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New dimension for sustainability at the FTI Group

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Europe’s third-largest tour operator focuses more strongly on sustainability. The group supports the European Union Green Deal as well as the 17 SDGs of the United Nations for the protection of the environment and for more social equality.

MUNICH – Green is the new orange: With immediate effect the FTI Group is giving the topic of sustainability new importance and is assuming significantly more responsibility for the environment and society worldwide. The focus of the future strategic orientation is primarily on measures for climate protection, sustainable travel, the protection of resources and biodiversity as well as social responsibility. "With our new sustainability strategy, we are supporting the European Union's Green Deal and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. We will reflect them in all our actions," explains FTI Group CEO Ralph Schiller.

In parallel to a situation and materiality analysis, the group will center the activities at the main location in Munich and in FTI's own hotels. The focus will be on optimized energy management, smart mobility, the expansion of digitalism and improved waste management. At the same time, the group will also push sustainable travel and excursion offers more broadly. To this end, the company is revising programs and processes in product management and in the excursion portfolio of the incoming agency Meeting Point International, which is represented in around 20 countries. In a second step, customers will be made more aware of these more sustainable offers and will also be comprehensively informed about possibilities for CO2 compensation. "We will mobilize our forces at all levels to make decisive contributions to a better environment. Beyond that, however, the social component is also an important concern for us. Ultimately, tourism always stands for cultural exchange and international understanding. That is why we will initiate various promotion and protection programs – in Germany as well as in our destinations," Schiller continues. "Of course, we have been active in the area of sustainability before and are building on previous efforts. Now, however, we will act on a much broader level and initiate a noticeable sustainability change for our entire group, which will also be clearly perceptible to our customers," he continues. Details on the strategy and individual measures will be presented in the coming weeks and months. It is important for Schiller to emphasize: "We will also work together with independent and renowned institutions and certifiers in order to underline our commitment with the necessary seriousness and transparency.”

High expertise for the FTI GROUP: Caroline Steimle as new Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
In order to implement the sustainability strategy and initiatives in the best possible way and to continue to develop the agenda in the future, FTI is bringing an experienced specialist on board. Caroline Steimle will move to Munich on 1 July 2022 and drive forward the sustainability planning for the whole company. "We are very pleased to have won Caroline Steimle for us," says Ralph Schiller. "With her expertise, passionate commitment and wealth of experience in sustainability and tourism, we will be able to implement numerous, important projects." Before joining the FTI GROUP, CSR Manager Steimle worked for more than three years at the German Committee for UNICEF e.V. and was responsible, among other things, for the strategic development of UNICEF in the area of corporate partnerships and for the establishment of UNICEF as an emergency aid organization among companies in Germany. Prior to that, she was co-director of the German industry-wide sustainability initiative Futouris e.V. for more than a year and was involved in the operational design of tourism projects in the areas of sustainable food, education, human rights and sustainable travel products. In addition, the trained hotel manager and graduate in business administration looks back on around a decade at Thomas Cook, where she was most recently involved in product management and was able to gain a wide range of experience at a major tour operator. "I am very excited about the new tasks at FTI, which I approach with great conviction and passion," says the future Head of CSR at the FTI Group. "The opportunity to accompany such a large group of companies in the targeted change towards more and strategic sustainability is an exciting, multi-faceted challenge that I am happy to take on."

The FTI Group had already pursued various sustainability initiatives in the past. For example, the group moved into a Green Building at its headquarters in Munich in 2010; at the time, it was the first office building in the Bavarian metropolis to receive the "Gold" award according to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). Since 2017, the FTI headquarters has also been contributing to biodiversity in the city by sponsoring over 100,000 bees on a roof terrace of its building. By introducing the so-called eMag as a replacement for classic, printed seasonal and annual catalogues, the tour operator group also saves immense paper resources and CO2 caused by catalogue printing and delivery. To date, FTI is the only major tour operator to have made the switch to a digital inspiration platform. In addition, the FTI  Group is a member of the German industry initiative Futouris e.V. and promotes projects such as "Zero Food Waste" or the Green Travel Index for more visibility of sustainable hotel offers. In the social area, the individual companies as well as the employees of the FTI Group are regularly involved in local projects for good causes and support regional initiatives such as FLY & HELP.

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