Well it is true that over the winter months everything seems to go green, from the bottom to the ropes but that's not really what this blog is about. Just over a year ago we posted a review of our sustainability credentials under the heading 'Ethical Dilemmas' It's about time to publish an update. So, how are we doing?
We did not do quite as well in controlling our carbon footprint as the ambitious table below, though we still measure well below the two comparators we used. The problem was hat we motored more than anticipated, so this year we are setting shorter day passages with less time pressure allowing more leisurely sailing. Most of our passengers travelled to us by train something we are trying to encourage again in 2023. It is the single biggest contribution they can make to carbon reduction of their holidays.
Next winter we will be based in the historic docks at Exeter, a fresh water floating harbour which allows the use of a water to water heat pump system run from green tariff shore power to provide heating and hot water. This will also allow us to operate quayside winter events about which more in our next blog.
To ensure we maintain our pollution commitments we are also installing an IMO standard onboard sewage treatment unit which means we no longer pump untreated sewage into coastal waters and rivers. This also means we do not spend time searching for and linking up to pump out stations during our 2023 European voyage. We still struggle to arrange recycling when shore facilities are not available but we retain our commitment to avoiding single use plastics and single portion packaging.
In 2022 we stuck strictly to our pescatarian, organic, low waste menus which were well received by our passengers. We will continue this commitment and try to increase our use of local growers and suppliers in 2023. We will be offering these menus as part of our quayside operations next winter
The realities of modern marketing means we have had to revert to using Instagram and Facebook for direct marketing. The whole social media world is increasingly toxic but we are not established enough to do without it. Similarly we have yet to find an ethical bank which provides the range of services we need to run our international cruises and so are stuck with a main stream bank with its unethical fossil fuel investment commitments.
Overall progress is positive and we are on track with our 2030 zero carbon target and our Business Declares commitments. The next steps will be much more difficult. On board renewables such as solar panels and wind turbines will be the next investment. As before progress will be driven by commercial viability.