Why travel with Greentrek?
Greentrek was created as a response to actual pressing environmental needs and also because we believe we can do travel the right way! We want to offer our customers high quality and safe experiences in Ecuador while taking advantage of all the positive benefits that sustainable tourism can generate.
We are very aware of the potential of tourism to conserve the environment, to help maintain local cultures, and to bring economic income to aid in the development of Ecuador’s inhabitants. Through sustainable and responsible tourism practices we believe all of this is possible. We are also aware of the importance of offering our customers a cultural learning experience (and therefore a more meaningful trip) which, in turn, can help promote positive community behavior through their active participation in Greentrek sustainable tourism practices.
Our Volunteer programs
We are also focused on volunteer placements around Ecuador. On such matters, we firmly believe in the positive change driven by the good intentions and willingness to help of volunteers worldwide. For us, the inter-cultural exchange is as important as the work that the volunteers do in the field; therefore we are very excited to help place volunteers in our projects. Doing so helps contribute to the conservation of Ecuador’s unique diversity and promotes a greater global cultural-understanding of the nation.
Our programs for student groups
Another area we specialize in is Service Learning programs. We are aware of the uniqueness of Ecuador’s cultural and biological diversity and therefore we know exactly what to offer student groups. An adequate balance between very active and academically rich experiences in the field – while creating a fun environment for students to learn and enjoy their experience abroad – are what we take pride in offering.
We invite you to travel with us and enjoy your time abroad in a sustainable and meaningful way!
READ ABOUT WHAT OUR PARTNERS HAVE SAID ABOUT US!
Reis-idee from the Netherlands! Article in Dutch
About the Founder
About the Founder
Felipe Arteaga, born in Quito-Ecuador, completed his undergraduate education at Universidad San Francisco de Quito with a BSc. in Applied Ecology. He also studied on scholarship for one year in the USA at Juniata College (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) where he graduated as well, obtaining a BSc in Environmental Sciences. After some years of work experience he was awarded two scholarships to study for an MA in Environmental Tourism and Development at King´s College – London.
His work experience has varied. He worked in sustainable tourism for Isabela Island in the Galapagos and later went on to work as a naturalist guide. The latter experience allowed him to work with and understand the reality of several indigenous communities in the rainforest, including how these social groups have adapted to use tourism as a tool, both for sustainable community development and as an alternative to oil extraction in their territories.
He also collaborated with the Rainforest Alliance in the Sustainable Tourism Program under the ABCI (Amazon Basin Conservation Initiative) where he acted as the Ecuadoran Technical Field Coordinator, working with over 50 private and community owned tourism operations in best management practices in sustainable tourism, conducting workshops and offering technical assistance in different subjects.
During his master’s program in London-UK, he completed an Internship with the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), where he learned about various responsible environmental and social practices within the international travel and tourism industry.
He has also worked with various volunteer organizations that coordinate international volunteer placement programs, including Peace Corps Ecuador under the Natural Resources Conservation Program.
Currently, Felipe is the founder and manager of Greentrek Sustainable Travel.
Travel with us you can make a difference
Our Sustainability Policy
No matter where you go or how you travel, you will continuously have an impact on the environment and the people you visit. Greentrek believes that by traveling responsibly we can have a minimal negative impact on our surroundings; but also, in many cases, we can actually help conserve the environment and preserve local cultures. We are also aware that you can have a more authentic and meaningful trip when sustainable tourism practices are implemented throughout your trip.
Our Environmental Policy
Greentrek considers the current and future environmental impact of its business, taking measures to reduce the use of resources and to reduce any undesirable environmental impact from its operations or from the businesses that contribute to its travel programs.
- Waste Management: Greentrek acquires, whenever possible, products that are biodegradable, reusable, returnable, recycled, or recyclable, in order to minimize waste during the operation of its travel programs.
- Energy Efficiency: Within the office environment, our organization is committed to reducing the use of electricity, and to incorporating all technology available to avoid unnecessary consumption. On our tours, we prefer alternative energy sources that have lower environmental impact.
- Water management and consumption: Greentrek will use the available technology and resources to avoid wasting water, both in the office and in the field.
- Transportation: Greentrek will contract its transportation services based on their energy efficiency, looking to reduce unnecessary emissions, noise, or consumption of gasoline.
- Protection of National Patrimony: Greentrek seeks to minimize the impact of its passengers in wildlife areas and other sites, avoiding impact on the flora, fauna and landscape, and respecting the fragility of those ecosystems. It will respect the identity of local cultures, supporting conservation initiatives. As part of its work philosophy, Greentrek will engage in activities to promote the local empowerment of the communities it visits.
- Additionally Greentrek will actively involve our tourists in the funding of projects that our volunteers undertake in the field. Most of our projects are related to the conservation of Ecuador’s unique biodiversity and natural scenery.
Our Social Policy
Considering that safety and well being are fundamental parts of our company policy, Greentrek avoids generating situations that undesirably impact or pose a risk to the socio-economic or cultural components of the areas visited.
- Safety: Our company is committed to establishing strategies to periodically evaluate and review the level of risk in the office and visited areas, as well as the means of transportation and other facilities to be used – we do this in order to guarantee maximum safety for our guests and staff.
- Social Impact: The activities of the company, principally those related to our tours, informational material, donations and research, will respect the cultural integrity, privacy, beliefs and values of the communities visited.We look to facilitate development with as little impact as is possible, and will transmit this information to our clients.
Our Human Resources Policy
Greentrek has created a Human Resources department, encouraging members of the company to be hands-on while promoting innovation, flexibility and organizational agility. At the same time, the company aims to strengthen the feeling of social and environmental responsibility among all employees at all levels, helping to promote the awareness and preparation of human resources in technical and environmental areas.
- Integration and Participation: Greentrek has committed itself to facilitating the active participation of its personnel in all dealings and company responsibilities; all while promoting creativity, discussion, and commitment on individual and group levels. To achieve this, the Human Resources Department works to strengthen these principals by means of the management practices of its managers, chiefs and employees.
- Environmental Leadership: All members of the company will receive necessary information in order to become environmental leaders while complying with the criteria, policies and actions that emanate from our sustainability policies.
- Training and selection of personnel: Greentrek requires all employees – without distinction of position or salary – to have a passion for conservation and a belief in sustainable development that’s in harmony with the principals of safety and social responsibility. These criteria help ensure that the Greentrek’s efforts and philosophy contribute to the development of a more responsible society that remains conscious of environmental needs.
- Our company has an equal employment opportunity policy, which is always considered when hiring new employees.
- Social and Environmental Sensitivity: Company staff members who hold applicable positions will have the opportunity to travel through the national territory on educational inspection trips that strengthen contact and knowledge of nature and conservation areas. They will also be able to consider the effects of irresponsible development both within and outside of the tourism industry.
Our Supplier / Partner Policy
In keeping with our environmental policy, Greentrek encourages its suppliers to apply only the best of practices in sustainable tourism as well, which consequently allows the company to amplify its range of influence over other organizations and reaffirm its own commitment to sustainable travel.
- Information & Awareness: Greentrek has informed its suppliers and partners about its commitment to sustainability, motivating its suppliers to establish their own environmental policies and their employees to involve themselves actively in practices that minimize social and environmental impact.
- Selection of Suppliers/Partners: Greentrek will only work with those suppliers/partners that bring together excellence in product and service quality. In addition, we only work with certified companies that take either concrete action in the social-environmental field or demonstrate explicit interest in achieving such goals. To be sure of the commitment to sustainability of our suppliers, we work with initiatives that are certified by the Smart Voyager program and/or verified by Rainforest Alliance as a sustainable tourism program.
Our Service Quality Policy
Responding to overall quality criteria and new market trends, Greentrek is committed to excellence and to minimizing any errors in customer service. We carefully consider costumer feedback as an information aid in the research, communication, construction, and redesigning of our services.
- Communication & Education with Clients: Greentrek is committed to opening the clearest of communication lines between us and our clients, keeping them informed on Greentrek’s efforts in lowering its environmental impact while encouraging their active participation.
- Encouraging Quality: Greentrek is committed to selecting products of the highest quality, designing programs according to client expectations, facilitating efficient and effective service, and encouraging the compliance with environmental policies.
- Monitoring our Service Quality: Greentrek encourages feedback from clients and other sources in order to obtain, interpret, and direct information that allows us to constantly seek and refine the quality of our service. Please feel free to contact the manager for any direct feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Selection and training of personnel: Selection of personnel will be carried out through standardized procedures, along with internal training programs and professional development, all of which guarantees the quality of service offered by Greentrek. Standards of quality apply from the clients’ or suppliers’ first contact with Greentrek until the end of the services contracted, along with the follow up procedure.
Our Operations Policy and Criteria
Throughout the development of Greentrek’s activities, the company is committed to achieving specific environmental criteria, structuring its activities with the principles of minimum impact, staying in compliance with what is advertised and promised, and reflecting the added value of the performance of the company.
- Design of programs that are low impact: Greentrek will promote programs that save resources and time, reflecting our low impact policy and optimizing the quality of your experience.
- Environmental Leadership: Information provided by Greentrek should be accurate and updated constantly, avoiding the creation false expectations while responding to the standards of quality service and relying on the most effective and least contaminating means for its distribution.
- Community Participation: Greentrek will promote in all ways possible the inclusion of communities and the services they offer within its travel programs and activities that it designs.
- Group Size: Greentrek holds group sizes of up to 12 passengers or less. In cases where the group size exceeds 12 passengers, additional naturalist guides are assigned to manage tourists in a way that minimizes impact on natural areas, ensuring the delivery of thematic information designed to sensitize travelers to their natural surroundings and inform them on conservation themes.
Our Business Ethics Policy
Greentrek is committed to complying with principles of honesty, social values, transparency, dedication and responsibility when providing its services. From the perspective of environmental consciousness and responsibility, Greentrek aims to diminish pressure on the environment and is committed to intensifying its efforts to help conserve and contribute to better environmental and social conditions on local, regional, and global levels.
- Values: Greentrek has a performance objective aimed at embracing the highest human values, which within them include: humility, loyalty, professionalism, consideration and solidarity.
- Preservation of Patrimony: Greentrek will contribute, in the most effective ways possible, to the conservation of the natural and cultural integrity of the resources and landscapes of Ecuador.
- Legal: Greentrek will comply with the totality of law, norms, and regulations that govern its business functions.