Lindblad Expeditions is going carbon neutral

Climate change impacts habitats and biodiversity Climate change impacts habitats and biodiversity PHOTO: ©Ralph Lee Hopkins/Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions announced it will become a carbon neutral company beginning in 2019, enforcing its longstanding commitment to the environment.

This also supports partner National Geographic’s ongoing efforts to identify greenhouse gas emissions associated with its travel programs, and decrease that impact by offsetting carbon emissions that cannot be eliminated.

100% offset of emissions from 13 ships, employee travel, offices

Lindblad's investments will offset 100% of emissions from its ships — eight in the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet and five leased, all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle and additional small but measurable emission contributors.

'Greatest threat humanity has ever faced'

'As a company, recognizing that global climate change is arguably the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, we all need to urgently step up our efforts whether big or small,' said Sven Lindblad, CEO and founder of Lindblad Expeditions. 'Our goal is to reduce and offset our carbon footprint, and to commit to carbon neutrality throughout the many layers of our business.'

Lindblad added it's becoming increasingly apparent that human beings and the planet that sustains them are out of balance.

'Climate change and its resulting impacts on global biodiversity and human health and livelihoods has provided a clarion call and awakening,' he said. 'The message is clear: we must rebalance and rebalance urgently.'

'We recognize that travel contributes to the overall human footprint that affects the Earth’s climate, and have been actively working to reduce this impact over the past decade, investing more than $1.5 million in verifiable carbon offset projects,' said Nancy Schumacher, EVP travel and tour operations, National Geographic Partners. 'We look forward to working together to spur further climate action.'

Partner South Pole develops emission-reduction projects

Working in partnership with South Pole, a leading developer of international emission-reduction projects, Lindblad now has a portfolio of six carbon project investments that align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. These investments focus on renewable energy (solar and wind), reforestation and community-based projects in six countries, including Mexico, Peru and Vietnam, countries that Lindblad-National Geographic travelers visit.

South Pole requires independent, third-party verification and regular monitoring of all projects in its portfolio to ensure they deliver the stated impacts and adhere to the highest internationally recognized standards. Further, South Pole ensures emission reductions are accurately measured and verified to deliver transparent annual public reporting.

Carbon neutrality joins a diverse portfolio of corporate sustainability programs recently expanded under the direction of Lindblad's Amy Berquist, VP of conservation, education, and sustainability. 'We are always looking for creative and meaningful ways to support the health of the environment and the people and ecosystems reliant on it,' she said.

Lindblad eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide in 2018 and has operated a sustainable seafood program aboard the fleet for many years. Other related sustainability initiatives include building ships that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency, mandating supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic, sourcing and serving local, organic produce, making crew uniforms from recycled plastic, and more.

$17m in traveler donations since 1997

Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic have raised more than $17m since 1997 from travelers in the regions they explore together. These voluntary donations currently go toward conservation, education, research, storytelling and technology projects funded by the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund, whose mission is to support the health and viability of oceans, coastlines and coastal communities.

Posted 07 June 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review