France-based Ponant has become the first international cruise line to join the Green Marine environmental certification program for the marine industry.
This initiative distinguishes the players in the maritime industry that undertake to measure their environmental performance each year and reduce their environmental footprint.
The program offers a specific framework for port authorities, terminal operators, ship owners and shipyard managers to productively and measurably reduce their environmental footprint.
Specifically, Green Marine addresses a number of priority environmental issues through its 13 performance indicators – seven of which are designated for ship owners. The indicators assess on a scale of 1 to 5 the practices and technologies having a direct impact: underwater noise, pollution atmospheric emissions (NOX, SOX and PM), greenhouse gas emissions (CO2), invasive aquatic species, waste management, and oil discharges.
This year, Ponant obtained an average of 4.4 and achieved Level 5 — leadership and excellence — for five of the seven indicators.
“Our visions of tomorrow’s tourism, sustainable and responsible, prompts us to constantly impose ever more virtuous standards in terms of respect for the environment,” Nicolas Dubreuil, Ponant’s Polar & Tropical Expedition Expert and Director of Sustainability, explained.
“A halt to heavy fuel oil use, the utilization of the latest technological innovations, a dramatic reduction of single-use plastics, the implementation of environmental and societal impact studies, awareness-raising among our passengers, the creation of our foundation… We do everything we can to ensure that the environment’s preservation is at the heart of our actions.”
“This is a major ship owner in the cruise sector that has repeatedly demonstrated its community to sustainable development through several initiatives, in terms of atmospheric emissions, plastics reduction, carbon offsetting or new technologies,“ David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, said, welcoming Ponant to the certified participants’ program.
More than 145 Canadian and U.S. enterprises currently participate in the program. Any international company is also eligible to obtain certification as long as it operates in North America, as is the case with Ponant which offers cruises in the Canadian and US Arctic.
With a transparent certification process, the results are independently verified every two years and the individual performance of each company is made public annually on the Green Marine website.
German environment association Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) recently recognized Ponant as the most environmentally friendly cruise line.
Each year, NABU assesses and evaluates the environmental policies of the principal ocean-going cruise companies in the European market. This year, Ponant rose to first place in the ranking.
The ranking assesses overall environmental strategy based on eight environmental criteria — commitment to the Paris Agreement, climate strategy, efficiency measures, emission-reduction measures, the use of shore power connections, discontinued use of heavy fuel oil, the use of nitrogen oxide catalysts and the use of soot particle filters.
“It’s more than just a simple ranking. This recognition is highly significant for Ponant. It encourages us to continue our efforts to promote sustainable tourism and to set increasingly rigorous standards for ourselves in this respect,” according to Dubreuil.
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