TTC Tour Brands and Uniworld update on sustainability progress with third annual impact report

Updates on food waste, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and new passenger experiences are outlined by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises in a third annual impact report.

 The report also details efforts made by parent group The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) tour brands, with the company allocating more than $1.88 million to 13 decarbonisation projects in the year.

TTC measured the carbon footprint of more than 700 trips to develop a roadmap of where the most reduction impact can be made.

Properties used by Contiki in France, Austria and head office in London now run entirely on renewable electricity, with 100% local/organic food suppliers.

The operator for 18-35s plans for new coaches in Europe to run on HVO in an effort to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40%.

TTC chief sustainability officer Shannon Guihan said: “This third impact report makes two things abundantly clear – we are not standing still, and yet there remains an incredible amount of work to be done.

“I’m immensely proud of TTC leadership for taking such bold action, particularly through prioritising investments in carbon reductions through TTC’s Carbon Fund, and equally of the way our teams have embraced this transition happening as a business and to our sector.”

The report updates Uniworld’s progress against targets outlined under TTC’s ‘How We Tread Right’ sustainability strategy.

The plan consists of 11 measurable goals including reducing 50% of food waste by 2025, eliminating single-use plastics and achieving net zero by 2050.

The report shows that the Uniworld fleet cut food waste by 36% last year following the introduction of specialist tracking system in 2021.

Sustainability initiatives in 2023 include cutting the amount of laundry going to external laundries, which resulted in a 24-tonne reduction for the year. 

Uniworld committed to completing energy audits on its vessels in 2023, and has since started to recommend new opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. 

It claims to be the only cruise company participating in a ‘Path2Zero’ research initiative led by Delft University of Technology aimed at devising the most suitable path for the inland shipping industry to reach net zero by 2025. 

Uniworld joined a river cruise organisation collaboration to apply for EU funding to support the net zero journey of river ships, creating data-based scenarios to decarbonise the sector in Europe.

The company is also is partnering with Atlas Reizen, which provides coaches for about half of of itineraries, to explore the use of drop-in Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a replacement for diesel where available.

DEI initiatives saw all employees across the globe sign a code of conduct, demonstrating a universal commitment to ethical standards. 

A hospitality school was also introduced, providing two five-day sessions for staff in food & beverage and housekeeping roles.

Uniworld sustainability officer Julie Higgins said: “At Uniworld, sustainability is more than a goal – it’s a core part of our identity and a commitment to future generations. 

“Our annual impact reports help keep us accountable as we publicly outline our progress, and we’re incredibly proud of the strides we’ve made – from reducing food waste to strengthening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”


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