Adventure cruise operator Quark Expeditions has created a new sustainability strategy with measurable goals to improve environmental and social outcomes in the polar regions by 2025.
Quark Expeditions, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, has developed the new Polar Promise to advance its existing sustainability initiatives, which have included co-founding the SeaGreen recycling pilot programme, eliminating single-use plastics and more.
“Quark Expeditions recognises its responsibility to do more to protect these magnificent places,” said Andrew White, president of Quark Expeditions. “We want to go beyond reducing our footprint; we want to work with other leaders in the industry and with our guests to address the complex and challenging issues facing the polar regions. We believe sustainable business is central to our licence to operate in these regions and we hope to bring our partners and guests on the journey with us.”
Polar Promise is a holistic strategy framework that is split into four key focus areas to help reduce the impact of cruise ships visiting the polar regions.
One focus area will see Quark Expeditions encouraging staff and business partners to continually find ways to work more sustainably by including targets in the business strategy and staff incentives; measure and report on this strategy; and help its supply chain partners to use sustainable practices and policies. Plus, the company will continue to be an active member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
Another set of initiatives will help Quark Expeditions to reduce its footprint by measuring, reporting on and reducing carbon emissions; developing a zero-waste roadmap; deploying new technologies to reduce waste across the fleet; and partnering to develop waste solutions in communities and ports where its ships operate.
The third focus area will be see Quark Expeditions collaborating on training and employment opportunities in the Arctic and investing in research partnerships and citizen science projects in the Arctic and Antarctic. The company will also continue to support UN Clean Seas and liaise with AECO and IAATO to find opportunities to advance their mission.
Finally, the ‘Polar Legacy’ initiatives have been designed to help the operator build advocacy with guests and promote the understanding that the positive benefits of bringing people to the polar regions outweigh any impact of them visiting.