Cruising to the Forefront of Sustainability
By: Joyce Landry
Due to the pandemic, the world that we once knew has made a 180-degree shift and many are suffering. But here at Landry & Kling Global Cruise Services, we choose not to dwell on the negative but focus on finding opportunities in our industry for positive change.
Early on, as cruise lines began to comply with the CDC’s “No Sail” orders, we appointed ourselves “Ambassadors of Hope” to lift the spirits within the cruise industry. Our company now actively supports a movement that is not only important to me personally but is also critical for the health and happiness of the entire world. We are dedicated to forwarding global sustainability and promoting the cruise industry’s role in it.
Two Lifelong Passions Converge
Protecting the environment and caring for creatures great and small has always been my passion. We have one planet and it is our responsibility to protect it. I strive to do that by practicing sustainability in my personal life as well as in my business practice. And my other passion? Why cruising, of course!
When discussing sustainability with environmental groups, I frequently get a negative reaction when I hand them my business card. Their response is usually along the lines of, “But the cruise industry is our enemy; they are guilty of being environmental offenders.”
These comments made me realize that there is still a deep-rooted misconception of how the cruise industry operates today. But it’s easy to understand why. In the past, some cruise lines were guilty of environmental violations like releasing waste. Those lines received low scores on environmental practices and consequently, a great deal of negative media attention. But that was then.
Today, the industry is committed to being at the forefront of sustainability and responsible tourism, and there are oversight bodies put in place to monitor things like emissions and waste management. Over the last decade and especially during the last five years, cruise lines have made tremendous strides in reducing their environmental footprint, preserving the oceans, protecting the places they visit, and supporting the communities who live there. Cruise industry executives have come to look at sustainability as necessary to their livelihood.
How are they accomplishing this? By investing in new technologies, creating strategic partnerships, reducing emissions and waste, and designing more fuel-efficient and hybrid-powered ships. (For example, Hurtigruten is the first cruise company to build hybrid-electric powered expedition ships, featured in our top banner image.) Onboard, cruise lines are implementing green initiatives such as reduced or banned use of plastics, energy-saving design, sustainable sourcing of products and seafood, and promoting an understanding of sustainable lifestyles.
Sustainableships.com: Changing the Narrative
As self-described “Ambassadors of Hope” committed to the environment, we at Landry & Kling embarked on a new venture this year, in the early days of Covid-19. Sustainableships.com was launched to promote sustainability within the cruise industry and provide a valuable resource for responsible travelers.
Not only was the website created to showcase what individual cruise lines are doing to help our planet and communities, but it also aims to inspire them to continue innovating to improve our oceans. We are now in the “soft launch” phase of building out the website, which currently has resources like links to all of the cruise line’s sustainability goals. Once fully launched, Sustainableships.com will help people find cruise brands to connect with and provide helpful tips and tools to encourage responsible travel and sustainable practices.
Adapting to the “New Normal”
Covid-19 changed our world, but the Landry & Kling team didn’t let the pandemic slow us down! We quickly pivoted from going to the office and meeting face-to-face to working from home and setting up daily team huddles on Zoom to practice social distancing. We embraced this virtual “new normal” and created a Sustainable Ships livecast interview series called The Future of Cruising… with Joyce Landry.
The livecast series embodies everything we strive to be as ambassadors of hope and sustainability. During each episode, invited guests from cruise lines and destinations join me to discuss new developments and share insider insights related to the future of this great industry.
To date, six different cruise lines as well as environmental experts and destination representatives have participated in our conversations. All are excited to talk about sustainable practices and their preparations for a healthy travel reset. The reimagined future of cruising looks brighter than ever!
These interviews have sparked an uplifting conversation on how the cruise industry has evolved into a new era of sustainability, and I am gratified to know that we are helping to create a shift in perception. Many of our viewers have told us they now see the cruise industry in a totally different and more positive light. While there is still more work to do, together we are making strides towards establishing cruising as the most sustainable way to travel. Onward and upward!
If you would like to see our past livecasts, please go to Sustainableships.com.
Upcoming Virtual Event
If you would like to learn more about sustainability within the cruise industry, I will be joining a panel of industry leaders in a discussion about “Keeping the Spotlight on Sustainability”. Register for this year’s Seatrade Cruise Virtual Event and join me on October 8 from 9 am – 10 am Eastern Daylight Time.
You won’t want to miss it!