“At Virgin Voyages, we are committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea,” says Tom McAlpin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Voyages. “Which is why we are committed to creating the right partnerships to help make our ships as ocean-friendly as possible.”
One of those sustainability partnerships is with the Sweden based Climeon, with a goal to majorly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by converting the heat from the ship’s engines into electricity. Since one Climeon unit can produce enough electricity to power 250 normal households, and we have six on each ship, we have the potential to power about 1500 households. This would not only provide for the cabins and suites but also the restaurants, casino and other venues.
“This is the biggest energy innovation in the last 100 years,” according to the Swedish Energy Agency. This is not because the technology is so advanced, according to Christopher Engman CRO/CMO for Climeon, but because the potential for its use across all industries is so large.
We have also partnered with Scanship, a Norwegian company known for their leadership in purifying wastewater. Scanship uses game-changing technology called microwave assisted pyrolysis (MAP), to convert organic waste into clean energy.
“Using business as a force for good is at the heart of who we are.”
“We are thrilled with the prospect of working with Virgin Voyages,” says Henrik Badin, CEO of Scanship. “Their vision for environmental sustainability fits well with our ambitions to convert waste to clean energy and to eliminate pollution to sea.”
Besides turning waste heat into clean energy and converting heat into electricity, we are aiming to minimize waste on board. According to a recent LA Times editorial, “If we don’t cut back now, there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean.*” This is a version of the future that we at Virgin Voyages find hard to accept, so we have committed to vastly decreasing plastic usage and increasing reusable and recyclable materials on all of our ships.
If operated like a traditional ship, we estimate that each vessel would generate 300 tons of disposable plastic per year. Our goal is to reduce that amount of plastic by at least 50%, and divert remaining plastics to recycling.
That means eliminating single-use plastics across a whole range of products sailors will use like plastic straws, water bottles, stirrers, condiment packs and other unnecessary food packaging. We also plan to provide all sailors with reusable drink bottles, and will offer complimentary still and sparkling water throughout the ship. Bye, bye plastic water bottles.
You’ve heard of tree hugging, yes? Well, let’s consider this sea hugging. We just want to give the sea a great hug with all of these initiatives, and are hoping to set a new standard, not only for ocean voyages but for all travel.
“If we don't cut back now, there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean.*”
*LA Times Editorial Board. (2018, February 20). Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-plastic-plan-20180220-story.html