125 years later, July 2nd 2018 will mark another important day in Hurtigruten’s history; the day we banned all single-use plastic.
The birthday was celebrated with parties all over the world, extending from Seattle in the west to Hong Kong in the east, and all along, in ports, destinations, ships and offices, it was without the use of any single use plastic items!
Interim Svalbard Destination Director, Vebjørn Andresen, says the company has to be conscious of the environment.
- We have a lot of business in places that are extra vulnerable. When you have business in Svalbard, you have a special social responsibility, he says.
Here on Svalbard, we have done major changes in our operations. A few examples:
- Tooth-picks, portion-packs with butter, plastic cutlery and straws are history
- Plastic bags are replaced with biodegradable bags
- Plastic water bottles are replaced with glass-bottles or reusable bottles
- Plastic cups are removed
- Take-away boxes are replaced with cardboard boxes or better alternatives
- General reduction in the use of plastic in our kitchens
In numbers this means finding more environmentally friendly alternatives to 80,000 plastic bags for waste, 40,000 plastic vacuum cleaners, 20,000 disposable cups and 10,000 packs of butter per year.
But we’re not stopping there! By the end of September, Funken Lodge aims be ISO 14001-certified. ISO 14001 is the world's most recognized standard for environmental management. The standard has been developed to help businesses succeed commercially without compromising the environment, and we aim to certify the entire Hurtigruten Svalbard during 2019. Also, we are working towards being certified as a "Miljøfyrtårn"-company by the end of 2018.
A big thanks to our guests who visit Svalbard for helping us out with the high environmental goals we have set. If you see room for improvement, don’t hesitate to let us know. And if you’re on a tour with us, remember: Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.