How do you protect the environment and the communities you visit?
From the very beginning Rabbie’s was built by valuing, managing and conserving our environment. We aim to leave the legacy of our beautiful landscape for future generations to enjoy. Our tours are better than touring in your own car, and in the last 4 years we have reduced our travellers’ carbon footprint by 21%.
We make every effort to reduce our carbon footprint and since 2008 we have implemented a self-imposed carbon tax and donate £10/tonne of carbon that we use operating our tours to environmental and charitable causes. Since 2008 we have donated £18,500 cash and £10,500 in kind to environmental and social projects such as The National Trust and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Examples of organizations that we have volunteered with are The Pentland Hills, Water of Leith and James Gillespie High.
In 2012 Rabbie’s initiated a community project in conjunction with the National Trust for Scotland where Rabbie’s funded a project to plant a new native woodland at Ben Lawers. In the long-term, the woodland will be managed by the Crannog Centre and the hazel trees will be used for their crafts, education and conservation activities, making this a strong partnership with benefit to local community. In September 2012 we organised for pupils from the local primary schools of Kenmore and Killin and from our local Leith Primary in Edinburgh, to visit the new woodland and learn about the importance of regeneration projects like this and preserving native habitats. Rabbie’s aim of involving schools is to grow the next generation of heritage fans. Our aim is to increase this project and build on its success involving more communities and schools in the long term.
Feedback from this project:
Thank you so much for making yesterday such a great experience for the pupils and staff at Leith Primary. I know that the pupils will be writing to you themselves but I just wanted to thank you and Rabbie's for making it all possible. It was a really worthwhile learning experience for all the children and a great success.
Alasdair Friend Headteacher,
Leith Primary School
We restrict our tours to 16 passengers to give you a more personal experience, enabling us to get you off the beaten track and explore some of Scotland's hidden gems. Overnight tours offer you a choice of accommodation in small, remote communities where you will meet local people, eat local produce and have a truly authentic experience, while at the same time supporting local businesses.
Charitable Donations in 2012
In 2012 we donated £2,013 to various charites including Macmillan Cancer Awareness, The Royal Blind Society, British Heart Foundation, Action for Children and St. John's Ambulance.
Charitable Donations in 2011
In 2011 we donated £2,310 to various charites including Macmillan cancer, Medics Against Violence, The Royal Blind, Mary’s Meals and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Charitable Donations in 2010
In 2010 we donated £1,620 to various charities including The Royal Blind, The Red Cross, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Fareshare and the Woodburn Community Nursery. We also raised £2,719 for Barnardo's by taking part in the Cairngorm Challenge
Charitable Donations in 2009
In 2009 we donated over £1,500 worth of tours to various charities including Action for Children, Breast Cancer Care, Sustrans, Alzheimer Scotland, West Linton Youth Group, MacMillan Cancer Support and The British Red Cross.
Charitable Donations in 2008
In 2008 we donated over £1,300 worth of tours to various charities including Barnados, the Red Cross, Bethany Big Sleep Out for the Homeless, Transaid for Sub Saharan Africa, Mountain Rescue, Maggie's Cancer Care, St. Mary's and Gilmerton Primary Schools and various Lithuanian Children's charities.
Charitable Donations in 2007
In 2007 we donated over £1,600 worth of tours to various charities such as Children in Need, Oxfam, Big Sleep Out for the Homeless, Transaid for Sub Saharan Africa, St. Mary's Primary School, and various Lithuanian, Slovenian and Romanian children's charities.
Our Responsible Policies
At Rabbie's we are dedicated to delivering a memorable and enriching experience that lasts a lifetime. These same principles apply to how we manage our business in relation to our community and environment. Below are some of the policies we have in place to achieve these aims.
- We operate modern fuel-efficient vehicles to minimise environmental impact.
- We run small group tours so that you get the best service and ensure your visit enhances the communities and environment that you visit.
- We have only one departure point for our scheduled tours to avoid contributing to congestion & pollution levels.
- Wherever possible we use locally owned and run accommodation on our extended tours, thereby supporting local employment and communities and enabling you to meet locals.
- We encourage income generation and small business enterprise by supporting local shops and restaurants when you travel on your tours.
- We endeavour to ensure our type and scale of tours is appropriate to local conditions.
- We implement a zero litter policy and recycle packaging from anything consumed on our vehicles.
- We recycle all paper, cans, glass and plastic and re-use where possible.
In our office and check in desk
- We stock crafts and merchandise produced by small cottage industries.
- We use recycled paper and ink cartridges.
- We use bio-degradable low phosphate cleaning products.
- We monitor our electricity and water usage and waste produced.
- We recycle and donate old IT equipment to local schools and various charities.
Award Winning Recognition
In recognition we are proud to have been awarded 10 top awards for environmental and responsible tourism excellence. A Gold award from the Europe's leading tourism green accreditation scheme (Green Tourism Business Scheme), a Gold Award from Keep Edinburgh Clean scheme, the highly acclaimed recognition of being the inaugural winner of the Scottish Thistle Sustainable Tourism award in 2007. In 2009 we won the special judges award for "Inspiration" from Scottish Business in the Community and the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Award. In 2010 and again in 2012 we were very proud to be awarded a Big Tick from Prince Charles and Business in the Community for Climate Change and Small Company of the Year from Scottish Business in the Community. In 2011 we were recognised as Europe’s Outstanding example of a responsible and sustainable tour operator at the International Travel Trade fair in Berlin’s VESTA awards. In 2012 we were also named as SME Business of the Year from Scottish Business in the community and this year we have been awarded a Big Tick from Business in the Community for Rural Action recognising our positive impact on the communities that we support throughout the UK and Ireland.
Our founder and Chief Executive Robin Worsnop regularly gives free time to develop responsible tourism practices and innovation across the Scottish Tourism Industry. He is currently the chairman of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) where he champions sustainable tourism.
Each year we organize a company training day which includes environmental training and volunteering, recent volunteering projects include:
2012 – Tree and plant identification training at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
2011 - Environmental training at Gosford House and a weekend volunteering at Ben Lawers planting trees, building a deer fence and a nesting site for Grebes with NTS.
2010 - the whole team volunteered at The Pentland Hills National Park where they built steps and paths at Hillend.
2009 - members of the team conducted a litter pick for Keep Scotland Tidy and we donated two buses for the day.
2008 - the whole company volunteered and helped the Perthshire rangers with the forest management project at Kinnoull Hill.
2007 - the whole company volunteered in a Water of Leith clean up.