Scotland's Wilderness

Environmental Charity Offering (Eco) Scheme

We are committed to sustainable tourism and to preserving Scotland's natural wildlife, environment and unique cultures for future generations to enjoy. We have pioneered an Eco Scheme where you can make an optional £2 donation when booking any tour. We will match every £1 you donate, with proceeds going to a leading Scottish environmental charity, Trees for Life. 

Trees for Life

Trees for Life are an award-wining charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland. The charity has funded the protection of a number of existing forest remnants and have so far planted over half a million trees. Read more about the Trees for Life and their work.

Alan Watson, Executive Director and Founder of Trees for Life said: “We are delighted that Highland Explorer Tours has chosen Trees for Life as a beneficiary of their new Environmental Charity Offering Scheme. The scheme makes helping the environment easy for their customers, and by matching the donations, Highland Explorer Tours are showing their commitment to Trees for Life’s work. We have pledged to plant 100,000 trees this year as part of the United Nations Environment Programmes ‘Billion Tree’ campaign, and continued support from Highland Explorer tours will help us to make it a reality.”

Green Tourism Business Scheme

Highland Explorer Tours are delighted to have achieved gold status in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. This scheme recognises our company's ongoing commitment towards sustainability. Find out more about Green Tourism Business


 TreadRight Logo

TreadRight is a not-for-profit organization established by The Travel Corporation and its family of brands. To date, TreadRight has helped support more than 50 sustainability projects around the world.  Current initiatives include sponsoring the National Geographic Society’s inaugural “World Legacy Awards,” WildAid and inspiring wildlife advocates like Terri Irwin.

Highland Explorer tours, in partnership with the TreadRight Foundation, encourages the sustainable development of tourism by supporting projects that benefit the environment, heritage, and community.

Born from The Travel Corporation (TTC) Chief Executive Brett Tollman’s vision to make travel matter, The TreadRight Foundation has spent the last decade working to help support more than 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The TreadRight Foundation is at the heart of TTC's commitment to making tourism a force for positive change around the world and this is just the beginning. #MakeTravelMatter 

To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit TreadRight website.

The Stories of our projects and partners

A leading environmentalist, adventurer and explorer, Céline Cousteau truly embodies the TreadRight philosophy. As a documentary filmmaker and gifted storyteller, Céline has travelled the world working to help amplify the voices of the amazing individuals who are working to protect ecosystems, wildlife, and people. In 2015, TreadRight welcomed Céline as our official ambassador, helping us tell the stories of our projects and partners.

Do Your Bit... 

There are many things we can all do in our day-to-day lives to minimize our environmental impact - both at home and while travelling. TreadRight has compiled a list of ideas and suggestions for all travellers. Take a moment to learn about some simple actions you can take to reduce your impact and do your bit.




Local Festival Donation

Scotland prides itself on amazing Festivals which celebrate the national Spirit and History. Each year thousands of visitors take part in various Festivals which leave them with great memories. Some of these events like the Up Helly Aa Viking Fire Festival in Shetland are locally run and rely on the donations of local businesses.

Highland Explorer Tours are committed to sustainable tourism and preserving the unique spirit of Scotland. Over the last ten years of our visits to Shetland with the Up Helly Aa tour we have been contributing to the local economy. We are also delighted to announce that we have recently become donors for this Festival to ensure its continuity. We hope that Up Helly Aa will continue to flourish and amaze people from around the world.

To find out more, please visit Up Helly Aa Donors 

Breathe Easy

Coach travel has been proven to reduce congestion and cause less pollution per passenger kilometre than any other transportation option.* Our coach fleet is among the most efficient in Europe and complies with EU emissions standards V & VI. The Travel Corporation participates in Smart Move, an initiative promoting the greater use of coaches' worldwide and possible reductions of CO2 emissions by at least 50 million tonnes per year as a result.

GHG Conversion Factors in Kilometres

  • Car** 0.2028 kgs CO 2 / passenger km
  • Air 0.0819 kgs CO 2 / passenger km
  • Rail 0.0577 kgs CO 2 / passenger km
  • Coach*** 0.0300 kgs CO 2 / passenger km

* DEFRA (Dept for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) GHG Conversion Factors 2009

 ** Car assumes national UK average of 1.5 people per car

*** Assumes average of 36 passenge

Off Set Your Carbon Footprint

As part of our continuing sustainability journey, we feel it’s increasingly important to provide our guests and our team with the necessary tools and information to allow them to make responsible travel choices whenever possible. With this in mind, we are now happy to provide you with opportunities to carbon offset your travel experience.

If you’re looking to offset your carbon footprint for an upcoming or previous travel experience, our not-for-profit TreadRight Foundation has identified four leading carbon offset programs - Conservation International Carbon Fund, myclimate, The Nature Conservancy, and Rainforest Concern – Forest Credits - that provide travellers with a number of ways in which to offset your travel experiences and a variety of carbon offset projects to choose from.

Responsible Visitor Charter


Download a copy of our Responsible Visitor Charter.