Sustainability Policy

Last updated: 10 March 2023

As a travel company that works closely with stakeholders throughout the tourism industry, including consumers, guides, agencies, and local businesses, we understand our vital role in shaping sustainable travel practices. Asian Heritage Treks and Travel prioritizes sustainability by implementing practices that maximize positive impacts while minimizing negative ones on tourism and local communities. We are committed to managing and improving our environmental, social, and economic impacts, resulting in a more responsible and sustainable travel experience.

We will assess our progress in sustainability by comparing our actions with relevant environmental laws set by specialized organizations. Our company will monitor our progress on an annual basis and update our policy accordingly if needed. Finally, we commit ourselves to honestly communicating our organization’s policy and sustainability objectives to all staff members, clients, partners, and authorities.

To that end, we have established the following sustainability policy. It’s divided into 11 themes, each of which consists of a set of principles and practical actions accordingly:

Sustainability Management & Legal Compliance 

We commit to sustainable management by practicing the following actions: 

  • To have an appointed employee who is responsible for sustainability coordinator tasks; 
  • To have a sustainability mission statement that is communicated to customers, partners, and suppliers; 
  • To have an accessible and written sustainability policy that aims for a reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of the company’s activities and includes employee-related health and safety aspects; 
  • To collaborate and be actively involved in external forums and working groups that are supportive of sustainability in tourism; 
  • To conduct a baseline assessment of the company’s performance on sustainable practices; 
  • To have sustainability guidelines and an assessment system in place to identify the sustainability performance of key suppliers and partners; 
  • To have a sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities, and time planning; 
  • To develop documented procedures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy, objectives, and targets; 
  • To ensure the company’s transparency in sustainability through public reporting and communication; 
  • To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our sustainability policy and are committed to implementing and improving it. 

We commit to complying with all national legislation, regulations, and codes of practice. 

Internal Management: Social Policy & Human Rights 

We commit to sustainable internal management by having a clear, written, and well-communicated social policy that includes the following principles:

  • To include labor conditions according to national labor law and a job description in the employment contract.
  • To grant employees the freedom of employment and contract termination with notice (ideally at least one month) and without penalty.
  • The wage rate is to be mentioned in the contract and equals or is above the national legal wage.
  • To determine and compensate for overtime working hours based on agreement.
  • To provide medical and liability insurance according to national law.
  • To grant employees fixed paid yearly holidays, sick leave, and an unpaid annual leave allowance.
  • To have a health and safety policy for employees that complies with national legal standards.
  • To have first-aid sets and trained staff available at all relevant locations.
  • To obey the national law concerning the minimum age for admission to employment.
  • To have documented effective procedures in place for employees to voice out their complaints and expectations.
  • To have a clear disciplinary procedure that is effectively communicated to employees.
  • To have a measurement system for employee satisfaction on a regular basis.
  • To provide periodic guidance and training for employees on roles, rights, and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues. This includes fire and relevant natural disasters.
  • To create opportunities for students to participate in traineeships (internships).
We commit to practice human rights by ensure the enforcement of following practices:
  • To declare not to hinder trade union membership, collective labor negotiations and representation of members by trade unions. 
  • To participate and comply with a (sector wide) collective labor condition negotiation structure (if locally existing). 
  • To prohibit discriminations, regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training and senior positions, or promotion in terms of gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/beliefs or sexual orientation. 
  • To ensure all employees have an equal chance and access to resources and opportunities for personal development through regular training, education.  

Internal Management: Environment and Community Relations 

We commit to practicing environmental protection and enhancing community relations by ensuring the enforcement of the following practices:

  • Favor the purchase of sustainable goods and services whenever they are available and of sufficient quality.
  • Purchase products in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging material.
  • Set copy and printing machines and all equipment by default to double-sided printing or other forms of paper-saving modes.
  • Actively reduce the use of disposable items and consumer goods.
  • Actively commit to measuring, monitoring, and reducing energy consumption.
  • Purchase green energy and efficient lighting for all areas whenever available.
  • Turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • Prioritize low-energy equipment when purchasing new items, considering cost and quality.
  • Set all equipment to energy-saving mode by default.
  • Maintain an active policy to reduce water consumption, implement it, and monitor it monthly or yearly for benchmarking purposes.
  • Utilize sustainable water sourcing methods that do not adversely affect environmental flows.
  • Install water-saving equipment in toilets, reuse wastewater, and collect rainwater.
Waste Management 
  • Comply with national waste disposal legislation.
  • Develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling policy with specific goals.
  • Reduce the use of non-refillable plastic water bottles in the office.
  • Minimize the use of packaging materials and avoid non-recyclable or non-biodegradable options.
  • Use waste-reducing methods for ink and toner cartridges whenever possible.
  • Recycle or dispose of batteries properly.
  • Implement measures to minimize brochure waste.
  Reducing Pollution 
  • Comply with national legislation on wastewater treatment, ensuring that it is reused or safely released.
  • Minimize and substitute the use of harmful substances, and properly manage the storage, handling, and disposal of chemicals.
  • Use cleaning materials that are non-hazardous, non-eutrophic, and biodegradable, and certified with an eco-label if available locally.
  • Implement practices to minimize pollution from company buildings within the company’s control.
  • Reduce staff-related travel and use more sustainable modes of transport.
  • Reduce transport-related impacts by implementing tele-work, tele/video meetings, work-at-home policies, or other means.
  • Maintain and properly check motorized company vehicles to reduce emissions and energy use, ensuring they comply with legal emission standards.
Sustainability Training and Rising Awareness
  • Provide periodic guidance, training, and information to all staff members.
  • Clarify their roles and responsibilities regarding internal environmental practices.
Land Use and Community Relations
  • Comply with land use, zoning, and protected or heritage area laws and regulations when planning, designing, constructing, renovating, operating, or demolishing company buildings and infrastructure. 
  • Take into account the capacity and integrity of protected and sensitive natural and cultural heritage when planning and designing newly constructed company buildings. 
  • Adopt locally appropriate and sustainable practices and materials in the planning, design, and construction of new buildings or renovations. 
  • Base the planning, design, and construction of new buildings or renovations on locally appropriate and feasible sustainable practices and materials. 
  • Contribute to the protection and preservation of local historical, archaeological, cultural, and spiritually important properties and sites, and do not impede access to them by local residents.

Partner Agencies

Based on an inventory of our key partner agencies, we have developed and implemented a policy to improve the sustainability of our partner agencies. Our aim is to make sustainable development concrete for each and every partner within our business. We commit to this by:

  • Only collaborating with organizations that genuinely implement sustainability in their tourism policies.
  • Minimizing the ecological footprint of the office by primarily using public transport, striving for a paperless environment, segregating waste, and utilizing certified recycled paper whenever possible.
  • Considering the local community’s benefits when selecting accommodations and evaluating their social policies for employees.
  • Raising awareness among key partners about sustainable consumption through online campaigns and training sessions.
  • Informing key partners about Travelife and national tourism standards.
  • Regularly evaluating the sustainability practices of our key partners to ensure genuine sustainability.
  • Collaborating with organizations that promote ethical and responsible volunteering and community development.
  • We inform key partners about our travel company’s sustainability policy and expect them to comply with it, communicating it to customers when relevant.
  • Incorporating key sustainability clauses into contracts with inbound or receptive partners.
  • Establishing written contracts with partner agencies.
  • Including clauses in partner contracts that allow for early termination if the partner company fails to prevent sexual exploitation of children within the direct supply chain adequately.
  • Ensuring partner companies adhere to all relevant national laws safeguarding employee rights.


We try to ensure that vehicles used on tours do not cause more than average pollution. We believe that transport is an important aspect of sustainable tourism, and we do our best to decrease the average pollution level. We commit to this by:

  • Choosing the most sustainable transport options based on price and comfort when traveling to the destination.
  • Using sustainable (public) transport for the journey to the international or long-distance departure point.
  • Prioritizing sustainable transport options for transfers and excursions at the destination, considering price, comfort, and practicality.
  • Incorporating and promoting sustainable holiday packages that include sustainable transport, accommodations, and activities, following recognized methodologies.


We try to achieve a tourism supply chain that is fully sustainable. Partner accommodations are essential for achieving this goal, as they inspire and motivate us to embrace sustainable practices. We commit to this by:

  • Measuring accommodations to ensure compliance with sustainability and quality standards.
  • Motivating and encouraging partner accommodations to obtain sustainability certifications.
  • Preferring and selecting accommodations that are locally owned and managed.
  • Selecting accommodations that employ local communities.
  • Ensuring accommodations provide evidence of their sustainability goals and strategies.
  • Encouraging accommodations to follow best practices and participate in responsible tourism training.
  • Encouraging accommodations to complete sustainability questionnaires to provide insights into their practices.
  • Clearly and actively communicating our sustainability objectives and requirements to contracted and other relevant accommodations.
  • Giving clear preference to accommodations with internationally recognized certifications, such as GSTC or Travelife.
  • Including standard sustainability clauses in all contracts with accommodation providers, focusing on child labor, anti-corruption, waste management, and biodiversity protection.
  • Ensuring that our accommodation supply chain respects and safeguards the rights of children.
  • Working with accommodations and restaurants that incorporate local art, architecture, or cultural heritage while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
  • Prioritizing accommodations that offer locally sourced, fair trade, and organic food options.
  • Contract accommodations are expected to limit their negative impact on local and global biodiversity, such as by avoiding red-listed species on menus and advising against illegal souvenirs.

Terminating cooperation with accommodation in case there is clear evidence that contracted accommodations jeopardize the integrity of basic services such as food, water, energy, healthcare, or soil to the neighboring companies.

Excursions and Activities 

We value animal and community welfare extremely high and aim at tours that only leave a minor footprint. We are safeguarding the authenticity of the communities and the natural environment and are strongly against harming wildlife and polluting the environment. We commit to this by:

  • Maintaining an inventory of environmentally and culturally sensitive excursions available at each destination.
  • Guiding guests on expected behavior during excursions and activities, emphasizing respect for local culture, nature, and the environment.
  • Refrain from offering excursions that cause harm to humans, animals, plants, or natural resources like water and energy, and avoid activities that are socially or culturally unacceptable.
  • Avoiding to offer excursions that involve captive wildlife, except when compliant with local, national, and international regulations.
  • Avoiding partnerships with entities that are involved in the exploitation or trade of wildlife unless they are conducted sustainably and legally.
  • Not promoting voluntourism activities involving unskilled volunteers working with children or in community development.
  • Ensuring guides are skilled and certified to lead guests to culturally sensitive or ecologically important sites.
  • Encouraging guests to participate in activities that directly support local communities, such as purchasing local goods or visiting social projects.
  • Promoting excursions that contribute to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, such as visits to protected areas or engagement in conservation projects.

Tour Leaders, Local Representatives and Guides 

We aim at involving as many locals as possible by employing them in the tourism business. We stand for a fair and safe working environment that supports and respects local communities. We commit to this by:

  • Ensuring that all employees have a written employment contract, including labor conditions and a job description, and fully understand the terms and conditions.
  • Preferring to work with local tour leaders, local representatives, local tour guides, porters, drivers, cooks, and other local staff in cases of equal ability and provide training as required.
  • Ensuring that our local partners comply with all applicable international, national, and local laws and regulations, industry minimum standards, and any other relevant statutory requirements, whichever requirements are more stringent.
  • Paying tour leaders, local representatives, guides, porters, and other local staff contracted by us at least a living wage that is equal to or above the legal minimum or relevant industry standard. 
  • Ensuring that our tour guides, hosts, and other employees under contract are qualified and trained regularly.
  • Ensuring that our local employees are informed on relevant aspects of our sustainability policy and comply with it through newsletters, references or supplements to contracts, emails, or training and information sessions.
  • Educate our employees and clients about animal welfare issues and the importance of responsible animal tourism practices.
  • Offering a special sustainable travel module in the training program for local tour guides and hosts, in which the main responsible tourism aspects are brought to attention, followed by the role expected from the employees. This module will also include knowledge regarding the destination and its relevant sustainability aspects.
  • Having our tour leaders, local representatives, and guides inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g., protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g., tips, dressing code, and photography), and human rights (e.g., sexual exploitation).
  • Training our employed tour leaders and local representatives on the avoidance of sexual exploitation of children. This will include training on how to check the requirements concerning the exclusion of child abuse.


We aim to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts at destinations to ensure the sustainable development of the places that we operate in. We commit to this by:

  • Consider sustainability aspects in the selection process of new destinations and possibly offer alternative, non-mainstream destinations. 
  • Not selecting destinations in which tourism leads to structurally negative local effects (unless the company’s involvement results in clear counterbalancing effects). 
  • Consider the selection of new destinations that are reachable through more sustainable means of transport. 
  • Comply with legally based spatial planning, protected areas, and heritage regulations. Also with the destination management strategies of local, regional, and national authorities. 
  • Support initiatives that improve the relationships between accommodations and local producers. 
  • Influence and support local government (when possible, together with other travel companies and stakeholders) concerning sustainability, destination planning and management, use of natural resources, and socio-cultural issues. 
  • Support biodiversity conservation, including protected areas and areas of high biodiversity, through financial contributions, political support, and integration in product offers. 
  • Not promote souvenirs that 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).

Illegal souvenirs

At Asian Heritage Treks and Expeditions, we believe that the power of responsible business goes beyond profit margins and bottom lines. Our commitment to ethical and sustainable practices is deeply ingrained in our corporate culture, driving us to make choices that benefit not only our customers but also society and the environment as a whole.

  • It is illegal to export antiques and artifacts from Nepal without proper documentation and permits.
  • Nepal is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including endangered species such as tigers, rhinoceros, and various species of birds. It is illegal to buy or sell products made from these animals or their body parts, including skins, bones, feathers, or ivory.
  • Certain plants and their products are also protected by law by the government of Nepal. For example, the export of orchids is regulated to prevent overharvesting.
  • Nepal is known for its rich geological history, and some tourists may be tempted to purchase fossils, gemstones, or minerals. The sale and export of fossils and minerals without proper permits are illegal and may result in legal consequences.
  • Some religious artifacts and objects hold significant cultural and spiritual value in Nepal. It is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions when purchasing such items. Items stolen from temples or religious sites are strictly forbidden, and their sale is illegal.
  • The government of Nepal enforces strict laws against the possession, sale, or transportation of illegal drugs and narcotics, including marijuana. Engaging in drug-related activities can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines. Tourists should steer clear of any involvement in such illegal activities to avoid legal consequences.

Client Communication and Protection 

Customer welfare and information are very important to us. We ensure clear and constant communication and high protection for our clients.

Prior to booking, we commit to this by:

Make available a company guideline for client consultation, which is followed by client advisors. 

  • Ensuring that customer privacy is not compromised.
  • Complying with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages and not promising more than is delivered.
  • Making product and price information clear, complete, and accurate with regard to the company and its products and services, including sustainability claims.
  • Providing destination information, including sustainability aspects, that is factually correct, balanced, and complete.
  • Informing clients about the environmental impact of different transport options to reach the destination (in case these are not included in the package) and offering sustainable alternatives, where available.
  • Informing the client about sustainable alternatives concerning accommodations, excursions, package holidays, and transport options, if available.
  • Clearly informing (potential) direct clients about sustainability commitments and actions. 
  • Educating our employees and clients about the potential negative impacts of voluntourism on local communities and the importance of promoting child welfare.
  • Educating our employees and clients about animal welfare issues and the importance of responsible animal tourism practices.
After booking and during holidays, we commit to this by:
  • Providing information to clients about the natural surroundings, local culture, and cultural heritage of the holiday destination.
  • Clearly inform (potential) customers about sustainability commitments and actions. 
  • Inform clients about key sustainability aspects and issues at the destination and receive recommendations on how to make a positive contribution.
  • Inform clients about risks and precautions related to health and safety matters at the destination. 
  • Keep a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergency situations. 
  • Train personnel and keep guidelines available on how to deal with emergency situations.
  • Provide clients with documented guidelines and/or codes of conduct for sensitive excursions and activities to minimize negative visitor impact and maximize enjoyment. When possible, guidelines are developed in collaboration with relevant NGO’s and the affected community.
  • Provide clients with information about commercial, sexual, or any other form of exploitation and harassment, particularly of children and adolescents.
  • Inform clients about applicable legislation concerning the purchasing, sales, import, and export of historic or religious artifacts and articles containing materials of threatened flora and/or fauna in the destination.
  • Motivate clients to use local restaurants and shops (where appropriate).
  • Inform clients on sustainable transport options in destinations when feasible.
  • Encourage clients to donate to local charities and sustainable initiatives.
After holidays, we commit to this by:  
  • Systematically measuring client satisfaction and taking into account the results for service and product improvements. 
  • Including sustainability as an integral part of the research into client satisfaction. 
  • Having clear procedures in case of complaints from clients.

Enhancing Sustainability: Energy Reduction Policy Implementation in Office Environments 

In today’s era of environmental consciousness, businesses are increasingly recognizing the significance of sustainable practices, including energy reduction. Offices, as significant consumers of energy, play a crucial role in contributing to a greener future. Let’s take a look into the implementation and impact of energy reduction policies within office environments, highlighting key strategies and benefits. 

  • Replacing traditional lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs significantly reduces energy consumption while offering longer lifespans. 
  • Lower energy consumption translates to reduced utility bills and operational expenses, positively impacting the bottom line. 
  • Decreased energy consumption leads to reduced carbon emissions, contributing to broader environmental goals and corporate social responsibility. 

When planning office spaces, incorporating sustainable design elements can have a lasting impact on energy consumption. Factors such as natural lighting, energy-efficient building materials, and strategic placement of workstations can contribute to energy efficiency.

Continuous Improvement 

We will continuously review and improve our sustainability performance by: 

  • Setting targets and goals for sustainability performance.
  • Measuring and monitoring our sustainability performance.
  • Regularly communicating our sustainability progress to our stakeholders.
  • Seeking opportunities to innovate and improve our sustainability practices.

By implementing this sustainability policy, we hope to promote sustainable tourism practices that benefit the environment, local communities, and our clients while ensuring the long-term success of our business. 

Asian Heritage Treks and Travels commits to and declares that we make all the necessary efforts to follow and comply with all the above stated. We will update the present policy regularly and take the needed measures when we fail to comply with it, analyzing ourselves, our actions, what we did good or wrong, and how we can continuously improve ourselves as persons and our organization, hopefully resulting in a better business environment and a better world.

Contact Details of Sustainability Manager:

Saru Tamang

Sustainability Coordinator

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