UK tour operator, Thomson has changed power suppliers to use some green energy in its branches. Sixty percent of electricity consumed by Thomson and its airline Thomsonfly will be supplied from electricity generated by wind farms and other renewable sources such as hydro and solar power.
Thomson’s Managing Director Peter Rothwell, basking in the glow of his new eco light, stated, “Changes like this can make a huge difference on the impact we have on the environment”.
It may be a case of ensuring that your own house is in order before going elsewhere, but Thomson’s announcement forces us to open the debate on how responsible such companies are in their business practices further afield. Although Thomson has a sustainable tourism policy, it does not shout about it from its well-insulated rooftops.
Thomson does, in fact, offer ethical guidelines to its customers about how to be a more responsible holiday maker, but these are tucked away on the “corporate” side of the website, which you only access by looking at the toolbar at the bottom of the website. That’s where the terms and conditions are too, and I don’t know many people who read those either.
Perhaps Thomson believes that its customers are still not really interested in the impacts of its cruising, skiing or diving holidays? Not to mention the economic benefits to the local residents of, for example, the Dominican Republic which hosts one of Thomson’s its all-inclusive resorts. Perhaps Thomson does support the destinations it visits in ways which are unknown to its customers, but why is it not telling us about it? Changing light bulbs is simply going to shed light on the bigger picture.
So you can shout about your energy sourcing, but what about the rest? Answers on a postcard, please….