At both a company and individual level, the team at Heliconia agrees to examine how we operate in the face of climate change. With 8% of overall global carbon emissions attributed to the tourism industry, it is our responsibility to examine how we conduct ourselves and promote travel. We acknowledge that both the travel that we promote within our productions, and the travel inherent in filming the world’s best adventure destinations have an impact on the very people and places we feature. We will continue to showcase and advocate for viewers to travel and experience the best places, cultures, and adventures on offer but are taking steps to be responsible about it.
Our approach is threefold:
- Lessening direct carbon footprint and resource use by auditing operational practices both in the field and in our offices. We are proud of our ability to maintain high production quality while historically deploying small scale crews of only 2-5 members—multi-talented ‘unicorns’ capable of fulfilling a variety of roles to lessen the number of people both in the air and on the ground. We aim to further lessen their impact on shoot, by ensuring they limit resource use and continually look to implement improved operational practices to lessen our impact.
- Supporting responsible carbon offsetting and capture programs. As Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) members, we have signed on as a purchaser within their Neutral Together program, a bulk carbon offset initiative with a specialized carbon calculator based on adventure travel in partnership with South Pole. This program has a positive impact on local communities too as the offset initiatives include efficient cook stoves, reforestation, and renewable energy programs. We are also investing in Tomorrow’s Air, the ATTA’s carbon capture program in partnership with Climeworks that has created the technology to reverse climate change. Heliconia is the program’s first official Inspiration Corp and members of our talented film crew are signed on as Artists for Air, a group of artists determined to use their art to inspire and educate about cleaning carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Magnifying our positive impact through educating our partners and audience about sustainable and responsible tourism. The shows we produce largely promote human-powered adventure activities that focus on responsible travel, local people, and preserving cultural diversity to a targeted audience of outdoor enthusiasts. During the logistics planning process in collaboration with tourism partners, we aim to seek out the authentic local experience and showcase low impact options when possible–advocating for the tourism experience that respects local people, communities, flora, and fauna. Heliconia also actively plays a role in supporting their local off-road cycling association, BORCA, and regularly takes part in trail building and maintenance.
We are aware of the profound responsibility of offering a platform to educate and inspire how people travel and that we must lead by example. Heliconia will continue to learn and grow to improve our operational practices and back programs that help mitigate our contribution toward global climate change.