As a company, we have come a long way in minimising any impact our cruises may have on the environment. Our Gold Green Tourism Award has helped demonstrate our commitment to being a sustainable business and the advice and support of the Green Tourism organisation is instrumental in showing the way forward.  Our Green Initiative crew member, Lynsey Bland, has very high standards in expecting Hebrides Cruises to leave no stone unturned in implementing green measures

Tackling carbon emissions

Reducing carbon emissions is a major focus for this year’s winter maintenance for our vessels and one of the most challenging tasks we are having to face in our efforts to be a sustainable business. Both our vessels will have new, more efficient generators installed which reduce energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions. A high standard of maintenance not only provides comfort for our guests but reduces carbon emissions, as does running our vessels at 65% of their power capacity and lifting our tenders out of the water while cruising to save fuel. Minimising the water usage on board and lowering our freshwater pumps has saved the consumption of water as well as heating costs.

Also helping to offset our carbon emissions is our support for Trees for Life. In 2022, we donated and planted 301 trees (a total worth of £1806) representing one tree for every guest who cruised with us during the season. We are very pleased to support Trees for Life, a visionary organisation establishing a revitalised wild forest in the Scottish Highlands.

Reducing single-use plastics

As a marine business, we are very aware of the devastating effect plastic is having on our seas and are determined to do our bit.  Our 2022 season saw a big reduction in the number of single-use plastics aboard our vessels. Recyclable cans and glass are replacing plastic, while containers, from cardboard boxes and refillable toiletries to our guests' water bottles, are reused. We choose local food suppliers such as Go Naked Veg and Breckenridge that minimise their own plastic and packaging.  Sea Change, our wine suppliers, are innovative in removing waste at every level in their packaging while also donating to marine charities with every bottle of wine sold.

We are on a mission to further reduce our single-use plastic and overall waste produced onboard during our 2023 season - it is amazing what can be achieved when you set your mind to it!  Lynsey has identified that our main remaining source of single-use plastics is food packaging and food storage. Re-usable storage boxes and foils will remove the need for the likes of cling film in the galley. Even our toilet tissue has come under scrutiny and our new supplier, Serious Tissues, not only provides 100% recycled toilet roll with no plastic packaging, they plant a tree for every toilet roll sold.

After each cruise, we responsibly deposit any plastic waste we have picked up on coastlines, happy in the knowledge it will not go back into the sea to harm our precious marine wildlife.

Our commitment to the natural environment continues

It is both frightening and reassuring how much can still be done in so many different ways to become a fully sustainable business.  We are grateful to Lynsey who continues to identify new measures and initiatives to ensure that our activities do not result in any damage to the idyllic places we visit and the planet we inhabit.