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Treeline from below in Colorado


Combatting Carbon with Travel Operations Manager Charlie Drinkwater

Meet Charlie, who oversees Operations for Pelorus Travel and has a passion for supporting conservation initiatives.

Aug 2020

At the beginning of 2020 Pelorus announced aims to develop a carbon-neutral initiative. Charlie Drinkwater, an entrenched member of the Pelorus Travel team, is leading the drive and establishing the procedure to offset carbon emissions. Pelorus acknowledges that global tourism is contributing to the problem with 8% of greenhouse emissions deriving from the travel sector as reported by Nature Climate Change (NCC) in a recent study. It is abundantly clear that, as a collective, we must endeavour to minimise our impact by conceptualising ideas, sharing knowledge with our suppliers and educating our clients on the steps we are taking for a greener tomorrow.

Charlie Drinkwater Projects and Operations standing by a lake
Projects and Operations expert Charlie Drinkwater in the Himalayas


Can you tell us about your background and how you came to your current position?

I studied history and politics before accepting a position within the private equity division of a multinational insurance firm for three years. It was during a trip to Nepal, standing at Everest Base Camp one Monday morning, that I realised I was in the wrong profession. This singular experience of Nepal’s dramatic peaks and glaciers was the beginning of the change, putting into context the monotony of city life when set against the life enhancing effect of purposeful travel. I joined Pelorus as an intern on the Travel team, leaving for a period to work for a not-for-profit, before returning on the premise that I would be able to achieve more professionally, whilst having a greater impact through providing the gift of experiential travel. 

Why do you have a passion for supporting the Pelorus Foundation?

Having had the opportunity to travel to some remarkable places that only a small proportion visit, it became abundantly clear if nothing is done to defend and preserve the world, its character will cease to exist, as carbon emissions and over exposure dissolve the fibres that make up our unique planet. With regions such as Nepal’s glaciers turning into a distant memory due to changes in climate, the time for abstraction is long past and it would be naïve to bury our heads in the sand as though the balance wasn’t tipping before our very eyes. Pelorus wants to be at the forefront of change, championing a level of constant evaluation and evolution. The Foundation is based on the principle that, through our network of clients, Pelorus has the ability to maximise opportunity and form a greater impact by developing ambassadors who have the ability to enact change. Amidst the remarkable experiences we create, we want to invoke emotions within our clients that will give them the urge to protect the environment and its future. The team at Pelorus has extensive knowledge and expertise, allowing us to create unique experiences and exciting adventures found nowhere else. This spoke to me.

Gabon Gorilla Walking Jungle

“The team at Pelorus has extensive knowledge and expertise, allowing us to create unique experiences and exciting adventures found nowhere else.”

How does carbon offsetting work?

Our carbon offsetting is done through our partnership with World Land Trust. For every trip we produce a carbon audit form which allows WLT to calculate the total emissions of carbon dioxide that the trip is responsible for. Crucial details are taken into consideration including flights, connecting transfers and accommodation emissions. The process is unobtrusive for clients and makes for a seamless service. WLT is using funds in meticulous and cost-effective ways to protect vital ecosystems across the world, helping to save a standing tree, not only plant a new one. For example, buying land with the only connecting road to a forest, this is often cheaper than purchasing the forest itself and deters big corporations from harvesting the woodland.

What does the future for Pelorus look like?

With the establishment of Pelorus Foundation (our conversation charity arm), Pelorus wants to help by providing support and funding to organisations across the world that are having a positive impact. We will also be introducing more conservational specific trips, that will give clients a deeper understanding of what is being done to save the world and Pelorus’ role within it. We can read as much as we like about these places but the reality we face is that it will only too soon become a distant memory on a page if nothing is done to combat carbon emissions and other forms of environmental damage. Wherever possible, Pelorus will be acting to preserve and protect the ecosystems and wildlife we are so passionate about.


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¹ The Pelorus Foundation is a charity that empowers communities to preserve and protect the world’s wildlife and wild places for future generations’

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