PONANT has become the first international cruise line to join the Green Marine marine industry environmental certification programme.
This initiative distinguishes the players in the maritime industry that undertake to measure their environmental performance each year and reduce their environmental footprint, Green Marine claimed.
The programme offers a specific framework for port authorities, terminal operators, shipowners and shipyard managers to productively and measurably reduce their environmental footprint.
A number of environmental issues are covered in its 13 performance indicators – seven of which are aimed at shipowners.
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 attained 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. Engaging in a rigorous certification and continual improvement process, such as the one offered by Green Marine, is natural,” explained Nicolas Dubreuil, PONANT’s Polar & Tropical Expedition Expert and Director of Sustainability.
“A halt to heavy fuel oil use, the utilisation 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,” he said.
David Bolduc, Green Marine’s Executive Director, added. “This is a major shipowner 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.“
More than 145 Canadian and US enterprises currently participate in the programme. Any international company is eligible to obtain certification, as long as it operates in North America, as is the case with PONANT, which offered cruises in the Canadian and US Arctic before the shutdown.
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.
PONANT recently achieved another boost when German environment association Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) recognised the company 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 achieved first place in the ranking.
NABU’s 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 NOx 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,” Dubreuil added.