Virgin Voyages Vows to Create an Epic Sea Change for All, Shares First Impact Report. Virgin Voyages’ impact report and video highlights our ESG strategy and commitment to our oceans and people
Fifty years ago, Sir Rirchard Branson founded Virgin on the idea of changing business for good, so it comes as no surprise that his new cruise line is driven by its purpose of “Creating an Epic Sea Change for All.”
In celebration of World Environment Day (June 5) and World Ocean Day (June 8), Virgin Voyages is sharing its first brand impact report, documenting how the newcomer to the Virgin family plans to deliver on its promises of delivering one of the best holidays at sea while making a positive difference for people and the planet.
The first impact report highlights Virgin Voyages’ environmental, social and governance goals as the company expands its fleet and global operations. The brand’s ESG strategy is rooted in five keys areas essential to delivering on its purpose including:
Our Sailors – Delivering transformational life experiences
Our Ocean – Securing a healthy future for our ocean
Our Communities – Building positive entrepreneurial relationships
Our Partners – Developing open and rewarding partnerships
Our Crew – Providing a caring and generous place to work
Curating epic, authentic experiences and delivering those in a responsible way is at the heart of every decision Virgin Voyages makes. Research indicates that more than 70% of past Sailors acknowledge that Virgin Voyages takes its commitment to social and environmental responsibility seriously.
In fact, 50% say their voyage with Virgin inspired them to live more sustainably, an encouraging statistic says Jill Stoneberg, Senior Director of Sustainability and Social Impact.
“From ethically sourced F&B ingredients to reusable items and reef-safe sunscreens, our team has worked hard to integrate sustainable practices into the offering onboard,” Stoneberg says. “We’ve eliminated unnecessary single-use plastics, and the only tip we ask for is a tip for ocean conservation. Together these efforts not only minimize the impact we have on our oceans and communities, but we hope they also inspire others to make a difference.”
The design of Virgin’s four Lady Ships were conceived by Creative Collective of the most talented minds in the fields of hospitality, architecture and interior design. When building the vessels and identifying partners to collaborate with, Virgin Voyages aimed to align with like-minded organizations. Offered on-board, for example, are Yellow Leaf hammocks hand-woven in Thailand to curb deforestation, sustainably sourced coffee beans from Intelligentsia, and Coral Eyewear sunglasses made from recycled plastic. Virgin Voyages is proud that more than 25% of its retail partners have made a commitment to driving positive social or environmental impact.
Other highlights from the impact report include the diversity of Virgin Voyages’ Crew, which represent 95 different nationalities from all walks of life. In a recent survey, 87% of Crew reported that they feel like they can be themselves at work, a major win and testament to the company’s “come as you are” ideals. Our Crew are passionate about social and environmental causes and donated more than 500 volunteer hours in 2021 to give back to the communities in which we operate.
With two ships currently in operation and two additional vessels set to join the fleet, Virgin Voyages is already making big waves. In its first year of operation, Virgin Voyages welcomed its beautiful LEED Gold cruise terminal overlooking downtown Miami, worked with the Port of Miami to bring Shore Power to the Magic City, and received major accolades for its epic Sailor experiences both on ship and shore. Scarlet Lady was named Cruise Critic’s “Best New Cruise Ship for 2021,” and both Scarlet and Valiant Lady received top spots on Condé Nast Traveler’s Cruising Hot List for 2022.
Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, recently participated in the Aspen Idea’s Climate Summit at Virgin Voyages’ Terminal V and discussed Shore Power and the company’s sustainable future. “Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our ocean, but we’re proud to have one of the most efficient fleets at sea. We’ve invested in cutting-edge technologies like Climeon, and we are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We have more work to do, but we’re incredibly proud of our progress.”