For Explorers by Explorers
Leaving Only Positive Footprints
Everywhere we travel, we want to leave the place a little better. This issue shows you some of the amazing projects Hurtigruten Foundation is supporting around the planet.
A well-worn saying in our industry is, “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints”. To be honest, that’s far from good enough.
We go to some of the most unique places in the world and the nature, wildlife and local communities in those places should not just be undisturbed, they should benefit from our visit. We must leave footprints – positive footprints, that is – everywhere we go. And understanding that we are guests and visitors means we must be humble about this fact.
Hurtigruten Foundation is about giving back and empowering local communities and preserving biodiversity in the unique places we visit, thus creating a lasting positive impact. We want to make sure that every place we travel to is a little bit better off because of our visit. We empower our guests to engage with and support these communities that allow us to take a peek at their nature, wildlife, and culture.
And we support initiatives that ensure that children and grandchildren of our guests, as well as those people we visit, will also be able to experience what they have enjoyed.
We don’t manage the projects we support centrally, instead we lend a hand to local organisations and projects on the ground. What this adds up to is more bang for our buck in terms of positive project outcomes and local jobs. And we’ve a lot to be proud of. Since 2015 we’ve supported more than 60 projects in 16 different countries. They are all concrete, science-based local efforts to protect places and wildlife and make a positive impact.
As an industry, we should be much better at addressing the challenges we face. Uncontrolled mass tourism is simply not sustainable. If we fail to protect, preserve and regenerate the beaches, islands, fjords, oceans, forests, savannahs and other natural wonders of the world, then adventure travel cannot exist. That’s why we integrate science and learning into our voyages, using our ships as floating platforms for research and education.
Being at the forefront of our industry does not mean that we are perfect. We still have emissions. We are not hiding that, but instead we are addressing it head-on.
That’s why our investments, our perspective and our targets are all focused on how to get to zero emissions. That is why we are investing in hybrid ships, green fleet upgrades and are even planning for the first emissions-free ship along the Norwegian coast by 2030. We don’t have all the solutions to get there, but if we don’t start investing now we will definitively not get there.
We hope that our investments will inspire others in the industry, move the goal posts and shape regulations. In the future we'd like to see all players operating sustainably by default, rather than just regarding good environmental practice as a means to gain a competitive advantage.
This year we will celebrate 130 years of operations in Hurtigruten Group, and as the world leader in exploration travel, and the world’s largest expedition cruise company, we have a responsibility to ensure that sustainability is something that happens across all our operations. In this issue we're delighted to share more with you about Hurtigruten Foundation and our work – and we hope you find the projects described in these articles just as inspiring as we do.
Wishing you safe and sustainable travels!
Henrik Lund Managing Director Hurtigruten Foundation
Have you heard of Vårfølese?
It translates to: The feeling of anticipating spring that you feel towards the end of winter.
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