Green Marine Europe certification trifecta for PONANT

Ultra-luxury expedition cruise line recognised for ongoing environmental committment

© PONANT/Daniel Ernst

PONANT has continued to deploy innovative solutions across its fleet, setting the seal on environmental excellence by obtaining Green Marine Europe certification for the third year running.

PONANT is the first international cruise company to join the Green Marine Europe environmental certification for the shipping industry program. The program provides a detailed framework of indicators that enables port authorities, terminals, shipowners, and shipyards to reduce their environmental footprint proactively and measurably.

The Green Marine Europe initiative recognises companies that measure their environmental performance every year and reduce their ecological footprint. It addresses priority issues through 14 performance indicators, eight of which apply to shipowners.

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They assess on a scale of 1 to 5 the practices and technologies that are having a direct impact on the environment. These include underwater noise, pollutant air emissions (NOx, SOx and PM), greenhouse gas emissions (CO2), invasive aquatic species, management of residues and oily discharges, and ship recycling. This year PONANT achieved an average of 4.4, reaching level 5 (“leadership and excellence”) for 6 out of the 8 indicators.

“PONANT has made strong commitments towards sustainable and responsible tourism, illustrated in particular by the fact its requirements are considered fundamental to our operations and by the significant deployment of green technology aboard our ships,” said PONANT General Secretary, Charles Gravatte.

“Participating in a rigorous certification process of continuous improvement like the one offered by Green Marine is directly in line with our Blue Horizon sustainability strategy which also promotes a collective commitment: Sustainable Future is our destination,” explains Gravatte.

Green equipment to protect the natural wealth of visited destinations

Since 2019, PONANT has abandoned heavy fuel oil for Low Sulphur Marine Gasoil (LS MGO) with 0.05% sulphur content, which is 10 times lower than current maritime standards stipulate. PONANT was the first company to take this approach, regardless of the ship or destination, considering the whole world as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA).

PONANT Antarctica | ©PONANT/Ragnar Axelsson

Having undertaken to equip all its ships by 2025, PONANT has just fitted L’Austral and Le Boréal with catalytic systems to slash their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90%. Up to now, only the 6 more recent PONANT EXPLORER ships and the world’s only luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot had this technology. As will Le Ponant, when she leaves the yard in July. PONANT’s objective is to extend that commitment to limit its nitrogen oxide emissions (NECA – Nitrogen oxide Emission Control Area) for all oceans.

PONANT has also taken major steps to reduce all its atmospheric emissions, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, hence why the company chose to equip all its ships with dockside connections by 2025, starting with Le Dumont-d’Urville and Le Bellot. Recently, Le Bellot was the first of the company’s ships to connect to the dock’s electricity supply at Hafnarfjörður (Reykjavik), a first for that port.

Le Bougainville | ©PONANT/Nicolas Matheus

Committed to the environment and climate

PONANT’s environmental commitments are reflected in a tangible, visible way across the whole fleet:

  • Consider the whole world as a Sulphur Emission Control Area for all ships in its fleet by 2025;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2026 and 30% by 2030 compared to 2019;
  • Completely eliminate single-use plastics aboard and ashore from 2022;
  • Ensure reuse and traceability of all waste by 2025;
  • Embark scientific research teams aboard the world’s only luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot;
  • Support the international Blue Nature Alliance project that aims to create 18 million km² of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2025.

Lead image: Storo Island, Scoresby Sound, Greenland | ©PONANT/Daniel Ernst

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