Ponant becomes first maritime cruise line with Green Globe Certification

PONANT's Broome to Darwin Cruise
PONANT's Broome to Darwin Cruise

The entire Ponant fleet has achieved the Green Globe Certification for its innovation and adoption of more sustainable tourism practices

Ponant, a leading cruise line in environmental sustainability, has become the first maritime cruise line to obtain the official Green Globe Certification. Each year, an accredited independent auditor measures nominees against 44 criteria and 380 indicators organised around four pillars: sustainable management, social and economic performance, cultural heritage and the environment.

The cruise line was recognized for its commitment to innovating and adopting more sustainable practices in tourism. The Green Global Certification is, “important for our guests and also for continuing to encourage the whole maritime sector to realise its environmental transition,” stated Wassim Daoud, Head of CSR and Sustainability at Ponant.

The entire Ponant fleet was awarded with the certification, meaning that Ponant cruisers can expect an environmentally friendly cruise whether they are aboard one of the four Sisterships, the six Ponant Explorers, the luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot or the flagship sailing yacht Le Ponant.

The team’s effort to uphold sustainable cruising practices was first noted in 2019, when the entire fleet began using Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LS-MGO). LS-MGO has a sulphur content below 0.05%, which is 13 times lower than current maritime standards. This made Ponant the first cruise line to abandon heavy fuel oil while supporting international authorities who advocate for the extension of Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) to all oceans.

When it comes to reducing air emissions, Ponant aims to equip the entire fleet with catalytic systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and shut engines off when in port by the end of 2026. The cruise line has also announced a goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% per cruise day by 2030 as compared to 2018.

Since 2021, Ponant has been phasing out single-use plastics supported by the deployment of Nordaq filtration units for producing onboard drinking water from seawater with distribution occurring via water fountains or recyclable glass bottles. This strategy helped prevent the use of an estimated 390,000 single-use bottles or five tonnes of plastic in 2022. Ponant aims to achieve its zero single-use plastic objective in 2024 by eliminating all other sources of plastic waste this year.

In addition to environmental sustainability, Ponant strives to build connections with local communities impacted by the company’s excursions. For example, the Ponant Foundation identified Guinea Bissau’s Bijagos archipelago, which was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1996, as a potential area for contributing to the local community that is affected by cruises. Ponant Foundation worked under the guidelines of ESCAMA Foundation to rebuild Caravela Island’s Anipoc village school, which services hundreds of children and about 200 adults, and fund teachers’ salaries. Mirroring the eco-friendly approach of the Ponant fleet, the Anipoc school sorts and recycles waste, has access to clean drinking water and utilises solar-generated electricity.

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