Above & Beyond Alaska was founded by locals who grew up exploring in and engaging with the diverse ecosystems of Southeast Alaska. Southeast Alaska holds a mystique unlike any other place. The Pacific Ocean waters meet the rainforest blankets of the towering Coast Mountain Range, where glacial lands lay hidden above. “Our backyard” as we like to call it can entertain just about any wilderness activity and is capable of attracting outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Since our inception in 2002 one of our goals has been to operate an environmentally sustainable company. ABAK is conscious of its impact on the environment and aims to be a leader in the guiding industry in its protection, education, and promotion of the environment.
Above & Beyond Alaska’s environmental policy identifies and establishes principles, objectives, and goals to provide a framework for developing environmental procedures and initiatives. Using our environmental policy ABAK developed an Environmental Action Plan that is used to help guide our operations decisions and actions.
Protecting the Environment through Minimizing our Impact
- Following established Leave No Trace Principles
- Reduce (examples): reduce plastic water bottle use by supplying clients with reusable aluminum bottles, reduce food waste by planning purchases according to our schedule, reduce fuel consumption by utilizing van capacity appropriate for the group size (ABAK uses 7, 12, or 15 passenger vans) and combining transports, reduce consumption of outdoor goods by repairing damaged equipment
- Reuse (examples): aluminum water bottles are cleaned and reused, reuse paper with print on one side to print our daily schedule or by cutting and stapling it into notepads
- Recycle (examples): recycle irreparable rain gear by sewing it into nylon snack bags, recycle cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper in our office and warehouse
- Operate our trips with a 6:1 client to guide ratio maintains our standard of safety and care by creating manageable group sizes that are less of an impact on the terrain and to others
- Teach others about Leave No Trace ethics
- New warehouse/office space built as a LEED Certified “Green Building”
- Ongoing environmentally friendly business practices combined with new technology will also further our sustainability
Promoting for the Environment through Providing Exceptional Outdoor Experiences
- Our company acts as an ambassador for the wilderness by providing exploration accompanied with education which leads to conservation.
- Provide an avenue to get into and experience remote, inaccessible, and inhospitable areas safely and comfortably on guided trips
- “…the question is not what you look at – but how you look and whether you see.” – Thoreau, 1851. ABAK aims to provide an outdoor experience that allows clients to understand and appreciate their surrounds and not simply look at it. This in turn fosters a greater conservation ethic within our clients
Educating About the Environment through Outdoor Programs, Partnerships, and Training Opportunities
- Share our knowledge and passion about the wilderness and its environments to educate our clients
- Donate time and money to various environmental locations and organizations that promote the education about and protection of the wilderness
- Annual training seminars and community discussions organized by ABAK staff to educate about the surrounding ecosystems and environmental issues