HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) publishes ESG Report 2023: Calls for more transparency in the global travel industry

Hurtigruten Expeditions (logo)HX, the leader in expedition cruising, proudly announces the publication of the latest Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, showcasing remarkable achievements in emissions reduction, environmental conservation, community engagement, and advancements in the people sector; all of which underscore HX’s unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible business practices.

The publication of HX’s ESG results emphasizes its transparent, proactive and innovative approach to sustainability, aiming to set a benchmark for the industry to follow. HX also calls upon other actors in the expedition cruise category to be transparent in their ESG efforts to help drive the positive change forward.

In 2023 HX, as part of Hurtigruten Group, received the best ESG Ranking of a Cruise Company from Morningstar Sustainalytics, and was the only cruise company to be awarded a Low ESG Risk Rating. Sustainalytics is one of the most reputable independent arbiters of ESG credentials and action.

“Adventure travel serves as a catalyst for advocating on behalf of communities, environments, and wildlife impacted by climate change,” emphasized Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of HX. “Our responsibility lies in ensuring that these experiences are conducted responsibly. Recognizing the carbon footprint inherent in our industry, our focus is on proactive measures to prevent emissions”.

“As we celebrate the milestones outlined in our ESG results, we call upon our industry peers to join us in prioritizing transparency and accountability in our sustainability efforts. By openly sharing our progress and challenges, we can collectively drive meaningful change and ensure a more sustainable future for all.”

Highlights of the ESG report include:

Emissions reductions: Reduced Scope 1 emissions per available gu est night by 18% since 2022 (despite an accompanying 10% increase in distance travelled); 51% reduction of NOx emissions and 47% reduction of SOx emissions.

Waste reductions: 20% reduction in total waste which, given increased sailings in 2023, translates to a more than 30% reduction in waste per available guest night. Additionally, water consumption on board has been reduced by 16% per guest, while food waste was reduced by 22%.

Science achievements: Record year for the HX Science programme, as more than 1800 cruise nights were donated to scientists working on more than 30 different projects – from whale population health to microplastic measurements.

Women in senior leadership: An increase from 29% to 41%** on-land

Cadet programme graduates: First Cadets graduating into ship leadership positions, just over one year after establishing the programme.

Reducing Emissions and Protecting Nature

HX has made significant strides in cutting emissions and reducing waste throughout the past year. Despite a 10% increase in distance sailed, emissions per available guest night have been reduced by 18% compared to 2022. This achievement is attributed to HX’s investment in hybrid technology and energy optimization strategies. These include the implementation of optimized sailing routes, reduced sailing speeds, and the utilization of shore power in the port of Reykjavik.

HX has reduced waste by 20% overall through a combination of initiatives such as banning single use plastic, reformulation of menus to reduce food waste and the provision of water bottles and refill stations for all our guests.

“The ESG report underscores our enduring commitment to environmental stewardship, community empowerment, and responsible tourism. We steadfastly pursue our mission to establish pioneering standards for expedition cruising while ensuring unforgettable experiences for our guests,” Skjeldam stated. Through 2023, HX has contributed significantly to science, donating more than 1800 cruise nights to scientists from institutions such as the University of Tasmania and the Friedlander Lab at University of Santa Cruz.

Finally, guests demonstrate their support for HX’s sustainability efforts by actively engaging in citizen science initiatives. Through contributions such as uploading data on whale sightings and cloud formations to global monitoring efforts, they play a crucial role in environmental conservation. Additionally, their participation in beach clean-ups has resulted in the removal of over three tonnes of waste from some of the world’s most remote areas.”

Maximizing Community Benefits

All HX ships provide Green Stays*, a program where cabins are not serviced, and HX donates to the Hurtigruten Foundation in exchange. This initiative yields significant benefits, reducing water, electricity, and cleaning product usage by up to 43% per guest. In 2023, 26% of guest nights were green stays, up from 20% in 2022.

HX continues to prioritize community well-being and engagement, focusing on supporting the people and partners in the destinations we visit. The Hurtigruten Foundation has had a record year in guest contributions – raising over 800,000 euros in donations to distribute to over 71 different causes in the places to which we travel including:

Investigating Humpback Whale population health in Antarctica
Protecting Coral Reefs in Panama Through Local Stewardship
Removing Hazardous Waste from Abandoned Whaling Stations on South Georgia

“We consistently highlight responsible travel as a force for good, prioritizing meaningful exploration and value creation over mass tourism. Initiatives such as supporting local schools, employing local talent, and engaging in charitable endeavours underscore HX’s holistic approach to community engagement,” stated Skjeldam.

(HX – Hurtigruten Expeditions, publishes ESG Report 2023: Calls for more transparency in the global travel industry – HX)