We rely on the mountains for so much – our sport, our livelihood and, of course, our physical and mental well-being. So it’s no surprise that we are passionate about protecting our wilderness areas for the future. Infact, it is one of the key reasons we are in business – we believe the most important practice for any outdoor business is that they are committed to sustainability.
Peak Mountaineering operates a range of environmental initiatives to try and minimise the impact of both our business operations and personal activities. We focus on the precious Peak District National Park that is both our home and business base, but we also operate across the world and see the climate emergency as very much a battle that needs to be tackled globally. It is very easy for businesses to ‘greenwash’ their environmental credentials and this doesn’t stack up for us – we are very firm believers in walking the walk and we hope, by having a glance through the information below, you’ll feel us a company worth doing business with.
Litter Collection Initiatives
As we live and work in the heart of the UK’s most popular national park we are committed to protecting it in any ways we can. We work with several local conservation organisations and for the last six years we have, among other initiatives, run a free annual litter collection and outdoor activities event that has become extremely popular. Participants help clean up the park (last year 150 volunteers collected over 140kgs of rubbish) and we then provide a selection of free outdoor activities as thank you. We work closely with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers on this event and have also helped them with other litter collection activities including using our climbing expertise to clear up some very challenging difficult to access litter hotspots. Details about our Pick & Play day are available here and we value the significant help of sponsors Rab, Lowe Alpine, Nikwax, Hydro Flask and Osprey Packs in running these events.
An offshoot of our Pick & Play is our Pick & Play Summer Tour. We trialled this in 2019 and it was a great success. The concept is being expanded for 2020 and beyond. The concept for these events is simple. Participants join us for a free evening outdoor activity session and in return spend a bit of time collecting litter. Last year we ran climbing, abseiling and bushcraft sessions and for this year we have also added a navigation training session. Each event is sponsored by an environmentally responsible business and we thank Rab, Lowe Alpine, Aquapac and Hydro Flask for supporting this year’s series. Details about our tour events and sign up details are available here.
Finally, we have recently introduced a superb new Litter Collection Equipment Loan Scheme and we welcome everyone to get in touch. We have a selection of litter grabbers and protective gloves available to loan and invite visitors to the Peak District to spend a little time during their visit helping to clean it up. It is a simple and fun way to make a difference and help educate others to the litter problem that we all face. Details on loaning the equipment are available here and the service is absolutely free. This facility is available thanks to the generous support of Rab and Lowe Alpine.
No one can pretend that travel isn’t a major contributor to climate change. The scientific evidence is undeniable and as a travel business we constantly battle with the ethics both of us travelling to venues and of others travelling to attend our courses. In the end, if we are going to operate at all we need to find a way of balancing the damage caused by travel with the life enhancing opportunities we can offer people. We also see that we can have a key role as educators.
So, if we are going to travel at all we need to find ways to offset the damage caused and we have implemented a range of strategies which go at least some way to mitigating the impact of our operations.
We are members of environmental advocacy organisation Mossy Earth which means, as well as making an annual commitment to their tree planting and re-wilding projects, we also purchase carbon credits to minimise the impact of the emissions for the flights taken both by ourselves and by our trip participants. As far as we know we are the first guiding company to run this scheme and, although we know it doesn’t address all the damage a trip causes, it is fantastic way of reducing our impact.
For UK operations we offer discounts to clients travelling to courses by public transport and also offer a free pick up and drop down service to help them get around the area. Not exactly transport, but we’ll even lend camping equipment for anyone wanting a low impact accommodation option.
For our own transport we consider each journey and assess the most sustainable way to travel. It can often be difficult to use public transport as we often have to carry large amounts of equipment and travel to remote locations, but we try and car share when possible and always look to minimise mileage. We are also looking at purchasing electric or hybrid vehicle options for our next vehicle changes.
Finally, the devil is also often in the detail. As a responsible company we always try to look at the simple ways we can minimise our environmental impact. On our first aid courses we use ‘real’ mugs rather than disposables and reduce the amount of paper we use by issuing course documents and certificates electronically.
We align ourselves with outdoor companies producing clothing and equipment sustainably, have our t-shirts printed onto organic cotton, use recycled packaging and strive to reduce our energy output as much as possible. But perhaps the most important thing we aim to do is provide good role models through our work with everyone from young people to the wider community.