PONANT to be First Maritime Cruise Line to Achieve Green Globe Certification

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PONANT, world leader of luxury expeditions, have been awarded the official Green Globe Certification, applicable to its entire fleet, becoming the first maritime cruise line to obtain the certification. The Green Globe International Standard for Sustainable Travel and Tourism is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, who assess the sustainability of business operations. The accreditation demonstrates PONANT’s ongoing commitment to innovation and adoption of more sustainable practices in tourism.

“Green Globe certification, a global tourism industry standard, is a key element of our commitment to ensuring accountability for our actions. It’s important for our guests and also for continuing to encourage the whole maritime sector to realise its environmental transition,” explains Wassim Daoud, Head of CSR and Sustainability at PONANTHe continues: “What sets this certification apart is that it is based on continuous improvement. While our goal this year was to obtain it, the major challenge in the coming years will be to keep it”. 

Green Globe certification has been awarded to all four sisterships vessels, the six PONANT Explorers, the world’s only luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot and iconic flagship sailing yacht Le Ponant. This result rewards the commitment of all PONANT teams over the past several years to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to more sustainable tourism.

“We are thrilled to announce PONANT’s accreditation of the Green Globe Certification for our entire fleet, making history as the first maritime cruise company to earn this international standard, setting a new precedent for sustainable tourism”.  Says Deb Corbett, General Manager Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific, “This accolade reflects our unwavering commitment to reducing environmental impact and pioneering innovative practices in luxury expedition travel.”

Since 2019, the entire fleet has been using Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LS-MGO) which has a sulphur content below 0.05%, 13 times lower than current maritime standards, significantly limiting its atmospheric impact. PONANT was the world’s first cruise line to abandon heavy fuel oil and support international authorities advocating for the extension of Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) to all oceans, like the Rome Declaration.

In pursuing the same goal to reduce air emissions, PONANT is equipping its entire fleet with catalytic systems to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and shore power connection systems in ports, which means engines can be switched off. Both these technologies will be fully deployed by the end of 2026. PONANT has set itself a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% per cruise day by 2030, compared to 2018.

The company has also made great strides in reducing waste production. A strategy of gradually phasing out single-use plastics has been implemented since 2021. This has been notably realised through the deployment of Nordaq filtration units for onboard production of drinking water from seawater. It is then distributed via water fountains or in recyclable glass bottles, facilitated by an onboard encapsulation chain. In 2022, this strategy meant that nearly 390,000 single-use bottles, that’s five tonnes of plastic, were avoided (compared to 2019). The company has also reviewed all its onboard operations to eliminate other sources of plastic waste and continues to pursue its zero single-use plastic objective in 2024.

PONANT pays close attention to its impact on local communities and strives to build connections with people that go beyond business exchanges.  A scouting mission in the Bijagos archipelago in Guinea Bissau resulted in a programme to rebuild the school in Anipoc village on Caravela island, funded by the PONANT Foundation. This isolated area has been recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1996. After meeting the ESCAMA Foundation, which has been working with the locals for several years, PONANT teams decided to get involved in a project that would make a real difference to the school’s hundred pupils and around 200 adults who are now benefiting from literacy programmes. In addition to the construction work, the PONANT Foundation is also funding teachers’ salaries while the community gets organised to provide them with on-site support. Much emphasis is also placed on eco-responsible management of the school, including sorting and recycling waste, having access to clean drinking water and solar-generated electricity.

Green Globe International Standard for Sustainable Travel

Launched in 1998, the Green Globe International Standard for Sustainable Travel and Tourism is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. It assesses the sustainability of business operations based on 44 criteria and 380 indicators organised around four pillars: sustainable management, social and economic performance, cultural heritage and the environment. Green Globe is an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization. The certification process is carried out every year by an accredited independent auditor.

ABOUT PONANT

Explore to Inspire: explore to better understand, learn, share and protect. For 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. For more information www.ponant.com

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