallinn, the local Guides’ Associations.
  • We support the local community through donation of our time as well as financial assistance for the causes we believe in.

As a company we support organizations and projects, which help to improve social and cultural co-existence:

    1. Estonian Scout Association – Helping children regain touch with nature through scouting, developing independence and self-confidence.
    2. Minu Unistuste Päev  – Creating special events for children with significant health issues
    3. Laevaselts Runbjarn (Ruhnu Karu) – Preservation of the Estonian wooden ship culture

♦ Provide safe and high-quality service to our clients 

The goal was achieved through the following actions:

  • Act according to our Safety Management System to identify and minimize risk elements related to our tours

Main results 

  • Waypoint Tallinn is in full compliance with all international, national, and local law and regulations and we follow the principles of fair business. We pay all applicable taxes and sign written contracts with our service providers.
  • We have completed risk assessments about our active tours and audit our tours regularly. 
  • All our guides are local experts, enthusiasts and members of the community. We also have pre-season meeting with our guides to go through all the operational aspects. 
  • We consider the protection of our natural environment in all of our activities; our tours do not harm the biodiversity of nature nor the local community. 
  • We do not have any sensitive excursions. For some tours, there is a natural element, but in this case guests are kept on maintained trails and we use a trained and knowledgeable tour guide, who knows how to lead the group in the area.

♦ Constantly consider sustainability in our everyday work,
from planning process through implementation across our operations and
organization

The goal was achieved through the following actions:

  • Maintain
    a dedicated Sustainability team responsible for the implementation and
    monitoring of the policy.
  • Produce
    and regularly update our environmental policy and encourage contractors
    and suppliers to conform to comparable standards.
  • Document
    progress against our established objectives and targets.
  • Cooperate
    with and take account of the concerns of external bodies and local
    communities who may be affected by our activities.

Main results

  • We have committed to an Environmental Policy with includes waste/water/pollution reduction and a Sustainable Purchasing Plan with a set of actions, which we monitor regularly.
  • We have a dedicated Sustainability Manager and Coordinator.
  • Our employees have received Travelife basic training (courses).
  • Our Sustainability Manager on the group level is the Chairman of the Board. Management empowers employees to follow the sustainability policy and action plan.

♦ Educate and support our employees as well as our partners
in sustainability principles

The goal was achieved through the following actions:

  • Our employees are involved and take responsibility in their specific field of
    sustainability. We discuss sustainability related topics during our
    meetings and we regularly monitor and evaluate the activities based on
    auditing, formal benchmark tables and informal communication. 
  • All information is explained and discussed during company meetings and is
    available on our Intranet. We communicate sustainability related aspects
    to our partners – venues, guides and other parties
    and also to the public and to our clients. Our guides and transport
    companies follow a code of conduct, which also covers sustainability
    practices.
  • We encourage participation and commitment internally and provide appropriate
    sustainability training for personnel.
  • Where
    appropriate and economically viable, we source products and services that
    are sustainably produced and managed.

Main results 

  • Our employees completed 8 different training courses focused on expert knowledge in tourism, health&safety and personal development.
  • We educate our employees to spread sustainability knowledge and practices.
    All employees have completed safe work training and most employees have
    received first aid training. 
  • Our employees have received Travelife basic training (courses) and most of the employees have receive a certificate of
    attendance of the courses.

♦ Waypoint Tallinn proactively manages the environmental impact related to our services and backoffice work. The company is committed to reducing, reusing and recycling to minimize any negative environmental effect

The goal was achieved through the following actions:

  • We have introduced waste, energy, pollution reduction related targets in our action plan.
  • Responsible waste management falls into the hands of every employee.
  • Waste is properly segregated and handled accordingly.
  • We have engaged, trained and instructed our employees to be aware of our environmental plan and to follow the best practices.
  • We are committed to responsible consumption and use our resources efficiently.
  •  

Main results

  • The team is committed to implementing environmentally favorable practices.
  • We follow a formalized sustainable purchasing policy, which helps us to make better choices and to lower our environmental impact.
  • 100% of our paper is re-used (double side printing) and properly recycled.
  • We have taken reusable goods into use.
  • In 2020 we asked guests to bring their re-usable dishes on tour, which included food. In 2021 we will ask our guests to bring their own re-usable water bottle on tour. 

If you would like to learn more, we would be more than happy to share our experience and introduce our sustainability policy, practices and action plan. For further information please contact our Sustainability Coordinator Ms Anneli Lehtsalu (anneli@deneesti.ee).

Travelife is a three-stage certification program for tour operators and travel agents: (1) Travelife Engaged; (2) Travelife Partner and (3) Travelife Certified. We were awarded the Travelife certified (stage 3). The Travelife Certified award is a recognition of our excellence towards social and environmental sustainability. We comply with more than 200 criteria related to sustainability management, office operations, working with suppliers and customer communication. Travelife is a certification body that is formally Accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the highest global body for sustainability in tourism, supported by the United Nations.


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