amazon rainforest, brazil

Sustainability - Positive Impact Travel

Where each step builds on over 30 years of supporting local communities, cultures and environments.

Our goal is to inspire, guide and enable you as a traveller to have deeper, richer and more connected experiences on your journeys with us.

We aim to create travel experiences that foster a sense of passion and care for the world’s threatened communities, wildlife and habitat. By showing you the world as it really is and by putting you in touch with people on the frontline of conservation, we hope you take on the mantle and become an advocate for change.

Elephant rock in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Solid Foundations

Building on over three decades of commitment to the positive influence of travel, we launched the Steppes Fund for Change in 2019 that saw Steppes Travel create a forest regeneration scheme in Brigg, support vital research into nuclear fusion energy and partner with 20 projects across the globe.

With the arrival of COVID-19 and global travel being put on pause, we took the time to redefine what Positive Impact Travel means. We worked with e-collective, the travel industry’s carbon calculating experts, and aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals; we are striving to make a measurable and positive impact on the world.

Icebergs from above

Our Carbon Quest

We fully acknowledge that travelling around the world creates harmful carbon emissions, however we believe the benefits of positive impact travel are far reaching. With careful curation, the sum of a holiday’s parts can outweigh the negative impact of its carbon footprint. Carbon is far more complex than just offsetting flight emissions and our work with e-collective, has helped broaden our understanding of where we can best reduce and mitigate our carbon footprint.

Our commitment to measuring, improving and adapting is applied to all areas of our business, from reducing the footprint of our office right up to carefully assessing individual hotels in our portfolio. Have a read about our ‘net positive’ approach below.

Ponheary foundation girls on bikes waving
Ponheary Ly Foundation, Cambodia

What is ‘net positive’ travel?

We are working on establishing a carbon baseline for our most popular destinations. This figure will be based on the bookings we made in 2022, measuring the emissions associated with accommodation, transport and excursions. We work with organisations such as The Long Run and Weeva to help us prioritise the use of accommodation that promotes conservation and community alongside practical carbon reduction initiatives. While there is no universally recognised system of measuring the positive impact of tourism, we believe the above approach, in conjunction with our philanthropic giving and carbon offsetting, are significant steps towards creating net positive holidays.

Three grey and white red shanked douc monkeys say in tree tops looking towards camera.

Measuring, Reducing & Mitigating

What can’t be measured can’t be improved which is why we measure the carbon emissions of flights. We offset the carbon emissions of international and domestic flights for all of our holidays, based on economy class, whether or not you book your flights through us.

The carbon footprint of flying in premier class is up to four times that of economy which is why we strongly encourage our clients to pay the difference in the offset if they decide to fly in a higher class. Our offsetting is done through World Land Trust’s forest protection and restoration projects, which simultaneously capture excess carbon and help regenerate threatened ecosystems. These projects are all approved by the UN’s REDD+ program.

How your carbon offset makes a difference

Stilt Fishermen, Galle, Sri Lanka
Stilt Fishermen, Galle, Sri Lanka

UN Sustainable Development Goals

We have chosen to align our vision of Positive Impact Travel with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Not only do these goals offer a comprehensive guide to solving the challenges facing our world, but they act as a focal point around which we can all rally. We have made a commitment to ensure every holiday you book with Steppes Travel supports at least three of these goals.

Explore UN Sustainable Development Goals

Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Conservation, Community, Carbon

Whilst our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is all encompassing, we believe sustainable travel can have the biggest impact through the promotion of conservation, community-led initiatives and carbon mitigation. We look to these three pillars of sustainability when choosing our partners on the ground and the charitable partnerships we support each year. Each booking that a client makes with us goes on to support one of our chosen charitable partners that is working with passion and commitment towards these goals.

Our Core Goals


We're now B Corp Certified

We’re delighted to share that Steppes Travel are now (Aug 2022) a Certified B Corporation and a member of the Travel by B Corp group!

But what does that mean? B Corp is a global community of businesses, recognised for their high standards of social and environmental impact. Other businesses certified include the likes of Patagonia, Innocent Drinks, Emma Bridgewater, Abel & Cole, Sipsmith and teapigs.

We believe that the wellbeing of the natural world is closely aligned with the wellbeing of the people who inhabit it. Making a difference and ensuring our holidays have a positive impact underpins our ethos and drives what we do at Steppes. You can see our profile on B Corp here.

Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Cloud Forest, Ecuador

Profit with a Purpose

Between September 2021 and September 2022, we have supported organisations and projects who focus on biodiversity, conservation and community outreach – Practical Action, Room to Read, World Land Trust and our own afforestation project in Brigg. Over £85,000 has been donated to these fantastic causes. In the next 12 months we are partnering with causes a little closer to home – The Long Table in Stroud, Seawilding in Scotland and our reforestation project in Brigg. In 2023, we aim to join 1% For The Planet, a global network of businesses addressing the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

rice terrace, vietnam

What This Means For You

We have one simple goal in mind: to create holidays that have a positive impact now, so we can continue to travel in the future.

We want to measure carbon emissions while also demonstrating the social, environmental and economic benefits of the holidays we create for you. By working with our partners on the ground, we will strive to create ‘net positive’ travel; holidays that are not only fulfilling, fun and transformational for you but are of tangible benefit to the places you visit, the people you meet and the wildlife you encounter.

Travelling with Us

Polar bear on the drift ice with snow, with evening yellow sun, Spitsbergen, Norway

Our Partnerships

We are signatories of the Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency and Glasgow Declaration (Nov 2021) recognising our role as an industry in the fight against climate change.

As travel partners of The Long Run, we are part of a community driving positive change for the health of the planet and the well-being of people through a commitment to the 4Cs — Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. Collectively, The Long Run members safeguard over 23 million acres of ecosystems, protect more than 400 endangered species, and improve the lives of 750,000 people.

Read our 2022 Positive Impact Travel Report

At Steppes Travel, we are committed to reporting publicly on the progress we have made and the actions we have taken in fulfilling our commitment to people, planet and profit. In 2022, we have been working to enhance the sustainability of our business and augment the positive impact of our holidays.

Positive Impact Travel Report – 2022

Three cyclists on dirt mountain track, Explora Patagonia National Park, Chile

Positive Impact Goals for 2023

  1. The financial support we give to carbon, conservation and community-based initiatives will be at least 1% of our total revenue.
  2. At least 20 of our most popular destinations will have a carbon emissions baseline figure that reflects all components of the holiday (flights, accommodation, transport, excursions etc.)
  3. We will measure the number of bookings where our clients have offset the difference between economy and higher-cabin seats on their flights and look for means of incentivising this action.
  4. 50% of the hotels/lodges we book in 2023 in our most popular destinations will be from our short-list of ‘positive impact properties.’
  5. 50% of the Holiday Ideas on our website will articulate how the holiday contributes to at least three UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Lion resting in the savannah in the morning, Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya

Steppes Traveller Magazine

At Steppes, we are taking strides to consider and minimise our impact on the environment, protecting our planet for generations to come. For this reason, we are delighted to say that the production of the 2023 issue of our Steppes Traveller magazine is carbon neutral.

Our printer has produced this magazine working alongside the World Land Trust, ensuring it is recyclable and the paper used in production has been carbon balanced. They have used vegetable-based inks and hold the ISO 14001 environmental accreditation.

Read our latest issue here

Thoughts. Opinions. Experiences

Ala Kul Trek, Arashan Gorge, Kyrgyzstan
A changing world requires changing behaviour
Jarrod Kyte
A year ago, in January 2023, the headline on the front cover of The Week was stark: ‘Crisis in the Alps.…
Feeding baby elephant, Reteti Orphanage, Kenya
The Steppes Travel Fund For Female Guides
Jarrod Kyte
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and as articulated by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, ‘a necessary foundation for a…
Keel-Billed Toucan, Costa Rica
Costa Rica: The gold standard for sustainability
Clare Higginson
Mañana es ahora. Tomorrow is now.  This is a sign I’ve just seen whilst travelling here in Costa Rica. Even Los…
Waves on the shore
It’s B Corp Month!
Justin Wateridge
This month, March, is B Corps Month. It’s the time of year when B Corps from every corner of the globe…
Two bonobos sat in grass, Democratic Republic of Congo
Footprint vs Handprint
Justin Wateridge
There is rightly much focus on the carbon footprint of our travels, in particular that of flying. Conversely, there is not…
Tea plantation, Nyungwe, Rwanda
Reflecting on the last year, with a look to the future
Jarrod Kyte
Between September 2021 and September 2022, we have supported organisations and projects who focus on female education and renewable energy -…
New saplings Brigg, Scunthorpe
Back to Brigg – Revisiting our tree planting project
Jarrod Kyte
At the end of 2018, some of the Steppes Travel team made the journey north to Brigg to kickstart our tree-planting…
Land iguana, Galapagos Islands
Paying a Fair Price for Nature – Galapagos Park Fees
Jarrod Kyte
The world’s natural assets are undervalued. One doesn’t have to look too hard to see evidence to support this statement: rainforests…
Morning River Cruise, Amazon Rainforest
We’re B Corp Certified
Steppes Travel
At Steppes we believe in the power of travel as a force for good. This is fuelled by our continuously unwavering…
White-tailed eagle or sea eagle, Scotland
Nature’s guardians on Scotland’s west coast
Jarrod Kyte
While endangered flapper skates will never be the poster boys of conservation, the beautiful marine environment they inhabit on the Argyll…

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?

More about Steppes