Climate action plan

Climate action

Mass coral bleaching. Severe tropical cyclones. Destructive wildfires. It’s clear that we are facing a climate crisis and increasing threats to biodiversity. GVI is in business for the future – mobilising a global movement for environmental and social good.

We want to reduce carbon emissions by transforming how people travel. We are accelerating our work to help communities protect nature, the original climate solution. And we are using our global movement’s power and influence to campaign for systemic change from governments and companies around the world. Climate action is required from everybody.

What we’re focused on

Supporting local partners and communities

GVI does long-term conservation and community development project work throughout the year. We support community-led efforts to protect the planet through volunteering, capacity building, and fundraising.

Investing in conservation

We work to protect and restore biodiversity, reverse habitat destruction, and prevent species extinction. This involves working with local partners to plant trees, restore mangrove forests, and corals to offset our carbon footprint.

Influencing and campaigning

We strive to use any power or influence we have, to meet climate change with systems change. We encourage our global network to campaign local governments and companies to implement policies that positively impact the planet.

Our goals

Our carbon management plan includes 5 pillars – measure, reduce, offset, report and influence. Every year we will set goals for each pillar and publish our results and progress made against the goals we set. Our goals for the year ahead are:

1. Measure:
Collect data to report on our annual carbon footprint.

2. Reduce:
Develop a carbon reduction plan for 2023 – 2025 for each base.

3. Offset:
Establish 3 carbon offset programs to plant trees, restore mangrove forests and plant coral.

4. Report:
Produce a 2024 annual report and communicate carbon consumption a each base/bub and what we are doing to reduce and offset carbon.

5. Influence:
Join key climate initiatives, train our staff and participants, and create social media campaigns to raise awareness about climate change issues.


Sustainable travel

Along with our own efforts, we encourage our participants to travel sustainably. We all have a part to play and here are some of the things participants do to make a difference in their carbon emissions:

  • Look for eco-labels on flights to book with the lowest carbon footprint (for example using Google Flights).
  • Fly economy and non-stop (as 25% of aircraft emissions come from take-off and landing). 
  • Stay longer in the country, seeing fewer places, and transiting by public or shared transport. 
  • Pack plastic-free alternatives to everyday items, carry reusable tote bags, water bottles and utensils to reduce waste whilst travelling.


A deep-dive into our goals
1. Measuring our carbon footprint

The climate impact of our programs is expressed in kilograms of CO2E per participant per week. Our emission calculations are based on including all stages of participating in our programs. This includes flights, airport transfers and program transport, accommodation, meals, and our central office team’s support.


Our calculated climate footprint does not include our teams working from home and commuting, nor does it include participant’s travel in their spare time and on weekends. The reason for excluding this is it varies greatly and is very difficult to measure and only forms a small component of our overall carbon footprint.

2. Reducing where we can

Compared to travel industry averages our trips are relatively low carbon (once you get there). This is due to our approach to simple and communal living, a mainly vegetable and grain-based diet, and staying in one place for the duration of the program.


We are always working to reduce our carbon footprint where we can, and each of GVI’s hubs has a carbon management plan to identify where we can reduce our footprint further.

3. Supporting conservation initiatives that can offset carbon emissions

We work todays conserving coral reefs, rainforests, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems which are known to sequester a lot of CO2. We support locally-led initiatives such as planting trees, restoring mangrove forests, planting corals.


We actively fundraise for reforestation and rewilding projects for local partners via our foundation, GVI Charitable Programs (GCP), to support these carbon offsetting projects with the required resources.

4. Reporting and planning

Our key metric that we report on is the kilograms of CO2E per participant per week by each location. We measure our carbon footprint for each of GVI’s hub and combine these with our central office calculations to get our total carbon footprint as a global organisation.


At the beginning of each year, we compile an annual impact report that includes the previous year’s carbon footprint and our key climate initiatives. The impact report also details our carbon management goals for the year ahead and the progress we have made against these goals.