WHY IT RATES: With the release of its first annual Sustainability Report, Quark Expeditions solidifies steps being undertaken as part of its ‘Polar Promise’ initiative by both charting the changes already achieved and laying out a course for continued improvement in alignment with its 2025 goals. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures, today released its first annual Sustainability Report, which provides a detailed analysis of the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy in the polar regions, highlighting milestones while also outlining concrete, measurable goals to be met by 2025.
“Quark Expeditions’ first annual Sustainability Report, a key deliverable in our Polar Promise strategy, reflects our ongoing commitment to responsible travel in the polar regions,” says Lyndsey Lewis, Operations and Sustainability Manager for Quark Expeditions. “This comprehensive report establishes a baseline—and culture —of accountability in the Arctic and Antarctic. Last April, we unveiled our sustainability strategy under the title ‘Polar Promise,’ which is the most comprehensive and holistic strategy of its kind in the polar expedition industry. As part of this effort, we shared specific, concrete goals, which we intend to meet by 2025. This report, in full transparency to our passengers and partners, marks how we’ve been tracking with respect to those goals and clearly outlines our commitment moving forward.”
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—As a long-time supporter of polar research and conservation, including the efforts of organizations such as Polar Bears International, Quark Expeditions enables scientists to access remote locations in both the Arctic and Antarctic and donates the proceeds from our onboard auctions to science and conservation organizations.
—To date, the company has donated $250,000 to the citizens’ science group Penguin Watch, which studies penguin population change.
—Since 2017, Quark Expeditions has donated $46,000 of the proceeds of our onboard auctions to support the Habitat Restoration Project, administered by the South Georgia Heritage Trust, which successfully eliminated invasive rodents (which impacted bird populations) from South Georgia in 2018. Quark Expeditions continues to support South Georgia Heritage Trust’s efforts to maintain this rodent-free declaration.
—In 2017, Quark Expeditions eliminated single-use plastics.
—In 2019, the Quark Expeditions team eliminated 14,000 Individual yogurt containers and 320,000 single-use plastic bottles.
—In 2018-19, Quark Expeditions diverted 103.11 cubic meters of glass, 60.11 cubic meters of plastic and 106.82 cubic meters of cardboard.
—Historical analysis confirms that Quark Expeditions’ has decreased emissions from its fleet by 28 percent since 2010.
Quark Expeditions’ Polar Promise is based on four main pillars which have been implemented across all sectors of the company:
—Planet: Quark Expeditions plans to reduce its footprint and build resilience through best practices and advanced sustainability technologies.
— Partnerships: To lead change through community engagement, Quark Expeditions will continue supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities.
— Principles: The company will implement sustainable practices throughout the business—in the polar wilderness and in their offices.
— Positive Impact: Quark Expeditions will continue to demonstrate that the positive benefits of polar exploration will increase awareness of these integral areas and have a positive impact for future generations.
“These pillars define our measurable goals,” says Lewis. “For instance, given these robust plans, Quark Expeditions will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 10 percent per passenger by 2025, by which time we also plan to work exclusively with suppliers, vendors and external partners who share our commitment to sustainability in the polar regions, while continuing to lead change through community engagement, and supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities.”
Quark Expeditions will also continue to grow its recently-launched Polar Ambassador Program, which involves the education of polar visitors who, upon returning home, apply their commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the planet wherever they live in the world.
Quark Expeditions’ commitment to sustainability was the driving force in the design and conception of the company’s new ship, the technologically-advanced Ultramarine, which will be launching in 2021. Ultramarine’s advanced sustainability features include: the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), which converts waste into energy; four diesel engines to meet fluctuating power needs; a heat recovery system; eco-friendly lighting; and a re-imagined hull and propeller design that ensures the lowest possible resistance (which translates into energy savings).
Click here to download the entire Sustainability Report.
For more information, visit QuarkExpeditions.com.
SOURCE: Quark Expeditions press release.
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