Hidden Secrets Tours highly values and appreciates the amazing city that our business runs on and within. With great respect to this environment we are committed to running a sustainable business covering the three main areas of business sustainability: Environmental, Economic and Social Responsibility. Our actions as a local business reflect our sustainable business principles.
From the inception of our company, we have always stopped to assess how sustainable our business practices are, and changed things along the way to constantly improve on this. We see this as a vital part of our business’s growth and responsibility. We have many existing initiatives in place as a sustainable business.
Low Carbon footprint – Our bottom line environmental practice is our company’s low carbon footprint with regard to transport. As a WALKING TOUR operator, we use leg power instead of petrol to show our guests the best way to see Melbourne city. When needed, we provide our guests with Tram tickets and utilise the city’s public transport system. In September 2015 we made the decision to remove plastic bottles from our tour collateral – Media Release Here
We are members of the sustainable practices promotion program www.greenmoney.com.au
Small Print Runs – We are conservative with regard to printed material. Where possible, we make online brochures and when needed we print small runs of marketing material in order to reduce wastage, and regular accurate updates Local Printing – we use local printers for all of our print material including a promotional items and support local printers to reduce our/their carbon footprint. Sustainable inks and papers – all of our marketing materials use sustainable ink and paper.
Reusable water bottles – our staff are all given reusable metal water bottles to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the office. As of late August 2015 we will no longer automatically supply single use plastic water bottles on tour. Recycling – Our office has always practiced recycling and has initiated a recycling process for the entire Nicholas Building from which we operate. We have recycling bins in the office, water filters for tap water, and keep cups for staff and clients if needed. Electricity and Water– As we have a small office space in the city, we have cancelled power during the pandemic. When operational we use Green power enery with sustainable renewable energy investment. The Nicholas Building has shared bathrooms which reduces the overall usage of water. We have bike storage for our staff in the office. Off-set carbon – On the odd occasion we need to fly somewhere, perhaps to a conference, we always off-set our flights through the airlines.
As a small local business, we see our city and its amazing local businesses as a highly important and strive to continuously support them. We also focus on sharing our sustainability values with our clients and fellow business operators. Volunteering in 2022 we have a new team program where we will fund hours for undertaking some volunteering work. We believe that we have a responsibility back to our community… Homelessness in Melbourne is our area of choice and this is where we now focus our fundraising… please see more here
Hidden Secrets Tours and staff would like to respectfully acknowledge that we are meeting and walking on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation. This area Naarm is now known by its European name of Melbourne. The traditional owners are the Wurundjeri, Boonerwrung, Taungurong, Djajawurrung and the Wathaurung which make up the peoples of the Kulin Nation and we pay respects to their Elders both past and present. Melbourne has always been an important meeting place of cultural significance, and this storytelling and relevant songlines we continue to learn from
In August 2015, we have committed our community efforts and fundraising to the prevention of Homelessness in Melbourne.. our other projects include. On October 10th 2020 we committed to continue our focus on Homelessness prevention and also support for research in Mental Health with charitable group OneInFive
Social Media & Blogging – we share our stories and information about how we run our business sustainably and information about other great local businesses through social media and our website blog. Staff education and feedback – we are in constant conversation with our staff members about their thoughts on how effective our sustainability is, and ways in which we can improve it.
In 2020 we were ready to celebrate our sweet 16. We had the best forward bookings we had ever had in January, but already fires had hit the east coast of Australia ( impacting all sorts of travel plans including those of many of our clients) and then Covid-19 and a very long lockdown period in Melbourne. Hidden Secrets operates a lean model, and as such our costs have been kept to a minimum, 2 of our staff have been able to benefit from government subsidies through the company, and a couple of grants have enabled other staff to work on projects through lockdown. – All of these measures have enabled us to still be here ready to restart in Spring 2021. In 2014 we celebrated 10 years of business. This was an extremely exciting milestone in Hidden Secrets Tour’s history. We see ourselves continuing to operate as one of Melbourne’s Top Tour operators into the future. Our business practices mean we are built as a sustainable tourism business and continue to bring economic benefit to Melbourne and Australia. As our company focuses on local businesses and local producers, our practices are helping in sustaining the economy of not only our own company, but many of Melbourne’s other wonderful small businesses. We carry staff bags made by MATTT Bags, water bottles from Memobottle, Fiona wears Melbourne labels like Tiffany Treloar, Alpha 60, and McIntyre Merino , Tara Whalley , Elk, Kuwaiti and Crumpler