Hurtigruten receives top ESG Ranking for a cruise company

Research Provider Sustainalytics recognises Hurtigruten Group

MS Kong Harald | Credit: Stian Kio

Hurtigruten Group has received an industry-leading ESG Risk Rating of 19.7 (Low) following an assessment by Morningstar Sustainalytics, an ESG research, ratings and data firm. With ratings categorised across five risk levels, Hurtigruten Group is the only cruise company to be awarded a Low ESG Risk Rating and ranks fourth (out of 127 companies) in the “Travel, Lodging and Amusement” subindustry category.

The rating from Morningstar Sustainalytics reflects the low risk of the Company experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.

“This rating is a result of our company-wide focus on emissions, nature, community and people,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten Group.

MS Trollfjord

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“We have made significant strides over the past year, investing 66 million euros in emissions reduction. Our pioneering Green Bond, issued in 2022, has enabled us to finance ongoing environmental upgrades, including converting our fifth battery hybrid-powered ship. Simultaneously, we strengthened governance with executive compensation linked to ESG targets, a new whistleblower policy and improved supply chain control, emphasising local procurement.”

In its latest ESG rating report, Morningstar Sustainalytics stated: “The company [Hurtigruten Group] is at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors, due to its medium exposure and strong management of material ESG issues. The company is not publicly held, which reduces its corporate governance risk compared to its peers. Although the company has a moderate level of controversies, its favourable risk assessment is primarily due to its above-average policies and programs.”

Skjeldam added: “This rating is a quantitative method to assess our ESG efforts and a valuable tool to scrutinize how we execute on our ESG strategy through programmes and policies across the entire business.”

Hurtigruten Group – consisting of Hurtigruten Norway, Hurtigruten Expeditions, and Hurtigruten Svalbard – seeks to change the industry’s approach to sustainability. Hurtigruten Group was the first cruise line to ban heavy fuel oil (2009) and single-use plastics (2018). In 2019, Hurtigruten Expeditions added the world’s first battery hybrid-powered cruise ship and has since added two.

Click to access Hurtigruten Group’s ESG Report

In 2022, Hurtigruten Norway converted its first battery hybrid-powered ship, with one more joining the fleet in 2023 and a third planned for 2024. The conversions are part of a 100-million-euro green upgrade that will reduce CO2 and NOx emissions by 25% and 80%, concurrently. Moreover, this June, Hurtigruten Norway’s first-of-kind Sea Zero initiative revealed early concept plans for the world’s most energy-efficient cruise ship.

“In addition, our Svalbard operations have made considerable progress in reducing their impact, deploying two electric tour boats and eight electric snowmobiles. We are working towards becoming cleaner, greener, and quieter,” added Skjeldam.

The Group released its 2022 ESG Report in May, advocating for increased transparency and prioritization on emissions reductions over carbon offsetting. “As a travel company, we acknowledge our environmental impact and use ESG review as a tool for looking at our own behaviour. Transparency is key, allowing us to set ambitious targets and push ourselves – and the industry – to collectively protect the people and places at the heart of our adventures,” concluded Skjeldam.

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