50+ Years of Responsible Travel
We have been committed to sustainability and responsible travel at all levels of our business for more than 50 years. This includes implementing environmentally-friendly operations; working toward the conservation of nature; preserving cultural heritage; and supporting social and economic benefits for local people as a result of our travel. We continually seek ways to innovate, protect, and educate—with confidence that the collective passion and expertise of our fleet and office staff, in conjunction with others who share our commitment to sustainable travel, will create lasting positive changes for our planet.
Now you can feel even better about traveling with us. Beginning in 2019 we’ve become a carbon neutral company, offsetting the carbon emissions of our fleet, employee travel worldwide, offices in New York and Seattle, all land-based operations, and beyond. Working in partnership with South Pole, the world’s leading developer of international emission reduction projects, we now have a portfolio of six carbon project investments that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. We also offer the opportunity for guests to offset their air travel by purchasing credits from South Pole. These investments focus on renewable energy, reforestation, and community-based projects in the regions our fleet visits, and beyond. We firmly believe any carbon offset plan must be accompanied by a strategy to reduce emissions, so are always looking for ways to lessen our carbon footprint at all levels of our business.
We are proud to have successfully completed a comprehensive single-use plastic elimination program across our entire fleet. Lindblad ships are 100% free of all single-use plastic bottles, cups, straws, and stirrers. This effort, along with other innovative company initiatives such as making crew uniforms from recycled plastic, support National Geographic's "Planet or Plastic?" campaign. Together we are helping to raise awareness about reducing the amount of plastic in the world's oceans.
We’re committed to buying locally wherever possible. This is good for local farmers and fishermen, and for the environment when there’s less to ship by air. In Galápagos, we’re making real progress. In 2018, 15.9 percent of our ships’ provisions were purchased locally in Galápagos. In 2019, nearly 27 percent of provisions were sourced locally. And, as we are in the process of starting a new relationship with a local fish co-op, our locally purchased stats will grow. This not only supports the local economy; it helps to preserve the Galápagos ecosystem by reducing the threat of invasive species entering through imported food and goods.
At the heart of our culinary program is a strong sustainable seafood policy. Using a holistic approach, every species is assessed, and we go through extensive research with our reputable network to ensure that we are only serving the most sustainable options, with the aim of keeping our oceans healthy and fish stocks constantly regenerating. Some of our major focus points for sustainable seafood assessment include: fish quotas, stock levels in particular ocean zones, method of catch, maturity levels, and feed. We are also dedicated to supporting local communities in their sustainable fishing efforts, as well as creating awareness among our staff, crew, guests, suppliers, and the larger travel industry around this topic.
For a full year, National Geographic Explorer’s Hotel team trialed a revolutionary disinfection technology: Premium Purity™, a combination of two synergetic products, ACT CleanCoat™ and ACT ECA System™. Using sunlight and a proprietary catalyzing mechanism for disinfection, and water and salt for cleaning, Premium Purity™ achieved stats impressive enough to warrant a fleet-wide roll-out:
Glide, an eco-friendly company located in Salt Lake City, manufactures our fleet of stand-up paddleboards. Glide sources foam for their boards from across town and picks up the scraps to reuse and recycle. In addition, Glide created custom non-toxic Lindblad-National Geographic pads for our boards. So, guests exploring via SUP can paddle secure in the knowledge they’re on the most environmentally responsible SUP afloat.
Glide SUPs are made with plant-based Entropy Bio resins, sourced from the waste stream of the biodiesel fuel and paper production industries. Using no toxic, lead-containing automotive coatings, Glide’s finish has the lowest negative environmental impact in SUP manufacturing.
Thanks to the forward and responsible thinking of our gear-up partners at Ship to Shore, our new inaugural Arctic and Antarctic parkas (once shipped in single-use plastic) now arrive to guests in a reusable bag. As the bag states, it can be re-used as a laundry bag, for beach cleanups, storage, and other practical uses. Now guests can feel doubly good about their Lindblad-National Geographic Expedition polar parkas!
For us, sustainability is baked into the details. Consider this: Every cabin aboard every ship in our fleet is equipped with a pen (because postcards and foreign stamps are forever cool!). Our Hotel team noticed the pens were being shipped in individually-wrapped plastic sleeves. When we asked, “Can you change this?” the vendor, never having been asked the question before, replied: “Impossible.” However, faced with the potential of no further orders from us, our vendor discovered new possibilities. Lesson learned: sometimes simply asking vendors to think differently results in far-reaching positive change—for all purchasers. We’re happy to keep asking the tough questions, when it means victories for sustainability!
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