Brighter Futures: Flight Centre & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
At Flight Centre, we’re all about ‘opening up the world for those who want to see’ – helping our customers really get under the skin of a destination. We closely examine the impacts of our customers’ travels, are committed to supporting the communities we sell, and do all we can to consider people, wildlife, charities and the environment across all of our itineraries. Simply put, we make it easy for people to do something good for the planet (while having a great time of course!). What’s not to love?
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
Corporate social responsibility calls for all companies to operate ethically. It’s something we believe should be adopted by every business, not to mention something that will shape the future of travel, and our beautiful planet. Our dedicated CSR scheme, ‘Brighter Futures’, is designed to help customers experience the world in a fun yet responsible way, and we believe that even the smallest changes will make a huge difference.
As we all know, parts of Australia have been facing a devastating bushfire crisis over the past few months. While our customers have thankfully remained safe, a huge toll has been taken on human and animal life, property and habitat. The impact of these fires on our Flight Centre colleagues in Australia, their family members, friends and communities will be felt for a long time to come. It’s a situation that hits close to home for all of us within the worldwide Flight Centre Travel Group and, in light of this, internally we've been running a Flight Centre UK Bushfire Appeal. Our kind, generous staff have been making donations to a fund that will go directly to Foodbank Australia – this is the only food relief organisation in Australia to play a role in times of emergency and natural disasters – and WIRES, a New South Wales wildlife organisation that is actively rescuing and caring for wildlife injured through the fires. We believe we can make a great impact through these two charities and the power of our collective donations – which will be match-funded by Flight Centre – and cannot thank our staff enough for their support at this time.
Charities We Work With
As part of our commitment to our planet and its people, our global Flight Centre Foundation pulls together all of our charitable initiatives, including the following:
Charity of the Year: Age UK
Flight Centre UK’s Charity of the Year is chosen by our discerning employees. This year we have joined forces with Age UK and have pledged to raise more than ever before with a whole heap of activities! Think charity lunches, innumerable bake sales (Mary Berry: eat your heart out!), and some truly epic challenges – from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to running the London Marathon. Best of all, we’re proud to say that every pound raised is match-funded by the Flight Centre Travel Group.
Other charities we have supported over the years include Mind, Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes, Make-A-Wish, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Qhobosheane Primary School
We are dedicated to giving back to the communities we work with, whilst also harnessing the boundless goodwill of our staff. The Qhobosheane Primary School in Soweto, South Africa, is the ultimate example of this.
In a bid to break the cycle of poverty we have entered into a five-year partnership with the school to raise money and help educate disadvantaged children. But it’s not just about the cash. We’ve also asked our passionate Flight Centre employees to volunteer their talent and time for the cause, and they’ve done more than we could ever have dreamed of! In fact, our lovely people are regularly on site at the school, helping to build a library, fit windows, install kitchens and so much more.
We know our employees love to support innumerable good causes – which is where Payroll Giving comes in. The scheme allows staff to donate to a UK-registered charity of their choice from their monthly wages. There’s no cause too big or too small; we help our employees support all types of charity and, crucially, all payments are taken pre-tax, meaning those charities get even more cash.
Environmental Sustainability & Travelling Responsibly
To reduce the impact we have on the planet, we have implemented various environmentally-friendly initiatives, including:
Green energy & recycling
In our UK head office and across our stores we use energy from renewable sources to help prevent climate change. We’re also committed to recycling and disposing of waste effectively and – with the introduction of recycling bins throughout our offices and extensive monitoring, reporting and educating – we’ve achieved our goal of being a zero waste to landfill business. In fact, 90% of our waste is now recycled, while the rest is used to generate electricity.
As much as we love travel, we also know it can have a negative impact on the environment. To combat this, we offset all the greenhouse gas emissions from our travel events, conferences, focus days and our annual Summer Ball.
‘But what does that mean?’ we hear you cry! Well, when you carbon offset, you’re essentially funding sustainable environmental projects around the world, such as a rainforest restoration programme in Uganda or providing renewable power to schools in India. Supporting a wind farm in China, for example, will generate clean, renewable energy in a grid that was previously dominated by fossil fuels.
In 2018, our total carbon footprint of 576.3tCO2e was successfully offset at a cost of £2,875.
We couldn’t possibly do as much to help charities, communities and the environment without the unwavering support we receive from our customers and, of course, our staff. As a company with over 18,000 employees worldwide, giving back is embedded in our DNA. Our wonderful people are instrumental in everything we do – from raising money for our chosen charities to simply recycling properly in the office. This is why our people are so important to us, and why we are committed to having a diverse workforce, where equal privileges and rights are key.
To find out more about how you can do your bit to travel responsibly, check out our blog. Alternatively, chat to a Flight Centre Travel Consultant about tailor making your next sustainable holiday.