Andean Lodges and Regenera: carbon neutral operations and efforts to protect the Amazon forest
27 December 2019
At Andean Lodges we are very conscious of the problem of climate change and the ever-worsening climate crisis. How could we not be aware of this? It is on everyone’s mind- the Earth’s climate and its ecosystems are rapidly changing, and in ways that are not positive.
Ice at the poles and at high altitudes of the Andes is melting, sea levels are rising, and biodiversity is being heavily impacted. But solutions are also being found to reduce and mitigate carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. We would like to share our efforts toward this goal with you.
As a company committed to practicing environmentally responsible and sustainable ecotourism, we’d like to tell you about how we’ve reduced and offset our operation’s carbon footprint.
Andean Lodges and Regenera
And now we’re doing much more through our alliance since 2016 with Regenera, a multi-faceted program that protect’s Peru’s precious Amazon rainforest by: preserving forest areas, reforesting degraded areas, and supporting the sustainable development of the rainforests’ best, most expert protectors- the indigenous communities of our Amazon region.
These initiatives in turn serve to conserve some the world’s most important carbon sinks – the tropical forests of the Amazon.
So, we’re just talking environmental sustainability, we’re doing it. To begin with, two years ago our energy consultants carried out a detailed study and measurements of all the carbon emissions that our operations produce; everything from our staff’s commute to and from the office, our consumption of energy, water, and all solid waste generated.
Our actions and impact
We came up with the quantity of 27.6 tons/ eqCO2/year, and according to this figure, we pay Regenera a monthly compensation fee that goes directly for tree planting and forest protection.
Of course, our four wonderful mountain ecolodges do not use electric power, and thus emit relatively very little carbon dioxide. Yes, the showers are gas-fired, and of course food preparation, some supplies, and the fireplace do emit very minor amounts. But all of those emissions are accounted for and offset.
Our consultants also measured the carbon produced by our trekking programs, which included fuel usage for every round trip from Cusco to Ausangate, all waste produced by every trek, and each guest’s Lima-Cusco roundtrip flight. The data concluded that trek emissions averaged 0.14t /eqCO/traveler/ day.
We multiply this by the number of guest trekkers we receive each month, and we make a payment to Regenera to offset for the total monthly carbon emitted by our trekking programs.
The financial contribution Andean Lodges makes to the Regenera Project has since the start of our alliance amounted to 553 tons of carbon that were compensated for, equivalent to preserving 240 large trees of key Amazonian species. During all of 2019, Andean Lodges’ operations have maintained 100% carbon neutrality!