Last week saw the release of the Hurtigruten Group’s 2022 Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which reviews its performance against its company-wide goals, as the Group seeks to deliver on its ambition to be the world’s leading sustainable, adventure travel company.
Included in the transparent measurement of its goals, the Group also shares its decision not to focus its reduction efforts on offsetting, or to offer offsetting to customers, as a means of achieving its goal of operating the first emission-free ship sailing the Norwegian coast by 2030 and becoming Net Zero by 2050. Instead, its three business areas – Hurtigruten Norway, Hurtigruten Expeditions and Hurtigruten Svalbard, will focus on investments driving in-sector emission reductions.
“Adventure travel creates advocates for the people, places and wildlife impacted by climate change, and our responsibility is to ensure that experience is done as sustainably as possible,” says Hurtigruten Group CEO, Daniel Skjeldam. “We operate in a carbon intensive industry and will be most effective by ensuring emissions don’t make it into the atmosphere in the first place. Our priority is investing in the technology that enables us to become Net Zero by 2050 and the launch of our fifth hybrid powered ship as well as the introduction of electric tenders reinforces this commitment.”
2022 ESG Report Highlights
The 2022 ESG Report outlines concrete, science and engineering-backed solutions that have a tangible effect on areas where Hurtigruten can make the biggest contributions, focusing on four key areas – Emissions, Nature, People and Communities. The ESG targets are approved by the Board of Directors, and the Executive Management Team is responsible for implementing the strategy. Since 2022, compensation of the Group Executive Management Team is also tied to these targets.
Highlights of the Report include:
· The investment of EUR66M on direct and indirect emissions reduction over the last twelve months, in line with Hurtigruten’s reduction strategy which focuses on hybridisation, fuel optimisation and shore power connectivity, as well as research and development, contributing to reduction of 2% absolute emissions since 2018 across entire fleet.
· Approximately 60% of guests participated in Citizen Science programs across the year, with 2,350kg litter collected shoreside during ship operations by guests.
· Spend on local food and beverage suppliers reached 41% across Hurtigruten Norway and Hurtigruten Expeditions.
· Women now represent 38% of Hurtigruten’s entire land and seaside workforce in a largely male dominated industry.
· The Company committed to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) in 2022, a first of its kind for an adventure travel company. It’s currently working on its emission reduction plan for validation by the SBTi. Once approved, Hurtigruten plans to share this with the Industry, to encourage others to adopt the same approach.
Second Norwegian Coastal Express Hybrid Ship
Having introduced its first environmentally upgraded battery-hybrid powered ship, MS Richard With, in 2022, Hurtigruten Norway is about to launch a second hybrid electric powered ship, MS Kong Harald, as part of a EUR100M upgrade of the Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Express fleet.
Altogether, seven ships will feature state-of-the-art technology which significantly reduces both CO2 and Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. One more hybrid ship is planned for 2024, taking Hurtigruten’s total to three hybrid ships. The upgrade program will reduce CO2-emissions by 25% and NOx emissions by 80%, making it one of the largest environmental upgrades of its kind in Europe, and the largest in Hurtigruten Group’s history. While this marks significant progress, the Group will continue to innovate in this area and, in collaboration with its research and maritime partners, is also committed to its Sea Zero research project, aiming to build its first zero-emission passenger ship by 2030.
“With two hybridized ships, even more guests can enjoy the rugged and beautiful coast of Norway from a quieter, state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly ship. Over the months to come, all seven Coastal Express ships will be upgraded to be more sustainable,” said Hedda Felin, CEO, Hurtigruten Norway.
Electrifying Expedition Cruising
Developing new ways to reduce the emissions is central to Hurtigruten’s goals to net zero emissions by 2050. Hurtigruten Expeditions is collaborating with EVOY Electric Engines in developing the first electric tender boats custom-built for expedition cruises, from Antarctica to the Arctic.
The newly developed boats are constructed for extreme weather and demanding sea conditions, designed to carry up to 20 passengers, alongside safety-related and scientific equipment for use on landings and excursions.
“We’re very proud to be the first commercial expedition cruise fleet to offer this ground-breaking technology enabling silent and emission-free excursions with minimal disturbance to local wildlife. It’s a perfect partnership based on our aligned commitment to safety and sustainability,” say Iain McNeill, SVP Operations, Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Hurtigruten Expeditions will introduce the first electric tender boats on expedition cruises with MS Otto Sverdrup along the Norwegian coast this season.