Our Commitment to Sustainability
To deliver authentic, guided and small group wilderness tours with a sustainable approach ensuring with care the Safety, Service and Sense of Wonder afforded to each of our guests.
Sharing our home means caring for it too
At Gastineau Guiding we believe it is our responsibility and privilege, as an Outdoor Adventure Tour Operator which provides services to thousands of visitors, to introduce and demonstrate sustainable practices and alternatives. While we strive to awaken a sense of wonder in our guests through sharing the beauty of our home, we also hope to inspire change and education as we share our message of renewable energy with our community at home, and the tourism community at large.
Our Community and Our Future
Committing to Sustainability with Certification through Travelife
Travelife is a certification system recognized by the Global Sustainability Tourism Council, dedicated to achieving sustainable practices within companies and organizations in the tourism industry. They provide businesses with realistic sustainability goals, tools, and solutions to implement positive change within their industry. In order to become fully accredited Travelife conducts an online assessment as well as an in-person audit to ensure proper methods are practiced day to day. Gastineau Guiding’s offices and operations were audited and in December of 2019 and we became the FIRST tourism company to achieve Travelife Certified in Alaska. With the support of our community, and Travelife, we will to continue our efforts and influence as we work towards a cleaner and more sustainable standard in our industry.
Working together towards the bigger solution!
We are committed to converting entirely to zero-emission transport within the next 10 years. In 2014, we became a member of Adventure Green Alaska, a voluntary certification program for tourism businesses operating in Alaska that meet standards of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. We also work closely with Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alaska Travel Industry Association, and the US Forest Service Green Initiatives with the hope to share that vision with the tourism community at large!
“Gastineau Guiding is committed to not only utilizing more efficient transportation to lower our GHG emissions, but to be a leader in helping plan the infrastructure and its placement as to encourage other tourism and transportation companies to evolve to clean hydro-powered vehicles and boats.” – Bob Janes
Promoting SENSE-ible Whale Watching
Gastineau Guiding is an active and contributing member of WhaleSENSE, a voluntary program in partnership with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that promotes responsible commercial whale watching. WhaleSENSE has been designed to build upon existing federal whale watching regulations to encourage responsible, conscientious interactions with whales while on the water. Specific stipulations include recommendations on approaching whales, cow/calf pairs, distance from whales and interactions with other viewing boats while on the water. The program also provides training to guides and captains on how to follow these regulations and how to promote awareness for responsible viewing. We are proud to fly the WhaleSense flag on all of our custom safari vessels and provide a positive example to the whale watching community and fellow tour operators.
Commitment to Community!
Gastineau Guiding is one of the founding members of this cooperative effort to give Juneau residents a voice in the tourism industry. Established in 1997 Tourism Best Management Practices (TBMP) continues to minimize the impact of tourism in a manner which addresses both resident and industry concerns. Only through effective communication and collaboration can we provide a once in a lifetime experience for our visitors and a lifetime full of experiences for our local residence.
Our Guests Help, Too!
Gastineau Guiding contributes to the ongoing development and maintenance of the miles of trail system here in Juneau for both local and visitors to enjoy year round. It is estimated that our guests walked or hiked 56,000 miles in the course of the 2019 season, alone – that’s about 14,000,000 calories burned and thousands of pounds of possible fossil fuel emission replaced with human sweat!
Minimizing Plastic Use
In the 2023 season we’re asking our guests for help as we continue our efforts to minimize plastic use. We’re asking guests to create a new Habit for the Habitat and BYORB (Bring Your Own REUSABE BOTTLE)! Included in the newly renovated facilities at the local harbor where our boats depart from, there will be water fountains, and we’re asking guests to BYORB. We hope this small effort will make a big difference as we continue working towards out sustainability goals. Click HERE to learn more about reducing efforts.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Guiding has been actively involved in recycling for the past 20 years and led the forefront to bring it to the tourism community. At that time, we arranged for a local recycling company to provide weekly pick-ups.
Gastineau Guiding is committed to recycling products such as the oil from our vessels and vehicles which we reuse in our mechanic shop for heating the building. We also separates and recycles all customer generated waste, including paper, plastic, and aluminum. We recycle approximately 4,800 gallons of paper, plastic and aluminum per year, and 3000 pounds of cardboard per year.
Gastineau Guiding started Composting with Juneau Compost to incorporate a more efficient and conservative form of waste management. This has helped us in our supply chain efforts as we’ve been able to incorporate more compostable products with a more optimum way of disposal. From the 2019 season compared to the 2022 season we increased our compostable material by over 100 gallons!