Sustainable Touring

Here at Teamlink Sports Tours demonstrating our commitment to sustainable development is an integral part of who we are. Teamlink strive to ensure your sports tour is in line with our responsible touring philosophies by paying attention to both natural and social environmental factors and committing to protect the environment and people in the countries we travel to.

What do WE do?

Teamlink and Sport Relief 2010   At the Teamlink HQ in Tewkesbury, we are a young & enthusiastic sports tour company who work in harmony with our destinations and our local community. We want to make sports touring ‘greener’ by taking into account environmental impact of tourism, and respect for local cultures and laws. A few examples of own sustainable policies include:
  • Teamlink in the Community Scheme – we support our local sporting communities by putting something back into partner clubs and teams. Our scheme contributes financial support which allows teams to promote their sports and encourage more people in their community to get involved.
  • Electronic Tour Quotes – all our customer quotations are sent electronically via email to avoid printing where possible and reduce our carbon footprint by saving paper. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of your quote we are happy to post one out to you on request.
  • Founders of Tourwatch – an organisation formed by a group of leading student sports tour operators to promote ‘Responsible Touring’ amongst its customers.
  • Conserving and reducing energy consumption by turning off PCs and lights over night and during unused periods.
  • Daily office recycling includes sorting of paper, cardboard, tins, cans, plastic, ink and toner cartridges.
  • Cycling and walking to Work - 5 of our staff walk to and from work every day and 3 employees are currently signed up to the Ride to Work Scheme.
  • Brochures - All offline Brochures printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Mixed Sources paper, ensuring the paper we use originates from well managed sources and exclude the risk of using illegally logged timber or funding conflict. Online Brochures available for customers to download free if desired.
  • Sports tour packages via coach transport – offering YOU value for money and protecting the environment over flight travel.
  • Community sports tour projects – Teamlink can arrange for you to give something back to the local communities you visit on tour which includes anything from visiting townships in South Africa or building orphanages in Sri Lanka.
  • Charity Events each year the Teamlink team raise thousands of pounds to help local and national charities. Our recent fundraising efforts include:

    > 4 Staff members and 25 customers completed the Malta Marathon and Half Marathon event raising money for the Family Holiday Association

    > Sport Relief 2010 saw the Teamlink crew bag packing at a local Sainsburys, answering phones at Sport Relieft HQ, cycling and more!

    > Continually supporting disaster causes where possible including our ‘Help Haiti’ campaign.

    > Wales v Fiji charity night in November 2010 hit our £1,000 fundraising target which will be split between the Senegal Floak project (recycling centre), Facing Africa and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

  • Carbon Offsetting:

    The travel industry is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which contribute towards climate change. Teamlink Sports Tours is offering you the opportunity to partially offset the CO2 emitted during your holiday journey by supporting projects which will contribute to significant CO2 reductions across the globe through The Tourism Industry Carbon Service (TICOS).

    TICOS is an industry-wide programme supported by international agencies and tourism industry bodies; it is the preferred scheme of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO). TICOS aims to stimulate collective action by tour operators and travel agents selling holidays which include air or other forms of travel. Revenue raised from the service will fund projects where there is a real additional and measurable carbon saving and wider social benefits which favour the environment, wildlife, pro-poor policies, community improvements and education.

    TICOS   Contributing towards offsetting the transport element of your Teamlink Sports Tours trip will enable you to reduce CO2 emissions by funding a TICOS project in a tourism destination. We invite you to help us make travel greener and donate £1.00 per person (selected when submitting your Online Booking Form) to the following scheme:

    Druk White Lotus School, Shey, Ladakh, India (Jammu & Kashmir State) - Renewable Energy Scheme:
    This project aims to provide a fully renewable energy supply for the Druk White Lotus School which accommodates 506 students, including 158 residential students from remote areas. The school currently comprises a nursery and infant school and a junior school, with a secondary school due for completion in 2011. It is a not-for-profit fee paying school with fees set at locally affordable levels. The school has a master sustainability plan which includes the provision of solar energy, sports areas, recycling and composting and the growing of produce in greenhouses. More than one thousand trees were planted on the campus during 2008.

    This renewable energy scheme will seek to replace the existing 25KVA diesel generator, currently supplying the school, with an island grid powered by photovoltaic arrays mounted on each of the school buildings. When the project is completed, it will provide all the school's electricity throughout the year, both during the day and at night. There is also the potential for the connection of a small wind turbine to the system, which would be undertaken on an experimental basis to gain information about local wind conditions and test its cost-effectiveness.

    Large parts of Ladakh rely on snow-melt for their water supply. Climate change is influencing snowfall and snowmelt characteristics, and some villages are already beginning to have water supply problems due to the disappearance of the permafrost. Although the project will have only a relatively tiny impact on the global scale, it will help to reduce diesel emissions in this high-altitude environment.

    The system will offer a key learning experience for the children as they will see in their own school environment the renewable, sustainable energy being used to run their facilities. They will face huge sustainability issues in Ladakh in their adult lives and so seeing that it can work at school will be highly valuable to them. As they leave school, they will hopefully take the renewable energy message into the local community.

    Ladakh is endowed with abundant sunshine, even in winter, thus the renewable energy sector offers job opportunities in Ladakh in the future. Druk White Lotus School will aim to equip its students with the knowledge and skills required to work in this sector, thus supporting future sustainable livelihoods. The School welcomes visitors to see the progress of the project by prior arrangement.

What can YOU do?

Before you go on tour:

  • Do some research. Learn the local etiquette, like how much to tip and when it’s best to cover up. Plus you’ll get a warmer welcome if you can manage a word or two in the lingo.
  • Leave your litter at home. Take your new clothes and toiletries out of their packaging and put the rubbish in your green bin.
  • Travel light. The lighter the load, the less CO2 we produce, so keep your luggage to a minimum.
  • Recycle and re-use. Finished with your sports tour brochures? Pass them on to a friend or recycle them at home.

Whilst you’re on tour:

  • Save energy – turn off hotel air-conditioning, lights and TVs when you’re not using them.
  • Don’t waste water. Take showers rather than baths and follow your hotel’s towel-and-linen policy.
  • Go local. Buy locally-made souvenirs, take the bus and visit small, family-run shops wherever possible.
  • Love the environment. Take care not to damage flowers, plants or coral. And steer clear of souvenirs made from endangered species.
  • Think of the big picture. Don’t have your photo taken with captive wild animals, and always ask before taking pictures of local people.
Sri Lanka Elephant Orphanage   Many of these tips are taken from The Travel Foundation’s ‘Insider Guide’ on sustainable tourism. Find out more at www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk. Finally, before you travel, check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo. It’s packed with essential travel advice and tips, as well as up-to-date information on the country you’re visiting.