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For The Planet: Seven Ways Hurtigruten Is Making Every Day Earth Day

Hurtigruten is continuing its pledge to sustainable travel and shares how every day can be Earth Day within the tourism industry.

Hurtigruten is continuing its pledge to sustainable travel and shares how every day can be Earth Day within the tourism industry.

To celebrate Earth Day on Thursday 22 April, Hurtigruten Expeditions is highlighting how tourism operators and travellers can create a positive impact each and every day.

Damian Perry, Managing Director of Hurtigruten Asia Pacific, said ‘greenwashing’ was rife in the tourism industry, but educating travellers on what to look for in a sustainable company was an important step to combat this.

“The way we operate at Hurtigruten Expeditions is that sustainability is central to all parts of our operations, not just the ships themselves,” Mr Perry said.

“From innovating with hybrid-battery-powered ships, to managing food waste, reducing plastics, educating our guests, respecting local communities, and caring for wildlife, being kind to the planet is at the heart of Hurtigruten’s identity,” Mr Perry said.

“In reality, every day needs to be Earth Day and we hope that other tourism operators get on board in the future in making sustainability part of their company’s DNA.”

Damian Perry, Managing Director of Hurtigruten Asia Pacific

Hurtigruten Expeditions identifies seven main areas of sustainability initiatives currently implemented across the cruise line.

Here’s what its doing:

1. Reducing food waste through innovation

Image: Ørjan Bertelsen
  • Pledging to reduce food waste by up to 30 per cent by 2021 through digital registration and real-time measurement for all stages of food production.
  • Partnering with the EAT Foundation, a Sweden-based non-profit dedicated to making the food chain more sustainable and fairer for both people and planet.
  • Maintaining a ban on all non-sustainably caught seafood; Hurtigruten demands third-party certification of all fish purchased (MSC, ASC or equivalent). 

Find out more here.

2. Hybrid technology and innovation

  • Setting and raising the standards for the industry to follow – Hurtigruten’s ultimate goal is to operate its ships completely emissions free.
  • Introducing the world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ships; testing and powering ships with green biofuel made from organic waste.
  • Stopped using heavy fuel oil (HFO) more than a decade ago.
  • With leading environmental partners such as the Clean Arctic Alliance and the European Climate Foundation, Hurtigruten is spearheading the #HFOFreeArctic campaign – a campaign to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters. 

Find out more here.

3. Banning single-use plastic

Image: Ole Martin Wold
  • Hurtigruten was the first major travel company to remove single-use plastic from all its ships, restaurants and hotels.
  • Constantly improving how Hurtigruten reduces, recycles and handles waste, and sharing everything learned along the way, including with competitors.
  • Using environmentally friendly alternatives made of paper, metal or other biodegradable and sustainable materials. 

Find out more here.

4. Education, research and science programmes

  • Aims to create ambassadors for every destination on every expedition cruise, with guests aided by Hurtigruten’s highly skilled and experienced expedition teams.
  • Collaborating with worldwide scientific institutions, enabling passengers to participate in Citizen Science projects and assist in ongoing scientific studies.

Find out more here.

5. Caring for wildlife

Karry On - Hurtigruten Antarctica
  • Respecting and protecting wildlife: observing wild animals and birdlife at a distance so as not to alter natural behaviour. Throughout every voyage – and prior to each landing – all guests are briefed and educated about local wildlife guidelines.
  • Member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators – AECO – an organisation working for responsible, environmentally friendly, and safe tourism in the Arctic.
  • Member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators – IAATO – which advocates for and promotes safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. 

Find out more here.

6. Beach clean ups

  • On every landing at every destination, Hurtigruten Expedition teams encourage guests to take part in cleaning up the waste they find.
  • Hurtigruten Expeditions also arranges larger beach clean-ups in carefully selected spots, resulting in the removal of several metric tonnes of trash every year. 

Find out more here.

7. Local Communities

  • Respecting and supporting indigenous communities’ values, culture and traditions, and maintaining very close cooperation with these communities.
  • Trading locally and sourcing ingredients from local suppliers.
  • Fighting mass tourism. 

Find out more here.