At Bago D'Uva 360º we believe there's only way to develop tourism, which is in a Responsible way. This means caring for the environment we work in and for the planet as whole; it means creating an economically viable and sustainable business that provides security to our employees and all our partners; and lastly it also means finding ways to positively impact the society we are included in by supporting different social causes. By mentioning what we are doing as we hope to inspire others to take action. This a constant work in progress, something that can never be finished as there are always ways in which we can improve. We hope you like what you read below and if you think it is still not enough we can honestly say we agree, but you can be certain that we are not done.
As much as we like the idea of one day getting everyone on ships and going to Mars, we think it would be even nicer to do it by choice, not by necessity. We only have one planet, so we need to preserve it. Running small group tours is challenging on this subject due to the amount of driving involved, but we believe making it this way has other benefits as we will mention below. For now here you have the list of actions we've taken to reduce our ecological impact:
- We reduce our routes as much as possible. We always look for the shortest possible path, in a way to reduce the kms we drive, making everything possible to not go around the same places.
- We provide our clients with glass water bottles on our tours. We've partnered with a Portuguese water company that provides the glass water bottles and then accepts them back so they can be reused. This way we reduced the impact of handing thousands of plastic water bottles to people.
- We recycle at our office. Everyone at the office knows how to recycle and we actively do it, from reusing paper that has been printed only on one side to taking the coffee out of the used coffee capsules, recycling the plastic and using the coffee on our garden. We also refuel the printer cartridges instead of buying new ones. Finally, we incentivise our partners to do the same at their businesses.
- When it comes to the hygiene of our vehicles we resort to reusable fabrics and cloths instead of disposable ones.
- If you would like to learn how to reduce the amount of water you use while in Portugal and also reduce you global impact to the environment please click here.
As a recent founded company this is still a challenging subject, since on one hand we are trying to become economically sustainable and on the other hand we want to provide a good environment for our employees, sharing has much wealth as possible with them.
- The seasonality of the tourism industry is a great obstacle to the companies, but we deal we it as best as possible. Our employees are contracted on a full time basis and stay with us for the entire year, except when they prefer not to. We make it possible by giving holidays during the low season and partnering with other companies that absorb them when the business is lowest.
- We offer wages above average. As much as possible we like to pay our employees fairly and definitely above minimum wage, which is above average when compared to our close competitors.
- We offer health insurances. We've decided to provide this benefit right at the beginning as we know this is something our employees value.
- We use smaller local providers over big established groups. On our trips we try as much as possible to visit the smaller family run Estates. We apply the same logic to the restaurants, where we look to use the local restaurant instead of having meals in the Estates and in this way spreading the wealth to the local population.