Topas Explorer Group and CSR
Topas Explorer Group has developed around a spirit having the respect and care for people and places at the front of our minds and is a member of the UN Global Compact community.
For further information on our values please read our CSR Policy and Code of Conduct.
CSR Policy of Topas Explorer Group ApS
For decades we have been talking about a special “Topas spirit”. It is intangible but we recognize it, our guests and collaborators recognize it. It can be difficult to pin down precisely what a spirit is, but the Topas spirit has to do with respect and engagement towards each other and the environment that we share, whomever it is and wherever it is.
The company’s mission is to provide active and authentic nature travels that respect local cultures, wildlife and the environment and so it has been since the very beginning back in 1973. It has always been natural for us as a company when creating and developing new trips to acknowledge our imprint – both locally and globally – and to do our best to limit the negative impact and increase the positive impact where we can. The company is built on these core values. They are part of the company’s DNA.
So, whether we are talking about spirit or DNA, sustainability and social responsibility are corner stones of Topas’ way of working.
Another important core value is our desire to enthuse and to be enthused. We wish to excite customers as well as business partners and we wish to do it in a way that allows us, the employees, to be just as excited and thrilled about what we do. To achieve real enthusiasm among employees, we believe that it is necessary to create meaningful and valuable jobs and to let a work environment flourish with engagement and respect.
When we share our enthusiasm for nature travels with guests and business partners, we can move towards shared goals. We strongly believe that our joint forces matter.
As a natural step forward in our aim to continuously work for a good, healthy and sustainable environment for employees, guests, partners and our natural surroundings around the globe, we have complied with the international standards stated by the UN Global Compact programme.
This means that we have adopted the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and integrated them into our daily work and strategies. They help us raise our level of awareness of sustainable efforts and guide us to the areas where we can invest our energy and resources with the greatest benefit for all.
We comply with UN Global Compact and report our CoP yearly according to their demands while we simultaneously deliver our yearly Financial Statements including the CSR deliverables stated in the local laws. On a yearly basis we evaluate the targets we set ourselves to achieve and adjust our plans as needed to continue our journey onward. Quarterly all individual companies revise their plans if needed.
The monitoring and measurement of each target and activity are carried out at least on a monthly basis – depending on how often it is relevant. All numbers measured are collected in one joint system – measuring the progress of both Topas Explorer Group and the individual companies. From this system all data analysis and reporting are done.
It is our ambition that at least one employee has the ownership of each needed activity.
- Topas Explorer Group support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
- Topas Explorer Group make sure that we are not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Topas Explorer Group uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
- Topas Explorer Group support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
- Topas Explorer Group support the effective abolition of child labour.
- Topas Explorer Group support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Topas Explorer Group support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
- Topas Explorer Group undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Topas Explorer Group encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Topas Explorer Group work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Our Code of Conduct expresses the ethical requirements we have towards employees, suppliers and business partners throughout the business. We are in the process of incorporating our Code of Conduct in all business areas and contracts so that ultimately all employees, suppliers and business partners are familiar with its content and have signed it. Furthermore, our Code of Conduct will be publicly available on our websites for easy access for anyone interested.
Openness, respect and tolerance together with diversity are part of our core values, which is why we ensure a healthy and safe work environment, where acts of discrimination, bullying and harassment are not tolerated.
We put a lot of effort into equal rights and we will continue to strive for our recruitment process to be based on required competences regardless of e.g. gender, culture, ethnicity, religious background, sexuality. These subjects are not exhaustive.
At Topas Explorer Group we recognize the importance of providing meaningful jobs to people and as such provide a reasonable income for all employees to secure their livelihoods. This being our objective, we have identified some areas which are of the utmost importance to us:
- Local job creation
- Local education initiatives
- Low employee churn and high job satisfaction
It is important for Topas Explorer Group to be a local contributor in the communities in which we operate. We wish to live up to this engagement by offering educational programmes (e.g. international language courses) and job training programmes in different areas of work to the local communities and by hiring local employees. We support all our employees to succeed in their job and possibly enjoy new competences.
We see low employee churn and high job satisfaction as two sides of the same coin. We want a healthy and attractive workplace, where the physical and psychological well-being and safety of our employees and colleagues are in focus. We are continuously working to maintain a good work environment, where
employees can expect to be treated properly and respectfully by both management and colleagues.
Since 1973, Topas Explorer Group has operated all over the world in the most distant, impassable and extraordinary areas. At Topas Explorer Group, we have always been conscious about preserving nature and landscapes that we have visited and revisited through many years. Both guests and employees have as a
matter of course worked to ensure that also the next visitors would have the same beautiful experience as did the previous group. This attitude is still a fundamental pillar of our daily work.
Having said that, we are also aware of our industry’s impact on the environment. We are all eyes and ears for new accessible ways of how we as part of the travel and tourist industry can ensure that our business supports preservation and sustainable local development around the world. We see possibilities for our work to have a positive impact on people’s life and wildlife protection and we make decisions to gain this influence.
We work in an open organization based on loyalty, knowledge sharing and innovation. Both guests, employees and partners continuously provide us with new creative, smart and efficient ideas as of how to work onwards. Efforts have been made to preserve the environment and more are coming. Investments in
various ecological projects have already been made and more are coming. We aim to be able to always come back and enjoy the beauty of a landscape, wildlife or other natural wonders.
We have a special focus on the following three areas:
- Reduce the use of single plastic
- Pure water supply
- Reduce the use of fossil fuels
Customers and employees have been drinking water from plastic bottles in our hotels and restaurants. We are in the process of replacing all plastic water bottles with reusable bottles and will continue to do so. In our restaurant kitchens we are also making efforts to reduce the use of single use plastic to an absolute minimum.
In several of our destinations pure water is a scarce resource. We will lower the amount of pure water transported to our hotel guests and employees by collecting and using rainwater and by cleaning water from sewage, dishwater etc.
We have already turned to renewable sources of energy in some areas of our companies working mainly with transportation of guests and goods. The initiatives already implemented will serve as examples to be copied in other areas of our business. We will continue to convert the use of fossil fuels into renewable sources of energy where we can and at the same time make an effort to reduce the total amount of energy used.
Topas Explorer Group is considered a major operator in several of the areas where we are present, and it is crucial to protect our employees, our values, beliefs and business ethics. The primary action for Topas Explorer Group is to work closely with all local authorities and require that all vendors and business associates comply with our Code of Conduct.
We comply with all procedures, rules and regulations from international, national and local authorities, and all taxes are paid according to local legislation. We maintain our own internal controls to assure this and all records are available for inspection.
The roll-out of our Code of Conduct will be supported by anti-corruption training of selected employees who are most likely to interact with corrupt people or organizations.
Compliance with our CSR policy
It is the responsibility of everyone to comply with our CSR policy in their daily work – both leaders of Topas Explorer Group, leaders of the individual companies as well as every single employee. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that our CSR policy is implemented, but the success of our CSR policy will only grow with the engagement of each employee and partner. Our CSR policy is therefore implemented daily on a decentralized basis in the individual functions.
The CSR manager of Topas Explorer Group as well as the CSR managers of each company can be contacted at any time regarding grievances or complaints from both employees, customers or any other observers of unsatisfying issues in regard to the implementation and compliance of our CSR policy. We keep an official record of all inquiries.
Code of Conduct
Our commitment to CSR is based on the conviction that responsible business makes economic sense. We integrate CSR consideration into our business and operations and with responsibility and sustainability we base our work on a model aiming to understand the company’s impact on society in combination
with the focus of our stakeholders. With this in mind, we have formulated a CSR strategy that deals with environmental and social key concepts, including climate issues and human rights. We introduce this supplier Code of Conduct as part of our programme to address sustainability issues across our business.
At the same time, we want to make sure that our counterparts have the time to familiarize themselves with the values, which have been a driving force behind the development of TEG’s business for more than 45 years.
TEG wants to act as a responsible business within the sectors in which we operate. We will achieve this through a continuous focus on areas where the company can identify significant impact on customers, stakeholders, suppliers and the surrounding society. This will include, but not necessarily be limited
to, influence on environment and climate, social issues including labour rights, human rights and anticorruption and bribery.
Supplier Code of Conduct – CoC
This CoC will be presented to all our counterparts, suppliers and employees, and we expect them all to comply with the code as well as any relevant and applicable national law within the jurisdiction in which they operate. It is the responsibility of our suppliers to ensure that the CoC is enforced throughout
whatever part of the value chain they control.
More specifically we ask suppliers to pay attention to the following:
The supplier shall continuously strive to minimise negative impact of its activities on the environment. This includes a proactive and responsible management of environmental aspects such as (but not limited to) natural resources, waste management, energy consumption, water use, noise, dust and odour
The supplier shall continuously comply with local laws including environmental laws and shall formulate and enforce an environmental policy relevant to the type and size of its operation.
Health and Safety
The supplier shall ensure that the workplace is safe, hygienic and healthy. The supplier shall ensure that all means of transportation (airplane, ships, busses, cars etc.) are safe, working properly and according to all local laws and regulations. This includes ensuring the workers’ and guests’ access to fire fighting
equipment and safety equipment.
The supplier is responsible for proper training of all its employees and the application of preventive measures, e.g. systems to detect, avoid and respond to potential risks to the health and safety of all employees and guests. The supplier and any counterpart are responsible for all necessary safety demonstration and information in order to ensure the safety of employees and guests.
Labour and human rights
Forced labour is never to be used by the supplier. This includes prison labour, trafficking, slavery or any kind of work that goes against the will of the worker.
Child labour is never to be used by the supplier. When employing young people, the supplier must pay attention to the guidelines formulated by the International Labour Organization.
The supplier shall treat all employees with respect and not discriminate against anyone based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, health status, age, nationality, gender, political views or religion.
The supplier shall follow local laws and regulations in regard to wages, pensions, piece rates and other elements of compensation. Furthermore, the supplier shall provide employment contracts to all employees.
The supplier shall respect lawful collective agreements. Furthermore, the supplier shall respect the employees’ right to organise themselves and negotiate collective wage agreements.
Monetary fines or deduction in compensation, as a means of disciplinary measure, can only be carried out if legal and agreed by collective bargaining agreements.
Business integrity and anti-corruption
The supplier and all TEG employees shall comply with all applicable laws relating to corruption, intellectual property rights and bribery and thereby ensure a high level of integrity.
Suppliers must ensure, through relevant training, that they do not offer, promise, give or accept bribes or gifts.
Suppliers must commit to take actions to combat and prevent all forms of corruption at the earliest possible opportunity.
The easy, simple version:
- Treat all guests, employees and partners with the utmost care, respect and on fair terms according to local laws.
- Do not litter and throw garbage all around.
- Treat nature and wildlife with proper respect.
- Make sure that all guests, employees and partners are safe and trained in the necessary safety equipment and procedures.