You’ve probably heard about reducing your carbon footprint? Well, here at Virgin Voyages our carbon “ship-print” has been top of mind as part of our brand’s commitment to create an “Epic Sea Change For All.”
Way before we even thought about setting sail, our team designed an efficient ship with innovative technologies that reduce our fuel demand, yet we recognize we still have impacts on the environment. That’s why we decided to take our actions a step further, by utilizing carbon offsets as a way to balance our impact on climate change.
This Valentine’s Day marks an exciting and momentous occasion for us. That’s because we receive the keys to our long-awaited first ship, Scarlet Lady. Because of our carbon offsetting efforts, we are also pleased to share that Scarlet Lady will be carbon neutral for her direct emissions footprint, making us the first cruise line to make this commitment from the very first day of commercial operation.
“The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO, and President of Virgin Voyages. “The single biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution.”
We realize that our direct emissions make up our largest contribution to climate change and it’s what we have the most control over. While our long-term ambition is to transition to low and zero-carbon fuels, the technology and infrastructure required at scale are not yet available.
In the meantime, we are pioneering new onboard technologies, supporting research and development for alternative fuels and purchasing carbon offsets. Utilizing carbon offsets is an immediate, and measurable, first step we can take towards continuous improvement. We also want to give all our Sailors a better, and more responsible way to vacation.
What exactly is a carbon offset? A carbon offset ensures one metric ton of carbon dioxide is destroyed, removed, or prevented from entering the atmosphere. They are generated by initiatives, like renewable energy projects, that reduce emissions contributing to climate change.
The carbon offsets we purchase, including from wind and solar projects, meet high-quality, internationally-recognized verification standards, such as The Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard. We chose to support renewable energy projects because these are scalable technologies that can mitigate the demand for fossil fuel sources and they are making a difference in the communities where we will be sailing to and where our Crew members call home.
"There is nothing more important than our oceans,” says Richard Branson who regularly emphasizes the importance of doing business for good, and working for positive change, “and we're on a mission to protect them."
While we’re the first cruise line to offset our direct emissions from the very first day of commercial operation, we recognize what an important step this is and hope everyone will join us. When it comes to addressing climate change, we’re all in it together.
Due to disruptions in business during the pandemic, we are shifting our focus in 2022 to support climate solutions where can be more directly engaged in the projects and long-term outcomes.