Hurtigruten Launches Global Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation
Hurtigruten has been taking the lead on sustainable travel for more than 100 years – as it navigated along the scenic, fjord-indented landscape of Norway’s west coast, and then continued that tradition when it expanded into expedition sailing in Antarctica, Greenland, Spitsbergen and Iceland over the past 20-plus years.
After all, it is the land of Amundsen and Nansen and so many other polar explorers. Today, Hurtigruten has announced The Hurtigruten Foundation, which takes that multifaceted environmental protection effort and puts it under a new roof – to give it unimpeded focus.
By establishing The Hurtigruten Foundation, the company seeks to enhance awareness and contribute their monies, knowledge and years of experience to protect the vulnerable nature and unique culture of these polar areas. The Hurtigruten Foundation has also named its first ambassador – the ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh, who was appointed “Patron of the Oceans“ by the United Nations in 2013. The focus of the foundation is to raise awareness of opportunities and challenges in the regions Hurtigruten visits in the Arctic, in Antarctica, and along the Norwegian coast, and raise funds to sustain these areas for generations to enjoy.
"We want to offer travel with meaning. By having guests, staff, partners and Hurtigruten friends from around the world joining forces, we aim to ensure that future guests can have the same unique experiences in these areas as guests of today,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
Lewis Pugh has made spectacular swims all around the world, often in freezing cold water on the North Pole and in Antarctica, in just his Speedo, cap and googles - creating awareness about how important it is to safeguard the environment of these waters. By being one of the spearheads of the United Nations Environment Program, Lewis Pugh has won access to leaders all over the world.
He was appointed as “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum and his many strenuous pioneer swims have resulted in National Geographic appointing him as one of their “Adventurers of the Year”. As ambassador, Lewis Pugh will be a part of selected Hurtigruten voyages, giving lectures and taking part in excursions. His first sailing will be with the MS Midnatsol to Antarctica early winter 2016.
“'Dugnad' is an unique Norwegian word which means that one works together voluntarily because individuals feel it’s important and for the good of the community. This is exactly what the polar regions need, a good dugnad. I feel confident that we through this foundation will create strong results and make a real difference,” says Pugh.
This week, Pugh and Skjeldam, together with Hurtigruten-employees and partners, marked the creation of the foundation by picking up litter on a beach outside Tromsø, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. This litter was not left there by local residents but washes up there and in many other polar regions due to the ocean currents and the uncaring depositing of trash at sea. These plastic bottles and such threaten local communities, nature, and wildlife, such as polar bears and penguins.
Additional Hurtigruten environmental facts:
- Since 2009, Hurtigruten has enacted more than 20 different energy saving measures to cut 370 tons of NOx and 13,000 tons of CO2.
- The company’s partnership with dozens of local food suppliers has reduced pollution caused by transport and enhanced the local economies.
- In cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, the company has been measuring sea temperatures long the Norwegian coast for 80 years – one of the longest climatic time series in the world.
- Recycling programs on board the 12 ships provides enough energy to warm 110 houses per year.
- The company has a long history of supporting research projects – including the Norwegian Polar Institute Project which tracks habitat use and movement patterns; protection of the South Georgia Albatross; maintenance of Antarctica research stations; and many others.
Additional information and reservations can be obtained from www.hurtigruten.com; by phone at 877-301-3117; or fax at 888-524-2145. Brochures can be ordered online or by calling 800-582-0835.
SOURCE: Hurtigruten press release
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