First annual report on quantifiable sustainability commitments: PONANT’s culture of proof

Transparency and dialogue drive the course and objectives PONANT has set itself with its Blue Horizon roadmap. Brought to light during the European Sustainable Development Week, the company’s first annual sustainability report presents early results that are paving the way towards more sustainable and meaningful tourism.

We are sailors for whom the oceans and biodiversity are part of our DNA. We see ourselves as having a responsibility to our guests, our employees and local communities to promote meaningful voyages. We have made lasting and ambitious commitments. We aim to decarbonise our cruises, reduce atmospheric emissions, eliminate plastics, recover waste, protect biodiversity, support scientific research aboard our ships, and strengthen our partnerships with local communities. This first annual report presents the results in figures.

Hervé Gastinel, Président de PONANT

PONANT’s roadmap is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:

  • 90% of the company’s R&D is focused on improving their ships technical and environmental performance, the aim being to minimise emissions into the air and water. The 2021 indicators are in line with its commitments to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2026 and 30% by 2030 (year of reference : 2018), and reduce nitrogen oxide by -85% and sulfur emissions by -98% (year of reference : 2019). Managing water is another area in progress, with drinking water production, recycling, and biological waste treatment systems designed to avoid chemicals and damage to biodiversity.
  • On board, 100% of waste is separated and sorted, with 60% of it being recycled compared to the global average of barely 20%. By 2026, this recovery rate will be up to 80% in conjunction with specialised channels ashore. All teams are also working to reduce the total volume of waste produced. In Ushuaia, resale of recyclable waste has already been helping finance the Garrahan Foundation’s paediatric health missions for the last two years. As of 2022, single-use plastics have been eliminated across the fleet.
  • All vessels in the PONANT fleet have earned the international Cleanship certification issued by Bureau Veritas, attesting to the ships’ optimal ecological performance.

Six quantifiable commitments

Last February, the company also made six founding commitments to the environment which are manifested in a tangible, visible way across the fleet and form part of the Blue Horizon roadmap:

  • Consider the whole world as a Sulphur Emission Control Area for all ships in its fleet by 2025;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2026 and 30% by 2030 compared to 2019;
  • Completely eliminate single use plastics aboard and ashore from 2022;
  • Ensure reuse and traceability of all waste by 2025;
  • Embark scientific research teams aboard the high polar exploration ship Le Commandant Charcot;
  • Support the international Blue Nature Alliance project that aims to create 18 million km² of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2025.

The choice has always been to innovate. The latest project, PONANT’s 14th ship, in the fleet is in line with the company’s six environmental commitments. After last year’s launch of Le Commandant Charcot, the first high polar exploration vessel powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), PONANT is now developing an eco-designed cruise ship concept that will have no impact on the environment when sailing.