As a Virgin company we do business in a responsible way. In a perfect world we would all be carbon neutral and create no waste, unfortunately in our industry that’s just not possible, so here’s how we make it better.
Our sustainable development is growing year on year and the latest Corporate Responsibility & Sustainable development Report by the Virgin Group simply highlights our best bits. The Relax and Have Fun chapter in the report illustrates our work with TFT (The Forest Trust) and sustainable lifestyle company Worn Again from 2009 onwards.
Because of the nature of our balloon experiences, we operate as an aviation company and consequently produce carbon. Rather than offsetting our one and only villain, Virgin Balloon Flights donated £1 for every tonne of carbon we produced to the TFT’s Climate Tree Initiative. These donations have supported two students through their studies at the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) in the Congo Basin, learning to tackle deforestation and understanding implications for local indigenous communities.
In 2010 our first student Rafael Tsanga graduated from the CSE education centre and has gone on to a work posting for CIFOR (Centre for International Forestry Research). With a little help from us here at Virgin Balloon Flights, our second student Tatiana Prudence Eboua worked towards her dream to become a social officer with her placement at the centre.
Worn Again is a sustainable fashion brand that up-cycles waste materials into new products; they say some things are just too good to waste! What’s more, a little something from each sale is donated to sustainable lifestyles organisation Anti-Apathy who promote and support those that take an innovative approach to social and environmental issues. Virgin Balloon Flights donated two decommissioned hot air balloons in 2009 which were made into 500 ‘cheeky sling bags’ and jackets aptly named the ‘Bon Voyage’ range.
The Simple Stuff – Our Office Green Plan
Taking care of the way we use energy is part and parcel of everyday life at Virgin Balloon Flights, each day we take time to recycle our consumables. Last year we recycled enough cardboard to fill 121 Olympic swimming pools, and plastic to equal a 9 mile high cubic meter column. Alongside that we recycled 12 thousand cubic meters of metal and glass and bought 696 litres of milk from local Shropshire farmers in a whopping 1224 reusable glass milk bottles. As you would expect, all our balloon flight vouchers, gift wallets, envelopes, letter heads and compliment slips are FSC accredited and 100% recycled.