FIRST CRUISE LINE WORLDWIDE JOINS ‘TOURISM DECLARES CLIMATE EMERGENCY’
While the cruise industry has received the brunt of negativity for their impact on the environment, and global contribution to the rise of carbon emissions, one small ship cruise line from Athens, Greece is taking a leap forward by joining Tourism Declares Climate Emergency, the first-ever cruise line worldwide to join the initiative.
Perhaps it is due in part to their progressive, 35-something CEO, who now leads the company his grandfather founded over half a century ago. “Climate change is real, and we acknowledge that, as a cruise line, we must work even harder to protect our planet,” said Variety Cruises CEO Filippos Venetopoulos. “What humanity has done to Mother Earth is just unbearable. Being part of the third generation, we want to leave behind a world for our children’s children, and their children, too. As the first cruise line globally to join Tourism Declares Climate Emergency, we are taking an important step to lead by example in our industry. Nobody can afford to look away any longer.”
The company is developing a transparent, practical and functional year-long plan that will guide the way for lowering carbon emissions, while remaining committed to additional sustainability initiatives including no single use plastic and ethical food sourcing. The aim is to lead by example in the hopes that other operators within the travel industry and beyond will be inspired to follow.
Sustainability has been a key pillar of Variety Cruises for over 50 years. From small steps that included protecting cultural heritage and visiting UNESCO sites, to actively engaging with research on biodegradable materials and protecting sea-life while supporting the health of the oceans; efforts have always been proactive.
Variety Cruises will be monitoring their impact on the environment with ships running on marine diesel oil, reducing plastic waste and further developing their beach clean-up initiatives, while adhering to the most stringent policies on waste management.
Like all signatories to TOURISM DECLARES, Variety Cruises has committed to the following five actions:
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out the intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade.
- Share an initial public declaration of their ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year.
- Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. The company will ensure their ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from operations and travel service partners.
- Encourage suppliers and partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
- Advocate for change. Recognize the need for systemic change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism.