Last updated: Aug 15th, 2022
Connecting Japan to the world! Built upon a community of storytellers and travel experts with a singular focus on all things Japan, our goal is to leave a positive impact on tourism and create lasting memories for those who visit. We seek to promote and preserve Japanese heritage and tradition through sustainable and culturally conscious travel services that demonstrate the beauty of Japan.
Japan is a country full of wonders, with beautiful diverse nature and numerous world heritage sites. Traveling to Japan will create long-lasting memories, but it can also take a negative toll on the environment and local communities. That is why we at Japan Travel support a responsible and thus sustainable way of traveling, which maximizes the benefits of tourism and minimizes its negative social, environmental and economic consequences.
To achieve this, we have enlisted the guidance of Travelife, an internationally and Global Sustainable Tourism Council-recognized training, management & certification program in sustainability in tourism. Travelife is a three-stage certification program for tour operators and travel agents: (1) Travelife Engaged; (2) Travelife Partner and (3) Travelife Certified. We are currently Travelife Engaged and are working to move forward to achieve the Travelife Partner status in 2022 to comply with international sustainability standards. Until the end of 2023 we have the goal to be Travelife Certified. Our aim is to strengthen our commitment to sustainability management and to turn it into consistent sustainable business practices in tourism.
Our Sustainability Policy includes a variety of topics and guidelines concerning human rights, energy reduction, customer communication, wildlife, waste reduction and many more. This will help us to implement and enforce necessary changes for the future.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or suggestions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We commit to a social policy and ensure human rights for all our employees. This includes freedom of association, being in compliance with Japanese labor law, providing a detailed written HR policy and formal contracts, paying fair wages, ensuring equal opportunities, documenting about disciplinary procedures, refusing child labor, measuring employee satisfaction, offering internships to students and providing trainings to our staff, and ensuring good working conditions including regulations for overtime, paid holidays, maternity leaves and medical insurance.
Reduction of disposable and consumable goods: We always aim to reduce the amount of disposable and consumable goods used in our office. If this is not possible, we reuse and recycle as much as we can, through the utilization of recycling bins that are accessible to all employees. Plastic bottles, cans, glass, non-burnable and burnable waste are placed into different recycling bins. Batteries, paper and cardboard are recycled separately.
Water reduction: We are not wasteful with our water use in the office. We have water-efficient taps with flow restrictions in the bathrooms and dual-flush toilets. In the kitchen, we try to minimize our use of water, and plants are watered early in the morning or in the evening to avoid evaporation.
Waste reduction: We try to reduce our waste as much as possible by using recyclable and refillable products (e.g., toner ink, liquid soap), properly disposing of old electrical equipment and buying in bulk. Whenever possible, we clean up the software and reinstall the operating system on older and slower notebooks, so they are usable again after a clean installation. This is our resource-friendly approach, if it is not faulty hardware, that is causing the problem. We aim to reduce our use of plastic water bottles and our paper consumption in the office. To do so, we commit to optimize our daily printing efficiency and to use sustainable office paper. We only print a minimum of promotional materials every few years. In the future, we will print them on environmentally friendly paper.
Sustainable purchasing: We do not use any harmful substances in our office and give preference to environmentally friendly products and packaging, whenever possible, e.g., locally produced fair-trade coffee and tea for our clients. We also buy sustainable cleaning products without harmful substances, and buy FSC-certified office paper.
Energy reduction: We take a number of actions to ensure energy is not needlessly wasted in our office, e.g., saving energy from air conditioning units, lighting and electrical devices; following Japanese cool business practices; switching-off policy for all unused equipment and lighting; setting equipment to energy-saving mode and using energy-friendly devices whenever possible.
Staff mobility: We financially encourage our staff in Japan to use public transportation for commuting and reduce transport related impacts by offering the possibility of remote working.
Since transport is an important aspect of sustainable tourism, we give preference to more sustainable alternatives when selecting local transport options in Japan, always taking into account price, comfort, and practical considerations for our customers.
We are participating and are in compliance with the Domestic Labor Standards laws. We do not employ children (14 years or younger) to compete for work which is normally undertaken by adults. When we work with children in creative projects (models, etc.) we follow special working times and conditions in accordance with national regulations and the UN convention on the Rights of the Child, providing protection under the ILO convention 138. Furthermore, we do not contract suppliers, directly or indirectly, which are involved in compulsory labor or which employ children to complete work which is normally undertaken by adults.
We also have a zero tolerance policy concerning sexual exploitation of children. We will end the contractual agreement prematurely if a supplier does not take adequate measures to prevent sexual exploitation of children within the direct supply chain. Furthermore, we strongly oppose selling, promoting or advising about any commercial and sexual service, as well as any form of service including exploitation and harassment of children and adolescents.
Clear evidence that our contracted suppliers jeopardize the provision or integrity of basic services such as food, water, energy, healthcare, or soil to the neighboring communities, can be reason to terminate the cooperation with us.
We value the authenticity of Japanese communities and animal welfare, and offer no activities that negatively impact the natural, cultural or social environment. Furthermore, we also ensure to offer skilled guides for visiting sensitive cultural sites, heritage sites or ecologically sensitive destinations. In addition, we advise travelers to participate in activities which directly involve and support local communities, e.g., by purchasing services or goods that involve traditional crafts.
Concerning the topic of wildlife, we do not offer any excursions in which wildlife is held captive, except for properly regulated activities in compliance with local, national, and international law. We also do not do business with companies that harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species, unless it is part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable and in compliance with local, national, and international law. If activities include interactions with wildlife, they comply with Travelife’s code of conduct. Taking into account cumulative impacts, they do not lead to any adverse effects on the viability and behavior of populations in the wild.
We aim to involve only local and licensed guides, who have proven their extensive knowledge of Japan. We support a fair and safe working environment for both our freelance and contracted guides. For the latter, we provide a written employment contract explaining labor conditions and the job description in detail, making sure they fully understand the terms and conditions. Tour leaders, local representatives and guides get paid a living wage, that is above the legal minimum. They provide information to our customers on relevant sustainability matters, social norms and values and human rights in Japan. We also offer them the best ethical working conditions.
We aim to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts in Japan by selecting new destinations that are accessible via public transportation, and supporting local government concerning sustainability and destination planning.
Furthermore, we do not promote souvenirs which contain threatened flora and fauna species as indicated in the CITES treaty and the IUCN Red List or historic and archaeological artifacts (except as permitted by law).
Our customers' welfare is very important to us. We ensure a clear and constant communication, prior to and after booking with providing all necessary information to their plans, and after their trip as well, when we survey satisfaction to further improve our products and customer service.
With us, our customers' private information is safe, and we also comply with relevant standards and voluntary code of conduct in marketing. We provide clear, complete and accurate product and price information, as well as destination information, including sustainability aspects such as the local environment, culture, and heritage. Furthermore, we promote restaurants and shops owned and managed locally, as well as sustainable transport options when feasible.
Our customers are informed about health and safety in Japan, are provided a contact person, and can reach us at all times for any emergency situations. Internally, our personnel is educated and made available to respond accordingly to offer support.
To provide high quality products and services, we value complaints as they help us to improve our customer service. We have clear procedures in place to guarantee a fast, efficient, and fair response in case of a claim. We are committed to resolve them as quickly as possible, while keeping our customers informed throughout our complaint resolution process. Complaints can be submitted by calling, e-mailing or writing to us. Additional information or documentation might be requested.
To achieve our goals and assure that correct measures are being taken, our sustainability coordinator regularly evaluates and monitors our processes and the impact of our sustainability efforts, reporting on results, planning improvements, and sharing information and knowledge.
As part of our promise to operate more responsibly, we are proud to share our yearly Sustainability Report, which shows the criteria we have committed to meet and report on the Travelife system:
Sustainability Report 20221.5MB, PDF
As a travel company, we feel it is our responsibility to leave a positive impact and also inspire you, our travelers, to do the same during your stay in Japan. Therefore, we prepared a small Responsible Travel Guide in Japan (2.2MB, PDF) for you. Here we encourage you to embrace cultural differences, support local businesses, respect the environment and be an informed traveler, in order to immerse yourself in Japanese culture as authentically as possible.
We are proud to present some of our memberships and projects we developed over the years to make a real difference.
Our mid-term and long-term plans contain a variety of items including but not limited to: sending our sustainability policy to all our suppliers, giving updated sustainability guidance to our staff, guides and suppliers, identifying projects for giving donations, promoting sustainable options, etc. As we move forward, we hope to lead by example.