Via Outdoors is an environmental social enterprise
As a planet, we have never faced a greater threat. Climate change threatens both us as a species and animals throughout the world. Additionally, the way we treat the planet has caused a mass extinction on a scale not seen for millions of years. Seemingly every aspect of the Earth is under threat: our climate, air, seas, rivers, soil, animals and our own health.
Via Outdoors was founded as a social enterprise to help address that.
There are three aspects of our impact:
Time spent outdoors encourages action while supporting well-being
Our trips themselves are sustainable and hopefully educational
We reinvest the majority of our profits
What more could we do? Please get in touch with any suggestions.
The benefits of nature
There is a growing body of research that shows that the more time we spend outdoors and enjoying our environment, the more we'll do to protect it. It's hardly a surpise, for example, that people like David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg love spending their time outside.
The National Trust and University of Derby's "Get Connected to Nature" report is a great example:
"‘noticing nature’ and ‘nature connectedness’ are strongly linked to people taking conservation action"
This doesn't mean that you need to go on big expeditions or study biology, but little things like going for walks, watching the sunrise and listening to bird song all help. They help us to appreciate the wonders of nature, realise how connected we all are with the planet, and inspire us to want to do our bit to protect it.
Plus, getting into nature is great for our mental and physical health, especially if you're with friends.
We believe that these effects are even more radical if you escape the cities and have your breath taken away by the beauty of our national parks. That's why Via Outdoors offers sustainable, cheap and easy outdoor adventures.
Sustainable, cheap and easy trips to Snowdonia
We do everything we can at Via Outdoors to make our trips sustainable and beneficial.
We use minibuses for our trips because they're the cleanest mode of transport that's suitable for long journeys per passenger mile. Our minibuses average 43g CO2e per passenger mile, less than cars (66g), planes (154g) and trains (73g), according to figures from the UK Government.
But that's not enough. We also offset all of those emissions using certified and independently accredited schemes. Offsetting is never a perfect science though, so we include an error factor of 100% to make sure that we at least cover our impact.
Beyond the transport, we make sure that we share educational nudges with our customers including through our guiding, social media and welcome packs that everyone gets on each of our trips. We also make sure that we partner with organisations that share our values, for example in our accommodation options.
Reinvesting our profits
We are proud that Via Outdoors is a social enterprise. Our purpose of inspiring people to cherish and protect the planet by connecting them with the outdoors is what drives us.
One of our commitments as a social enterprise is to be for more than just profit. Whilst we need some to grow our business and therefore to grow our impact, we reinvest at least half of all our profits into the environment.
Currently, this means donating this money to The Woodland Trust, which is a high impact, UK-based charity that exists to restore our natural environment. They create, restore and protect natural habitats that sequester greenhouse gases, home wildlife and nurture ecosystems.