The months when we are not at sea are very busy doing the maintenance on the boats and the myriad of other jobs involved in running a business. However this winter we have spent a lot of time examining our operations in detail and really addressing the challenge to make them as sustainable as possible.
Our love of the seas of the Hebrides and all the life that inhabits it has influenced our operations from the very start. Our aim was to always ensure our activities did not result in any damage to the idyllic places we visited. However, with the knowledge we now have of climate change and the need to view our operations as having a global, not just a local impact, we have increased our determination not to have a negative environmental impact through running our cruises.
What is clear to us is that sustainable tourism is not just about policy, it is about people. Without the engagement and commitment of our guests, crews and suppliers, we would not achieve as much as we have.
For 2022 we have not only improved our own carbon footprint, but have asked our guests to do as much as they can to avoid negative environmental impacts as they travel to, and stay on board, our cruises. Our new Charter for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism outlines how, in partnership with our guests, we can really make a difference in reducing our impact on the environment. Fortunately, our guests already tend to be enthusiastic environmentalists and welcome the advice and information we provide.
Our long-standing Wildlife Guide, Lynsey Bland, is now formally our 'Green Initiative Crew Member'. Lynsey is very excited about this role, monitoring our green policies and suggesting ways in which we can improve, to minimise our environmental impact.
By using local quality food suppliers, we not only celebrate the delicious fresh produce available to our Chefs, but we also save food miles and support Fairtrade businesses.
To ensure we “put something back” to the natural environment we have formed an alliance with Trees for Life, the groundbreaking charity that has been rewilding the Scottish Highlands for over 25 years. We have committed to planting a tree for every guest we have on board, every season.
Our current Environmental Policy outlines everything we do to make sure that we leave no trace of our activities during our operations as well as reduce our overall carbon footprint. In addition to that, we want to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible in providing an amazing wildlife cruising experience to all our guests, whatever level of ability they may have.
It has been a challenging and reflective exercise, looking at every aspect of our operations as to how it affects the natural environment. We have made a lot of progress and we are committed to continuing on this path of running a truly sustainable business.