HX ESG report reveals cruise line reduced emissions by 18 per cent in 2023

The expedition line also reduced total waste and increased women in senior leadership positions

HX ESG report reveals cruise line reduced emissions by 18 per cent in 2023

HX/Dan Avila

By Alex Smith |

Expeditions cruise line HX has published its latest Environmental, Social and Governance report, revealing the progress of its sustainability initiatives.

According to the report, HX reduced Scope 1 emissions per available guests night by 18 per cent between 2022 and 2023, despite its ships travelling 10 per cent further. This was accompanied by a 51 per cent reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions and a 47 per cent cut to sulphur oxide emissions. The cruise line invested in hybrid technology and energy optimisation strategies throughout 2023, implementing optimised sail routes, reduced sailing speeds, and the use of shore power in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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

Scientist presenting to guests

HX/Espen Mills

HX donated over 1800 guest nights to scientists for research in 2023

Total waste fell by 20 per cent in 2023, representing a 30 per cent drop in waste per available guest night. Onboard water consumption also fell by 16 per cent per guest, while food waste was reduced by 22 per cent. HX achieved these reductions through banning single-use plastic, reformulating its menus to reduce food waste, and providing water bottles and refill stations for all guests.

HX extended its science programme for 2023, with more than 1800 cruise nights donated to scientists working on over 30 different projects onboard, including studies of whale population health and microplastic measurements. Guests also participated in citizen science initiatives such as uploading data on whale sightings and cloud formations, while their efforts in beach clean-ups resulted in the removal of over three tonnes of waste.

Scientist presenting to guests

HX/Stefan Dall

HX guests took part in beach clean-up programmes that removed more than three tonnes of waste from remote locations

All HX ships provide ‘Green Stays,’ a programme where cabins are not services and HX donates to the Hurtigruten Foundation in exchange. Each guest participating in the programme reduces water, electricity and cleaning product usage by up to 43 per cent, and the percentage of guest nights that were green stays increased from 20 per cent in 2022 to 26 per cent in 2023. The Hurtigruten Foundation achieved a record year in guest contributions, raising over €800,000 ($856,000) in donations to distribute to over 71 different causes in the places that HX travels to.

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

The cruise line also increased the number of women in its land-based senior leadership positions from 29 per cent to 41 per cent, as well as hiring the first graduates of its cadet programme one year after its establishment.

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

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