our mission is to empower a thriving planet through meaningful experiences.


Earth has reached a critical state. We are on the brink of losing the final remains of our natural habitat. Rich culture, ancient wisdom and vital wilderness are rapidly becoming extinct. Is our progression towards de-humanisation of business, food, communication and learning disconnecting us from the internal animalé?

It is our mission to enhance the human experience, through meaningful connection to culture, wisdom and wilderness. Provoking a shift in the way we relate to existence. Impact adventures are a place you go, that never leaves you.

We tackle social and environmental challenges through exclusive experiences, masterminded with brilliant partners in the worlds most pristine locations. Access an unforgettable combination of nature-based action, brain-melting workshops and an atmosphere for powerful, human driven change.

171204-VOPOxPH-072.jpg

locally sourced

While each expedition varies in cost, we endeavor to make each as accessible and equitable as possible. We understand that the people within the communities we work with may not be able to financially access of our expeditions. It is imperative that we integrate the local community through the entire process of our expeditions to create meaningful, impactful and actionable change. For this, we open fully sponsored scholarship positions to locals and work deeply with the local community in our impact adventures.

We aim for our local scholars, after extensive post-expedition training, to become Expedition Leaders and drivers of positive change in their own countries.

 
 

The organisation, VOPO, believes that the power of unique experiences, and of human connection to oneself, each other and nature can change the world. Our passion and dedication to environmental and social issues have committed us to conducting business beyond sustainability. We endeavour to create long-term impact in the communities we work with, empower individuals and support a thriving ecology. VOPO will consider these factors in both our direct actions and those of our suppliers, affiliates, and partners.

We begin by first acknowledging the potentially detrimental consequences of our expeditions. We fly planes to arrive at our destinations, we stay in accommodation that requires electricity (where ever possible we choose those sustainably built and powered). We create waste and we expose wild natural places to humans.

Understating that VOPO Impact Adventures have unintended consequences, is the first step to continuously and actively mitigate the adverse effects; by: seeking alternatives, offsetting the negative consequences, avoiding the worst choices, continually assessing and addressing our impact, and innovating solutions to mitigate our pressures on the world.

VOPO statement reads:
“In the restoration of wild landscapes, we find nature. Through the empowerment of others, we find ourselves”.

For this, the VOPO tribe asks that employees, suppliers, affiliates, and partners use this Sustainability Policy as a guiding principle when conducting business.

Our Responsibility

VOPO’s activities and services will be ethically conducted by treating employees, the natural environment, and diverse cultures with respect. We will minimise negative social consequences by promoting equality, fairness, and diversity. Our adverse environmental effects and greenhouse gas emissions will be minimised by seeking alternatives (using deep sustainability research and understanding), using recycled and recyclable materials where possible, offsetting our impacts, and reducing waste, water, and energy consumption as a whole.

Transparency vow

VOPO commits to conduct its business responsibly and sustainably with transparency and openness. We expect our suppliers and partners to conduct their business in the same way and require them to provide relevant information as a condition of doing business. Our efforts on sustainability where possible will be auditable, certifiable and verified. VOPO is committed to making decisions based on deep understanding, knowledge, respect and best information available to us.


Supporting the Long-term Sustainable Development of Remote Communities

Through extensive dialogue, collaboration and knowledge sharing, VOPO will create strategic solutions to environmental issues identified by the local community or working group. The Brainmelt method will be used to support and guide our customers in the creation of the sustainability solution. It is imperative that the solutions are created together with the local communities and working groups, not externally. The solutions need to take into consideration the socio-cultural, environmental, psychological, spiritual, and economic circumstances of the local region.

Through extensive dialogue, collaboration and knowledge sharing, VOPO will create strategic solutions to environmental issues identified by the local community or working group. The Brainmelt method will be used to support and guide our customers in the creation of the sustainability solution. It is imperative that the solutions are created together with the local communities and working groups, not externally. The solutions need to take into consideration the socio-cultural, environmental, psychological, spiritual, and economic circumstances of the local region.

 
 

We are committed to reducing our adverse effect on the environment. Therefore, VOPO has created Trading Carbon. An expedition specific competition that neutralises the emissions from air, land & sea travel by supporting projects that have a positive social and environmental impact.

What is Offsetting?

Even though current forms of transport can be incredibly convenient and it allows us to visit some of the world's most remote and beautiful places, it is also responsible for releasing greenhouse gases. Proven to have negative effects on the health of humans and the natural environment.

Because of this, we have calculated the fuel emissions for each route and vessel taken during the expedition in an attempt to equalise our impact. The projects we support help empower and create positive environmental and social change in the world.

All of the carbon offsetting projects are verified. Meaning, they meet strict international standards that certify the validity of the projects. These initiatives ultimately help mitigate the negative effects from travel.


offset projects

We support these offset projects through out our Impact Adventures.

 

 
iqx-azmi-263873.jpg

1. electric garbage

Generating sustainable energy from wastewater in Thailand

The Kornburi Wastewater Treatment Project is located at a tapioca starch processing plant in the Kornburi District of Northern Thailand. 

Biogas from wastewater is captured and burned to generate electricity and heat that powers the factory, preventing approximately 39,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

 

jay-dantinne-359693.jpg

2. capture the wind

Producing clean energy from wind for rural regions in Taiwan

Even though the country has such a long and windy coastline, Taiwan is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.Over 75% of the country's total installed electricity capacity runs on fossil fuels. 

The Changbin and Taichung Wind Farm project harnesses Taiwan's abundant wind energy along the its coastline. It generates over 300,000 MWh of clean electricity from 65 wind turbines for more than 86,300 households annually.

jakob-owens-286975.jpg

3. river energy

Creating dam-free hydro power in Indonesia

This micro hydro power plant makes use of the natural flow of water to generate sustainable power for the island of Sulawesi, without the need for a retaining dam. 

The project utilises the natural fall of water between the upper Moaat lake and the lower Iloloy lake to generate low impact sustainable energy. The hydro plant has an installed capacity of 3 MW only, making it heavily dependent on additional funding from carbon revenues.


 

The calculations

This is an example from our Negros Island Expedition.

Step 1

Mapping the routes: Once we knew our participant’s points of origin, we estimate the total travel distance for each type of transport and vessels. 

  1. Point of Origin - Manila (air)
  2. Manila - Bacalod (air)
  3. Bacalod - Bulata (land)
  4. Bulata - Danjugan Island (sea)
  5. Danjugan Island - Bulata (sea)
  6. Bulata - Dumaguete (land)
  7. Dumaguete - Manila (air)
  8. Manila to Point - Origin (air)

Step 2

Selecting the vessel types: Vessel types used on each route were selected. 

  • International flights: A320, A332 & A343 (average)
  • Domestic flights: A320, 32A, 738, 739, 772 (average)
  • Land transfer: Class I, Class II, Class III (average)
  • Sea transfer: Outrigger boat single cylinder diesel motor (local paraw)

Step 3

Calculating emissions: Once the total distance travelled is calculated and the type of vessel used selected, we then can calculate the emissions. We used different methodologies, depending on the type of travel.

Air travel

Methodology for estimation: United Nations specialized agency International Civil Aviation Organization Carbon Emissions Calculator (ICAO)

Overview: The ICAO has a methodology developed for estimating the amount of carbon emissions equivalent (CO2 e-) generated per passenger per flight, for use in carbon offsetting programmes.

The Process: The CO2 emission are calculated from the fuel burned by the aircraft serving a given route. The scheduled aircraft is identified from the scheduled flights database, then mapped into one of the 312 equivalent aircraft types existing in the aircraft fuel consumption database from the ICAO.

Using the trip distance, equivalent aircraft fuel consumption, passenger to seat load factor and passenger to freight load factor for the route group, and the number of Y-seats, the methodology calculates the CO2 associated to each passenger, as follows:

emissions per pax = 3.16 * (total fuel * pax-to-freight factor)/(number of y-seats * pax load factor)

Land travel

Methodology for estimation: European Commission Framework for CO2 emissions in light commercial vehicles (EC).

Overview: In an effort to confirm the feasibility of the 2020 target of 147 gco2/km to be the light commercial vehicle emissions standard, the EC carried out a series of assessments to understand the feasibility of such.

The Process: In the study mentioned above, the researchers measured the average CO2 emissions and vehicle footprint per vehicle segment for 2010 (and 2007) in grams of CO2 equivalent per kilometer travelled. At this point it is hard to know which type of van exactly we will use to mobilise the crew, therefore, we used the total average. The study uses 17 different kind of light vans from 17 different car manufacturers.

Every year the average the average carbon dioxide emissions intensity from new passenger and light commercial vehicles drops down. Meaning, on average vehicles are more fuel efficient as years go by. However, for the purpose of this assessment we used data from older vehicles given the remoteness of our expeditions and the potential availability of cars.

emissions per pax = (total distance travelled * average CO2 and vehicle footprint segment)/pax load factor

Sea travel

Methodology for estimation: This had to be a more rudimentary calculation. We used the average emissions from a single cylinder engine using diesel fuel. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency methodology for calculating emissions from ships was used as support

Overview: Our local contacts told us that local paraw (outrigger) boats will be used as transport. These boats run on diesel as fuel for a single cylinder engine.

The Process: We got the Emissions Factor of diesel fuel from the National Greenhouse Accounts Factors (2016). Then we calculated the total distance, the amount of fuel required to make the trip and we used the Emissions Factor of diesel to estimated the emissions. Calculations where based on the CO2 equivalent emitted per litter of diesel consumed.

emissions per pax= {[total distance * fuel intensity (l/km)]*Emissions Factor diesel (gCO2 e-/liter)}/pax load factor

 

Still keen to learn more?

 
 

The organisation, VOPO, believes that the power of unique experiences, and of human connection to oneself, each other and nature can change the world. Our passion and dedication to environmental and social issues have committed us to conducting business beyond sustainability. We endeavour to create long-term impact in the communities we work with, empower individuals and support a thriving ecology. VOPO will consider these factors in both our direct actions and those of our suppliers, affiliates, and partners.


Environmental CODE OF CONDUCT

Supporting the Long-term Sustainable Development of Rural Communities

Through extensive dialogue, collaboration and knowledge sharing, VOPO will create strategic solutions to environmental issues identified by the local community or working group. The Brainmelt method will be used to support and guide our customers in the creation of the sustainability solution. It is imperative that the solutions are created together with the local communities and working groups, not externally. The solutions need to take into consideration the socio-cultural, environmental, psychological, spiritual, and economic circumstances of the local region.

Carbon Footprint

VOPO analyses the carbon emissions from the travel of our expeditions. We are committed to reducing our adverse effect, offsetting our emissions and exploring alternative options.

Green Procurement Policy

VOPO is committed to the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible materials, products and services. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that approved VOPO suppliers are selected. It is an expectation that suppliers continually demonstrate that materials and production are conducted in a sustainable manner. 

Waste Management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost

VOPO will concentrate its efforts to reduce the amount of waste from its operations. When reducing the waste is not an option, we will alternatively recycle, compost or seek alternative products that are scientifically-proven to cause less harm to the environment and the health of living beings. 

Animal Welfare Policy

VOPO believes in the fair and humane treatment of animals, and that they should have their basic needs met. We will ensure that our direct action and suppliers meet ethical guidelines for the treatment of all species.

Empowering our Customers by Providing Choice for Mitigation

For the major adverse environmental effects of our expeditions, we provide offset choices for our customers to select. This way, we can educate and empower our customers by making them part of the resolution. 

Use our Company as a Force to Advocate for Change

The goal of VOPO’s Journal is to encourage dialogue, ideas and the exchange of knowledge in sustainability. With the ultimate purpose to inspire actionable change, and help spread the word about both sustainability issues and the innovative concepts solving them.

Efficiency in Travel

We will choose sustainable travel practices in the operations of our expeditions, by:

  • Using the most fuel-efficient, low-emission, and economical transportation when available.
  • Sharing vehicles and combining multiple tasks in one trip
  • Choosing accommodations that are sustainably certified or are clearly having a positive impact on the environment, the community or both where possible.
  • Creating storytelling content, and web-based videoconferencing to communicate the trip and share the knowledge to a wider scope in engaging a larger audience beyond those who participate physically.

Perpetual iteration of Expeditions

VOPO Expeditions will be flexible adventures, meaning that they will be able to change and adapt based on new gathered information and data. Expert advice will be used critically as feedback for our expeditions, for continued refinement with the intention of reducing negative consequences where possible.

 

Social CODE OF CONDUCT

VOPO’s services, activities and products will be designed considering the potential negative social effects. We will minimise the effects of by promoting equality, fairness, respect and diversity in our business operations.

Human Rights policy

VOPO supports and respects the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention Against Corruption.

We acknowledge the rights of our employees, affiliates, partners and suppliers through equality and non-discrimination.

VOPO supports the abolition of child labour and requires its affiliates, partners and suppliers that work with us to comply with this.

Local Collaborations

VOPO will work together in collaboration, when possible in partnership, with local stakeholders in order to create the strategic solutions to pressing issues. It is imperative that the solutions and the process taken to create them took extensive consideration with the local communities and working groups. The solutions need to take into account the socio-cultural, environmental, psychological, spiritual and economic circumstances of the local region. 

Continuous Improvement

VOPO will take necessary corrective actions to promptly remediate any noncompliance and strive for continuous improvement. We reserve the right to terminate business relationships with any supplier and/or contractor who is unwilling or unable to comply with the Code.