It is Freme’s commitment to ensure we promote Geotourism through the principles and best practices of responsible and sustainable tourism by practicing and enforcing high sustainability standards and behaviour.
We aim to operate our excursions in a responsible and sustainable manner which will focus on minimizing the negative environmental, social and cultural impacts of our business including our employees’ health and wellbeing. We also endeavour to create awareness of sustainable tourism to our clients and partners to ensure we create long term enduring positive influences on sustainability.
Our Sustainability Policy and Management is based on the following:
– Environmental sustainability – to ensure that environmental resources like our forests and waterways will be protected and maintained for future generations.
– Socio-cultural sustainability – promoting and preserving local cultural beliefs, practices, traditions, cuisine, and heritage conservation in our tours and excursions to educate the tourists on the importance of social exchanges and respect as well as the sustainability of local cultures and traditions.
– Economic sustainability – supporting long-term economic growth in the community by investing in local business development as well as employment, training, and education of local human resources.
POLICIES AND PRACTICE
Efforts to ensure we stay true to our mission and objectives include but are not limited to:
• Seek to apply the principles of the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle consumable items in the offices like printing paper, kitchenware, and recycling of plastics and glasses and cans. Encourage staff to use reusable products and to reduce the use of disposable goods such as cups, paper straws, and plastic pens.
• Bulk and sustainable purchasing for office products, merchandise, and gifts that are environmentally friendly.
• To use cleaning materials and pesticides that are non-hazardous and biodegradable and to ensure that any harmful chemicals are properly stored.
• To implement measures to reduce the number of packaging materials and non-refillable plastic bottles for drinking. To make available refillable water bottles and drinking water dispensers in lieu of bottled water.
• To use energy-efficient and water reduction equipment and use natural lights instead whenever possible. Implementation of a switch-off policy for all office lighting and air conditioning and for office equipment.
• To minimize any fire and vehicle pollution in the Lodge and to maintain and monitor all our boats and Company vehicles to ensure that they are in good safe conditions as well as fuel-efficient.
• To ensure we reduce emissions and energy use and encourage our staff to use more sustainable modes of transport and reduce any transport impacts by sharing transport or working at home or via online meetings.
• Freme will ensure that our staff and visitors are made aware of our sustainability objectives and approach for their excursions and help our visitors understand the environmental issues to protect the biodiversity and wildlife in our jungles.
• To ensure our guests do not contaminate the river and local water supply and to observe all the national park visitor rules and ensure the guests minimize their waste and water usage and follow our waste management rules.
• Freme is committed to communicating the relevant sustainability issues arising from tourism and providing local information about the natural surroundings, local culture and heritage of the places to visit, and the environmental impact which are factually accurate.
• Staff to use only established and existing tracks and paths and to minimize noise at culturally sensitive sites and places. To avoid any excursions and activities that are harmful to the local people, animals and have a negative impact on the environment. In case of such violations, we will inform the supplier and will cease offering such activity to our clients.
• Our staff are to provide clear information and behavior standards to clients about how to respect the local culture and protect the natural environment and also on the animal welfare in the jungle.
• Will advise our visitors to dress respectfully and modestly according to local standards and advise what swimwear is acceptable and to leave only their footprints.
• We encourage our visitors to eat at local food stalls and shop at local markets selling local produce and souvenirs to promote local traditions and cuisine.
• To collaborate and support local restaurants that incorporate local art and entertainment to provide a deeper cultural experience in their dining.
• Encourage customers to donate to any local charities, cultural organizations or other sustainable initiatives.
• We promote awareness of and share Travelife’ s sustainability policy and standards with our key partners to motivate them to be compliant and to have stronger sustainability practices including, if necessary, written key sustainability clauses in our contracts.
• We aim to support our key partner suppliers/operators who support us in our sustainability goals and standards of practices.
• We design and operate our trips to benefit the local suppliers and service providers for the benefit of the local community and economy. We also consult the local community in decision-making and planning our excursions.
• We provide the necessary training to our staff to be aware of our commitment to sustainability practices and are required to complete the necessary Travelife courses. Training and informal office sessions will be conducted by our coordinator and supervisors /managers in charge and via a regular email newsletter.
• We employ mainly from the local community, staff within our operational teams who are nationally accredited and experienced.
• We provide staff with necessary training including first aid training and resources for personal development and provide them with medical and personal accident insurance above government requirements.
• We provide fair wages above the industry standard and ensure equal opportunities for our employees in safe and comfortable working conditions as well as accommodation for our staff.
• Providing continuing education for staff to ensure that they are up to date with their knowledge and to motivate them to deliver higher sustainability standards and experience in our Company’s activities.
• We will comply with the industry standards in advertising and marketing promotions and inform customers of any sustainable alternatives for their package holiday if available.
Sustainability Excursion Policy
Freme is committed to communicate the relevant sustainability issues and commitments and to provide local information about the natural surroundings, local culture, and heritage of the places to visit and the environmental impact which are factually accurate.
• To inform guests with information about the rules related to national parks and illegal souvenirs and respect for traditional culture and customs and preference of local services and goods and the protection and respect for children in the community.
• To make awareness by ensuring our guests minimize their waste and water usage and follow our waste management rules. We also keen to provide a guideline for visitors to make their contribution to supporting local conservation projects.
•To support the local economy by encouraging our visitors to purchase local traditional crafts and goods and services from local communities. To create and provide job opportunities to locals.
•Our staff will strive to create a positive impact through our activities on the natural environment, on our customers, staff, and communities, and inform customers of any sustainable alternatives for their package holiday if available.
•Our guides/tour leaders are to provide relevant and accurate information to our visitors about the destination and activities including safety and health issues as well as to inform travelers of our sustainability commitment standards and conduct required.
•To inform customers about any risks and precautions to take for their trip and staff are trained to handle any emergency situations and other safety matters. In case of any emergency response, we have available a 24/7 hours contact where our response team can handle all emergencies and any incidents speedily and efficiently.
•After each trip we would follow up with a client satisfaction survey which requests feedback and suggestions of product and service improvements including sustainability efforts. We will respond promptly to any complaints from clients or any concerns clients may have regarding any sustainability tourism issues.
Covid-19 Protocols – Tour Operator, Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation & Activities:
• Freme to ensure that all staff received proper training on Covid 19 response and our staff are required to take the online Travelife Covid 19 training course modules. This is to ensure compliance with the preventive measures and health protocols taken by the Company for the protection of our customers and employees and provide a better understanding of the fears, concerns, and risks of this pandemic.
• Before and after each trip, our guides and drivers’ temperature will be checked and recorded. Any staff with a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius will not be allowed entrance to the premises. The affected staff will be required to wear a surgical mask immediately and be assisted for medical attention if necessary or requested to be placed on home quarantine. If the affected staff are experiencing other Covid-19 symptoms, we will ensure the staff goes for testing, and to inform the local health authorities for further instructions and for any contact tracing.
• All guests and staff entering the premises are required to record and register their details using the Bru-Health App to monitor their health and the risk of exposure.
• Freme will provide proper face masks for our staff and visitors if required and limit staff and passenger contact by maintaining a distance of a minimum of 1-1.5 meters of social distancing.
• Our tour coaches will be cleaned and disinfected before and after each trip especially on touched surfaces and the interior of the vehicles such as the seats, armrests, door handles, seat belts buckles, doors and windows to be cleaned with detergent and soap water if necessary. Staff is required to wear proper rubber gloves and face mask for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicles.
• We check to ensure that the restaurants and food vendors we use are following strict basic health and hygienic protocols as required by local health authorities and that their premises are regularly disinfected and sanitized for food safety measures. Customers are required to wear masks before entering any restaurant and to wash their hands with clean water and hand sanitizer. Guests will not be allowed to serve themselves from a buffet but will be served by the restaurant staff wearing proper masks and gloves. The restaurant will be encouraged to implement social distancing between tables and chairs of the guests and to avoid any congestion at all times.
• In our sales and promotional advertising we will let our customers know the preventive steps we have taken to mitigate their risks and highlight the flexible refund and cancellation policy and any tour deferment compensation on our website to ease any doubt or fear they may have.
COMMITMENT AND PRESERVATION
Sustainability Management is an ongoing process that Freme is committed to preserving and enduring through the test of time. We will continue to monitor and evaluate our sustainability initiatives to ensure that they are still effective and to continuously implement any new policies or SOP as required. Freme will also unceasingly share and communicate our efforts and priorities with our partners to ensure that they are in line with our objectives and to support our initiatives for further development and improvement of our Sustainability Policy and performance.
- The Travelife Certified award is a recognition of our excellence towards social and environmental sustainability. We comply to more than 160 criteria related to sustainability management, office operations, working with suppliers and customer communication. Travelife as a certification body is formally Accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the highest global body for sustainability in tourism, supported by the United Nations.