TRAVELLERS' CSR: OUR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Travellers recognises that our social, environmental and ethical conduct has an
upon our reputation, organisation development and personal development. We take
our corporate social responsibilities (CSR) seriously and are committed to implementing
our policies and systems across the Organisation around the world. These include:
- good ethical behaviour,
- concern for employee and volunteer health and safety,
- care for the environment,
- care for the local economy,
- care for the communities we work in, and
- moral responsibilities.
We aim to maintain a productive and open dialogue with all interested parties, including
stakeholders (i.e. the beneficiaries of the help we and our volunteers provide),
volunteers, employees and partners & affiliates.
Our aim is to create always a win-win-win situation in terms of the benefits for
the local communities and institutions that we work in, for Travellers, and for
the Volunteer. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to the communities,
institutes or volunteers. We conduct regular volunteer satisfaction surveys to monitor
our performance and we maintain our website as one of the main routes for providing
information to interested parties and for contacting us.
Travellers take responsibility for CSR and are committed to developing and implementing
appropriate policies to create and maintain long-term value for recipients. Sound
organisation ethics makes business sense by helping to minimise risk, ensuring legal
compliance, enhancing company efficiency and building reputation amongst stakeholders.
We endeavour to conduct all our business activities ethically and in compliance
with applicable national and international laws. Appropriate ethical behaviour is
constantly reviewed during our day-to-day working practice.
We have extended this code to the organisations we work with, as far as is possible
when dealing with different cultures and third-world countries.
Concern for employees and good employment practices:
Travellers aims to attract, retain and motivate the highest calibre of employees
within a structure that encourages their development and initiative. In our overseas
destinations we endeavour to employ local staff wherever possible. By doing this
we are able to help the local economy and provide necessary employment to a number
of individuals within the community. In some destinations we employ as many as 30
staff alongside our Country Manager, such as; volunteer liaison officers, work supervisors,
cooks, house keepers, house-mothers, cleaners, drivers and security personnel.
We believe in paying our overseas staff fairly. Many are rewarded with higher than
average wages for local standards.
Health and Safety:
As far as is possible when dealing with different cultures, we have responsibility
for the health, safety and environmental performance of our operational areas. Travellers
is committed to trying to meet all relevant health and safety legislation, regulation
and codes of practice, within the limitations of the constraints imposed in our
destination countries. Our health and safety performance and significant risk exposures
are reviewed regularly.
Travellers produced an extensive and comprehensive booklet on ‘safety whilst travelling’
in order to promote sensible awareness amongst travellers. This booklet is free
to download on our website for all travellers, not just our volunteers.
Care for the Environment:
Good environmental practice and the impact our operations have on the environment
are of great importance to Travellers. The main aim is to comply with all relevant
legislation in all areas in which we operate and to adopt responsible environmental
In our UK office we minimise waste by following re-use and recycle policies. In
overseas destinations we ensure volunteers are informed about the customs and cultures
of the countries they are visiting and encourage them to respect the local environment
and host community.
We provide projects to enable voluntary assistance in areas of environmental conservation
and believe that education and first hand experience of the environment promotes
a deeper care and affinity for nature. By enabling volunteers to experience the
effects of environmental practices first-hand (such as coral decay, the obliteration
of rainforests for palm oil) we feel that Travellers is contributing to a wider
education of Western society.
Care for local economies:
With the increase of overseas tourism, there is a growing concern of the possible
negative impact of tourism on the local econoy, environment and culture. We have
an important role in encouraging responsible tourism, to minimise damage and improve
and protect the environment for future generations.
At Travellers we encourage volunteers to support the local economy in as many ways
as possible. For example:
- We encourage our volunteers to make the most of local opportunities available to
them, such as shopping at local markets, eating in local restaurants and using local
services and transport.
- In almost all cases our staff force in-destination are locally employed workers.
- We encourage volunteers to pay fairly for goods and services. We believe that over
payment for goods and services or payment to beggars can have negative consequences
and result in the over-reliance of tourism within the local community.
- We strongly advise against purchasing wildlife souvenirs or anything which may perpetuate
the death or cruel treatment of animals for the purpose of profit.
Care for the Community, and Community Involvement:
Travellers recognises the role that local communities play in our organisation.
- We aspire to be a responsible partner in the communities in which we operate.
- We encourage all our overseas units to support the particular needs of their communities
and the organisation as a whole contributes to local overseas charities and community
- We advise on dress codes and codes of behaviour in all of our destination countries
to ensure volunteers don’t cause offence to local communities.
- We make as many donations as possible to local communities and, where possible,
we choose projects which are focused around providing long-term contributions.
- Many of our Country Managers are involved in local activities within the community
and are respected for their good will and contribution to society. We select our
Country Managers with such attributes in mind and communication between the local
community and Travellers is open and honest. If a program run by Travellers were
to cause problem or offence locally, we would endeavour to rectify any such problem
or offence as a matter of highest priority.
We have a high sense of moral responsibility towards our volunteers and the organisations
we work with. Unfortunately, in some countries we work with organisations whose
moral obligations are not in line with ours. However, we believe our involvement
in such organisations is crucial in establishing change, even if this change only
occurs over a significant period of time. For example:
- Animal Welfare: We have concerns over the animal welfare in one
or two of the captive animal sanctuaries or zoos that we work with. We believe that
all animals should be free, but where this is not possible, we believe that animals
in captivity should have as much similarity to their natural environment as possible
and as good a quality of life as possible. Therefore, although we may not agree
with the morals of one or two institutions that we support, we see an important
role for ourselves as the provider of voluntary assistance because change can only
be brought about from the inside, not from the outside as a spectator. Any small
steps taken to alleviate the suffering of animals can only improve their quality
of life, thus we aim to improve conditions in these centres by our presence. Just
one volunteer can make a direct and positive impact on an animal’s welfare, which
we believe is enough to keep our programme going, despite not agreeing with the
overall objectives of such captive animal sanctuaries.
- Child Welfare: In a small selection of schools that we work with
corporal punishment is used. We don’t agree with this system but feel that we are
making an important contribution by continuing to provide voluntary assistance to
these schools. Through our volunteers we are able to demonstrate that corporal punishment
is not necessary and that there are ways to encourage good behaviour by displaying
Travellers are committed to reviewing our policies and adding to them, wherever
possible. We welcome suggestions and feedback on our services and take all comments
seriously. We believe deeply that Travellers makes a positive and lasting impact
upon the environments, communities, institutions, volunteers and all stakeholders
that we work with, by providing placement opportunities whilst ensuring that our
own ethical standards are met.