For decades we have been talking about a special “Topas spirit”. It is intangible but we recognize it, our guests and collaborators recognize it. It can be difficult to pin down precisely what a spirit is, but the Topas spirit has to do with respect and engagement towards each other and the environment that we share, whomever it is and wherever it is.
The company’s mission is to provide active and authentic nature travels that respect local cultures, wildlife and the environment. We want to thrill and to be thrilled and we are good merchants with sound business principles. It has always been natural for us as a company when creating and developing new trips to acknowledge our imprint – both locally and globally – and to do our best to limit the negative impact and increase the positive impact where we can. The company is built on these core values. They are part of the company’s DNA.
So, whether we are talking about spirit or DNA, sustainability and social responsibility are corner stones of Topas’ way of working.
When we share our enthusiasm for nature travels with guests and business partners, we can move towards shared goals. We strongly believe that our joint forces matter.
Today, Topas A/S is part of Topas Explorer Group (TEG). As a natural step forward in our aim to continuously work for a good, healthy and sustainable environment for employees, guests, partners and our natural surroundings around the globe, TEG and all its subsidiaries have complied with the international standards stated by the UN Global Compact programme.
This means that we at Topas A/S have also adopted the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and integrated them into our daily work and strategies. They help us raise our level of awareness of sustainable efforts and guide us to the areas where we can invest our energy and resources with the greatest benefit for all.
On a yearly basis we evaluate the targets we set ourselves to achieve and adjust our plans as needed to continue our journey onward.
The monitoring and measurement of each target and activity are carried out at least on a monthly basis – depending on how often it is relevant. All numbers measured are collected in one joint system – measuring the progress of both Topas Explorer Group and the individual companies. From this system all data analysis and reporting are done. It is our ambition that at least one employee has the ownership of each needed activity.
- Topas A/S support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
- Topas A/S make sure that we are not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Topas A/S uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
- Topas A/S support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
- Topas A/S support the effective abolition of child labour.
- Topas A/S support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Topas A/S support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
- Topas A/S undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Topas A/S encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Topas A/S work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Our Code of Conduct expresses the ethical requirements we have towards employees, suppliers and business partners throughout the business. We are in the process of incorporating our Code of Conduct in all business areas and contracts so that ultimately all employees, suppliers and business partners are familiar with its content and have signed it.
Furthermore, our Code of Conduct will be publicly available on our websites for easy access for anyone interested.
Openness, respect and tolerance together with diversity are part of our core values, which is why we ensure a healthy and safe work environment, where acts of discrimination, bullying and harassment are not tolerated.
We put a lot of effort into equal rights and we will continue to strive for our recruitment process to be based on required competences regardless of e.g. gender, culture, ethnicity, religious background, sexuality. These subjects are not exhaustive.
At Topas A/S we recognize the importance of providing meaningful jobs to people and as such provide a reasonable income for all employees to secure their livelihoods. This being our objective, we have identified some areas which are of the utmost importance to us:
- Local job creation
- Local education initiatives
- Low employee churn and high job satisfaction
It is important for Topas A/S to be a local contributor in the communities in which we operate. We wish to live up to this engagement by creating strong collaborations and through these motivate to sustainable development and contribute to local growth. We support all our employees to succeed in their job and possibly enjoy new competences.
We see low employee churn and high job satisfaction as two sides of the same coin. We want a healthy and attractive workplace, where the physical and psychological well-being and safety of our employees and colleagues are in focus. We are continuously working to maintain a good work environment, where employees can expect to be treated properly and respectfully by both management and colleagues.
We have always been conscious about preserving nature and landscapes that we have visited and used as our natural work environment through many years. Both guests and employees have as a matter of course worked to ensure that also the next visitors would have the same beautiful experience as did the previous group. This attitude is still a fundamental pillar of our daily work.
Having said that, we are also aware of our industry’s impact on the environment. We are all eyes and ears for new accessible ways of how we as part of the travel and tourist industry can ensure that our business supports preservation and sustainable local development around the world. We see possibilities for our work to have a positive impact on people’s life and wildlife protection and we make decisions to gain this influence.
We work in an open organization based on loyalty, knowledge sharing and innovation. Both guests, employees and partners continuously provide us with new creative, smart and efficient ideas as of how to work onwards. Efforts have been made to preserve the environment and more are coming. Investments in various ecological projects have already been made and more are coming. We aim to be able to always come back and enjoy the beauty of a landscape, wildlife or other natural wonders.
As part of TEG, we have a global focus on the following three areas:
- Reduce the use of single plastic
- Pure water supply
- Reduce the use of fossil fuels
We collaborate with people and businesses around the world, and we encourage local suppliers through dialogue to make sustainable choices in their business for the benefit of the local area and the environment globally. This concerns subjects like unnecessary packaging and alternative means of transport that contribute to a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
Topas A/S is considered a major operator in several of the areas where we are present, and it is crucial to protect our employees, our values, beliefs and business ethics. The primary action for Topas A/S is to work closely with all local authorities and require that all vendors and business associates comply with our Code of Conduct.
We comply with all procedures, rules and regulations from international, national and local authorities, and all taxes are paid according to local legislation. We maintain our own internal controls to assure this and all records are available for inspection.
The roll-out of our Code of Conduct will be supported by anti-corruption training of selected employees who are most likely to interact with corrupt people or organizations.
Compliance with our CSR policy
It is the responsibility of everyone to comply with our CSR policy in their daily work – both leaders of Topas A/S as well as every single employee. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that our CSR policy is implemented, but the success of our CSR policy will only grow with the engagement of each employee and partner. Our CSR policy is therefore implemented daily on a decentralized basis in the individual functions.
The CSR manager of Topas Explorer Group can be contacted at any time regarding grievances or complaints from both employees, customers or any other observers of unsatisfying issues in regard to the implementation and compliance of our CSR policy. We keep an official record of all inquiries.
Code of Conduct Topas Explorer Group and subsidiaries
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to set the standards for the business ethics, which all employees in the Topas Explorer Group (TEG) including all subsidiaries must comply with. Our commitment to CSR is based on the conviction that responsible business makes economic sense. We integrate CSR consideration into our business and operations and with responsibility and sustainability we base our work on a model aiming to understand the company’s impact on society in combination with the focus of our stakeholders. With this in mind, we have formulated a CSR strategy that deals with environmental and social key concepts, including climate issues and human rights. We introduce this Code of Conduct as part of our programme to address sustainability issues across our business. At the same time, we want to make sure that our counterparts have the time to familiarize themselves with the values, which have been a driving force behind the development of TEG’s business for more than 45 years.
TEG wants to act as a responsible business within the sectors in which we operate. We will achieve this through a continuous focus on areas where the company can identify significant impact on customers, stakeholders, suppliers, and the surrounding society. This will include, but not necessarily be limited to, influence on the environment and climate, social issues including labour rights, human rights and anti-corruption and bribery.
Our Code of Conduct
Employees and suppliers shall continuously strive to minimize negative impact of their activities on the environment. This includes a proactive and responsible management of environmental aspects such as (but not limited to) natural resources, waste management, energy consumption, water use, noise, dust and odour emissions.
The employee and supplier shall continuously comply with local laws including environmental laws and any supplier shall formulate and enforce an environmental policy relevant to the type and size of its operation.
Health and Safety
TEG, its subsidiaries and all suppliers must ensure that the workplace is safe, hygienic, and healthy. TEG, its subsidiaries and all suppliers shall ensure that all means of transportation (airplaines, ships, busses, cars etc.) are safe, working properly and according to all local laws and regulations. This includes ensuring the workers’ and guests’ access to fire fighting equipment and safety equipment.
TEG, its subsidiaries and all suppliers are responsible for proper training of all its employees and the application of preventive measures, e.g. systems to detect, avoid and respond to potential risks to the health and safety of all employees and guests. TEG, its subsidiaries and all suppliers are responsible for all necessary safety demonstration and information in order to ensure the safety of employees and guests.
Labour and human rights
Forced labour is never to be used by any branch of TEG, its subsidiaries or any supplier. This includes prison labour, trafficking, slavery or any kind of work that goes against the will of the worker.
Child labour is never to be used by any branch of TEG, its subsidiaries or any supplier. When employing young people, attention must be paid to the guidelines formulated by the International Labour Organization.
Employees at TEG, all subsidiaries and suppliers shall treat each other and everyone else with respect and not discriminate against anyone based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, health status, age, nationality, gender, political views or religion.
TEG, all subsidiaries and suppliers shall follow local laws and regulations in regard to wages, pensions, piece rates and other elements of compensation. Furthermore, TEG, all subsidiaries and the suppliers shall provide employment contracts to all employees.
TEG, all subsidiaries and suppliers shall respect lawful collective agreements. Furthermore, TEG, all subsidiaries and suppliers shall respect the employees’ right to organize themselves and negotiate collective wage agreements.
Monetary fines or deduction in compensation, as a means of disciplinary measure, can only be carried out if legal and agreed by collective bargaining agreements.
Business integrity and anti-corruption
All employees at TEG and at its subsidiaries as well as all suppliers shall comply with all applicable laws relating to corruption, intellectual property rights and bribery and thereby ensure a high level of integrity.
TEG, each subsidiary and each supplier must ensure, through relevant training, that they do not offer, promise, give or accept bribes or gifts.
TEG, each subsidiary and each supplier must commit to take actions to combat and prevent all forms of corruption at the earliest possible opportunity.
The easy, simple version:
- Treat all guests, employees and partners with the utmost care, respect and on fair terms according to local laws.
- Do not litter and throw garbage all around.
- Treat nature and wildlife with proper respect.
- Make sure that all guests, employees, and partners are safe and trained in the necessary safety equipment and procedures.