NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & PONANT
Common Values for Sustainable Tourism
Driven by a spirit of curiosity, our guests come aboard to enjoy an unforgettable voyage, to discover the planet’s natural beauty, and to meet its inhabitants. This experience is an extraordinary opportunity to expand one’s horizons, and upon returning, to share that wonder and emphasize the need to protect the environment. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and PONANT share the deep belief that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and are inspired to act to protect it.
Our cruises are carefully crafted to minimize any disturbance to fragile natural and cultural resources. An environmental impact assessment is made by our experts for cruises in sensitive regions. And our passengers are supervised by onboard guides, who explain important considerations when encountering local flora, fauna and populations.
A Cleaner Fleet
Recognizing that travel contributes to the overall human footprint that affects the Earth’s climate, we have identified ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our trips, and are offsetting the carbon emissions we cannot eliminate. We go above and beyond environmental regulations by studying the levers that help us to continually monitor and minimize our impact on the places we visit.
Beginning in 2019, PONANT has stopped using heavy fuel oil (HFO) and has replaced it with low sulphur marine gasoil (LS-MGO). This fuel considerably reduces the emission of sulphur and fine particulate matter. For all National Geographic-PONANT trips, we are investing in verifiable carbon offset projects from high-quality programs whose carbon credits represent real, additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Our ships are equipped with a desalinisation system and a wastewater treatment system. This system is free of chemical products and produces clean water that meets the highest quality standards. This recycled water is then used aboard the ship in our laundry. We compact all waste, optimizing storage and proper recycling.
Leading the fight against single-use plastics
In 2018, National Geographic launched its Planet or Plastic? campaign, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness about the global plastic crisis and reducing the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans. National Geographic’s organization-wide efforts include a major research and scientific initiative; a consumer education and engagement campaign; corporate sustainability commitments; and innovative partnerships with like-minded organizations. In support of this initiative, PONANT has analysed its use of non-recyclable plastic products and has eliminated single-use plastic straws, laundry bags, cups, and single-portion food containers from the ships. Although there are still a few single-use plastics being used on board, we continue to look for ways to eliminate these plastics and ensure that any plastics used on board are recycled. As we embark on this initiative, we are careful to use a life-cycle approach, and to avoid pollution transfer.
A strong partnership with local communities
Approaching seldom-visited places by sea promises the discovery of little known cultures and populations who continue their traditional way of life, often on the lands of their ancestors. We have a profound respect for the people who welcome us to their home, and when planning our expedition cruises, we work closely with each local community. These local communities decide what is shared from their cultures and environments, and are actively engaged in tourism. PONANT also supports work to preserve and maintain traditional cultures by supporting organizations like Upernavik “FabLab” which trains members of Greenland’s Inuit community in traditional skills and crafts.
Luxury polar exploration vessel with Hybrid LNG-Electric Propulsion: the first in the world
From 2021, this latest addition to the PONANT fleet will take passengers in the wake of the great polar explorers, in a refined setting. The Commandant-Charcot will be fitted with the latest environmental protection technology and will have a hybrid liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electric propulsion system. This will reduce ship emissions of SOX, NOX, CO2 and fine particulate matter.