In association with: Aurora Expeditions
Aurora Expeditions has embedded sustainability into its business and aims to create lifelong ambassadors for the planet, says Chief Marketing Officer Hayley Peacock-Gower
Q. How is Aurora Expeditions prioritising sustainability?
A. Sustainability is a journey, and we are accelerating meaningful changes in our business to become a global leader in sustainable expedition travel. We are active in doing more to help make a positive impact on the planet. Aurora Expeditions is a founding member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, and we have a responsibility to respectfully visit the planet’s remote wilderness areas.
We are constantly developing and implementing our Sustainability in Action programme across four key pillars: minimal footprint, education and enrichment, people and community, and environmental management systems.
Q. What are some of your achievements in these areas?
A. To minimise our footprint, we have small ships with limited passenger numbers. The ships also have an inverted X-Bow to minimise vibrations and reduce fuel consumption. On the education and enrichment side, we have a Citizen Science Program via a partnership with Polar Citizen Science Collective, and a Women in Conservation programme.
Our people and community pillar incorporates volunteering for the environment and having well-known ambassadors Greg Mortimer and Dr Sylvia Earle championing the protection of the planet. And on the environmental management systems, we have reduced single-use plastics and use eco-friendly supplies in head office.
Q. What will passengers notice on board?
A. Passengers will notice we have efficient energy, water and waste management. We have also reduced single-use plastics and we use eco-friendly products on board.
Q. How do you manage waste and recycling on board?
A. We audit each ship’s environmental management systems annually to evaluate the effectiveness of its efforts and measure the impact of the environmental programmes. All waste is collected, separated and then stored until it can be offloaded in an ecological manner at each port.
Food waste is separated, double-bagged and stored in a refrigerated garbage room. Once outside Antarctic waters and in open sea, waste is processed in a food pulp grinder and discharged in accordance with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
Q. What are Aurora Expeditions’ next steps for sustainability and its vision for the future?
A. We remain committed to a journey of sustainability. We see expedition travel as a force for good. We are purpose-driven and ultimately our aim is to create lifelong ambassadors for the planet.
Some of the next actions we’ll be taking in our Sustainability in Action programme include creating a sustainable food programme and working towards B Corp certification. We are also looking to improve supplier chains and enhance internal policies and systems where impact can be measured.
Five reasons to sell Aurora Expeditions to your clients
1. We are a purpose-driven business. Our goal is to immerse our expeditioners in some of the world’s most remote and fascinating places and, in doing so, create lifelong ambassadors for the planet.
2. We provide meaningful experiences for travellers who are curious, passionate and care for the planet.
3. Your clients will truly feel the impact of amazing destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic – and they will come back changed.
4. Education and enrichment is core to our offering. Your clients will benefit from more than 30 years of expedition travel on small ships to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Our talented and highly experienced expedition team have always been adept at sharing their knowledge and insights. Our aim is for passengers to disembark knowing more than when they got on board.
5. The small-ship experience with Aurora is intimate and friendly – and your clients will be choosing low‑impact, respectful travel.
PICTURES: Jocelyn Pride; Ryan Clark; Scott Portelli; Tyson Mayr