At Distant Frontiers, we recognize our responsibility to protect and preserve the environment and we have been proactively working towards making travel rewarding and meaningful.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the cornerstone of our corporate culture and we aim to maximize the positive impact of travel on local communities and minimize and adverse effects as an active member of the Responsible Tourism Society of India.
The organization has been proactively working towards achieving sustainability even before it became a global trend. We have liaised and associated ourselves with like-minded organizations to consciously bring sustainability into our products and work culture. We are the first in the industry to create a measuring system for sustainability.
Our aim at Distant Frontiers is to make travel a meaningful activity and experience in social, ecological and economic terms. We attach great-value here to open communications amongst all the parties involved, from our customers to our personnel and our hotel partners at our tourist destinations. We want Corporate Social Responsibility to be felt, both within and outside the company; we want to see it practiced at every level in our company; and we want it to be and remain a cornerstone of the corporate culture at Distant Frontiers.
CSR Initiatives and Commitments
Code of Conduct:
- We have signed up to The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. The Code is an instrument of self-regulation and corporate social responsibility that provides increased protection to children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. We are the first DMC to conduct Child protection workshops in Goa and Cochin for its suppliers.
- We also follow The Supplier Code of Conduct which specifies minimum ethical requirements for all our suppliers. They have to sign the Supplier Code of Conduct at the time of commencing a relationship with us.
Collaborations and Affiliations :
- We are the first Indian DMC to have received a CSR certification for Incoming Operator issued by TourCert, a private German, non-governmental and not-for-profit organization which awards tourism businesses on basis of Corporate Social Responsibility principles with the CSR Tourism certified logo.
- We are in the governing council of the Responsible Tourism Society of India which focuses on promoting environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry across the country.
- We have signed the “Women’s Empowerment Principle” disseminated by the United Nations. This is a seven-step guide that business and other sectors can take to advance and empower women.
- We work with Literacy India, a non-profit organization, with the objective of empowering underprivileged children and women by making them self-sufficient. Some of the projects that we have worked on with them include the creation of sacred Mouli thread used to greet our guests, jute and Denim bags used to hand over induction kits, miscellaneous paper bags for incentive purposes made from old recycled newspapers.
2018: In August 2018, Kerala and its people suffered terribly due to floods. As an extension of the Company’s CSR initiative Mr. Dipak Deva, handed Mr. K.J. Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism our contribution of Rs. 10 lakhs towards Chief Ministers Relief Fund for the people of Kerala.
2017: We worked with Abari, a socially oriented research, design and construction firm based in Nepal on a CSR Project using the Nepal Relief Fund. Donations were made to the cause by our colleagues and associates to support the people affected by the devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015. This joint effort saw to the rebuilding of a classroom block at Saraswati Secondary School located in Dhulikhel. It was officially inaugurated and handed over to the school authorities in a ceremony at the school in Feb 2017.
2012: The organization in association with Ecosphere, a Spiti-based social enterprise, took the initiative to build Solar Bath Houses for the Buddhist Nunnery at Pangmo village. The initiative served a two-pronged objective of minimizing harmful black carbon emissions and ensuring dignity and personal hygiene for the nuns at the monastery.
1. Water Tumblers: We have joined the Beat Plastic Pollution drive and instead offer reusable steel water bottles. These personalized water bottles can be carried back as a souvenir of the tour.
2. We recycle all the discarded papers and old newspapers. These are sent to Literacy India who in turn creates customized paper bags for the company.
Going Local :
- We collaborate with Zing N Zest – an organization created and run by village women for organic bakery products which are offered on tours.
- A lot of our products are designed around promoting local businesses through various interactions like cooking demonstrations, farm visits, NGO visits, and so on.
- All amenities, souvenirs, and kits offered to guests are sourced from local enterprises supporting the economic and social upliftment of marginalized or underprivileged sections of society.
- Ambulance at Amer: In 2008 the Company donated an ambulance at the Amber Fort, 11 km from Jaipur for any medical assistance required by travelers around the clock. Owing to the soaring temperature and the distance up to the fort, there are times when travelers require medical attention. The closest hospital is at a distance of 15km.
- Safe Goa – In 2010 the company donated a vehicle (Tata Sumo) in Goa to strengthen the security of the beach destination. The vehicle patrols tourist locations for any assistance required by travelers. This was a WTTC India Initiative, where other tour operators also participated. Operators also came forward to donate a vehicle.
- Jaipur – Tourist Police Vehicle: In 2012 the Company donated a vehicle to the Jaipur tourist police for overlooking security in Jaipur at tourist areas.
- Over the years, we have been committed to providing equal work opportunities and closing the pay gap as well as the gender gap. We also have a flexible work policy to help employees balance work and personal life.
- We have a strict policy on Sexual Harassment (PoSH) that involves a committee to address the issues raised by employees of the organization.
- We collaborate with trained guides and drivers to provide sustainable service without reducing quality.
- We conduct regular and thorough training and development modules for our staff and partners for skill enhancement. We always train our staff on quality issues and responsible tourism practices.
- Over the past years we have been working towards minimal paper-use through rapid digitization and a paperless working environment.
- Jute Bag: All amenities, souvenirs, and kits offered to guests are sourced from local enterprises and NGOs supporting economic and social upliftment of marginalized or underprivileged sections of the society. An outstanding example of such an initiative is Literacy India which also helps produce Jute bags for Distant Frontiers. The Bag is a multi-utility product that can be used for both official and personal use and is backed by a sustainability story.
- The materials used to make the bag are Jute and Denim. Jute is an organic, eco-friendly, bio-degradable material that is completely recyclable. The denim used in the bag is cotton-based, thus is bio-degradable and eco-friendly as well.
- Water Tumblers: In an effort to align with the global sustainability efforts the company has joined the Beat Plastic Pollution drive which was the World Environment Day theme in 2018. Plastic accounts for around 90% of all ocean trash with 46,000 pieces of plastic covering every square mile. As a first step towards this good cause, plastic in the form of water bottles was banned within the organization from August 2018. An aluminium Water Tumbler wasdesigned as a special handout for all employees to place on their work-stations and use for consuming water. The tumbler has lasting value, it is reusable and is aesthetically very pleasing. It fills 750ml of water. This move is part of the company’s continuous effort to conserve the environment and encourage a sustainable lifestyle.
Human Rights Impact Assessment:
We conducted a Human Rights Impact Assessment Project in October 2013 in India. The project was carried out in New Delhi, Jaipur, Trivandrum, and Cochin. The project aimed at providing a more precise understanding of the human rights context of Distant Frontiers operations and business relationships in India and the actual or potential human rights impacts it may cause, contribute to, or be linked to, as well as existing measures being taken to address them.
2013 -2014 National Tourism Award Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative for Human Rights Impact Assessment India. The award was given away by The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.
2010 -2011 National Tourism Award Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative for Empowerment of Women through Literacy India & Fair Trade. The award was given away by The President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Patil.
2010 PATA Gold Award for Education & Training for Child Protection Workshops in 2009.
2010 Express Travel World Award for CSR Conducting Child Protection workshops in 2009