Economic responsibility – e.g. details of: donations to charities, employing local people, etc

Currently we are also making a monthly donation to the HECAC children’s home. HECAC – Himalayan Environmental Cultural Awareness Centre.

We are also proud to work in partnership with the charitable organisation, just-one. We donate a portion of our gross earnings to just-one - a Nepali NGO which helps disadvantaged children (many of whom have ended up living on the streets of Kathmandu) access the benefits of educational opportunities. The straightforward and common-sense approach of this grass-roots organisation has seen them enjoy a success rate of approximately 80% to date.

BOA employs a number of local staff, both in our Kathmandu office and on the road in areas where there are few work opportunities. This enables individuals the chance to earn a living and support their families.  We also employ the services of local mechanics, workshops and parts suppliers which mean that our economic returns are far reaching and not just tourism based.

We aim to put as much back as possible into the local communities we visit, as demonstrated by our itineraries

Environmental responsibility – e.g. details of: recycling, protecting wildlife / national parks, etc

We are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible

Office and workshop:
• Our business policy reduces the carbon foot print by making a conscious decision not to produce an annual printed brochure; we also print on both sides of the paper whenever it is appropriate
• We try to reduce what we print by using email and online media for communications to crew, agents, ground operators and clients.
• Where possible we turn off our lights, computers, printers and other electrical equipment, particularly at night
• We minimise our energy consumption in whatever way we can
• We recycle as much as we can, from paper to plastics, glass, cardboard, oils and metal
• Products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them – as we pass them on to local people
• Each truck is regularly serviced and maintained to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible   

On the Road:
• We recycle wherever possible, e.g: glass soft drink bottles
• Vehicles are generally serviced in established workshops, where the local people have a responsible attitude to the disposal of waste products
• Products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them; we pass them on to local people who can not afford the luxury of purchasing them new and un-used.
• Each truck is regularly serviced and maintained to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible
• Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, personal music systems etc. These can be charged on our trucks as we travel
• Our crew encourage travellers to minimise plastic drinks bottle consumption and all of our trucks carry sufficient drinking water (approx 200lts) for the group, reducing travellers need to purchase plastic bottles of drinking water. We use steripens for water sterilisation, batteries used in steripens are recharged on our trucks

National Parks
When visiting any national park or wildlife reserve, we strictly adhere to the well-known saying, ‘take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints’.

Social responsibility – e.g. details of: preserving local culture, visits to local projects, etc
Wherever we are in Asia, we work alongside smaller locally owned businesses, ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business. For example:
• We use mostly small family/locally owned hotels and activity providers wherever possible 
• By using the services of local crew of each particular country we travel through, we support the local economy as well as provide our passengers with the benefit of direct interaction with local people.

We are committed to promoting human rights within our sphere of influence. This means trying to ensure that everybody involved with Best Of Asia Overland are treated with fairness and respect; this includes our office staff, crew, suppliers as well as all others impacted by our business.  We also aim to educate our clients about the regions we are travelling through, and ensure a greater understanding of the issues that local people face.

We believe our trips should benefit local people and we endeavour to make local culture and communities an integral part of our trips – both in terms of economy and cross-cultural interaction. We also recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through - and we strive to make these communities into our partners, so they can benefit directly from our business.

We aim to put as much back as possible into the local communities we visit.

BOA - A Friend of the community...
I was on one of the first BOA trips through Nepal. One of the many highlights was the stop at Nuwakot, a small remote village in central Nepal. After a hearty breakfast we all worked our way up to a school that was in session. Hundreds of children, packed into classrooms couldn't be happier to see us. Class soon recessed. All the BOA travellers mingled with the rambunctious, smiley faced pupils - many walking up to 5 miles each way to get to and from school. A short discussion ensued amongst BOA, the school principal and all the BOA passengers. Within minutes it was decided we'd all chip in as a group and purchase 250 book-bags for the kids. One for each student. Within a couple of weeks, thanks to the handy work of all the BOA people, the kids got their book bags making their commute to and from school much easier. This is just one of the many efforts BOA and it's passengers make to make life a little easier for the people that live along the roads less travelled.  Mike - USA



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