Red Funnel introduces new environmental strategy

Red Funnel introduces new environmental strategy
Red Funnel will trial many of the new green initiatives on Red Falcon (Image: Red Funnel)

Isle of Wight-based ferry operator Red Funnel has launched a new long-term ‘Red Goes Green’ strategy, which includes several new green initiatives to further reduce its impact on the environment.

Red Funnel’s new strategy builds on the various measures it has already put in place over the past few years to reduce the impact its operations have on the environment. For example, the line voluntarily switched to low-sulphur fuel in the mid-1990s (long before it became mandatory in the UK) and in 2011, became one of the first ferry companies to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation in recognition of its processes and systems to protect the environment.

New initiatives focus on improving air quality, increasing recycling rates, reducing waste and packaging, and encouraging sustainable travel. Not only will Red Funnel be one of the first ferry companies in the world to offer a discount for fully electric vehicles until 31 March 2019, but it also plans to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics onboard its ferries. The company has already replaced plastic straws, cutlery and plates with eco-friendly alternatives and introduced a discount for passengers who bring their own travel mugs for hot beverages. Soon, it will sell reusable hot drinks mugs made from recycled material.

In addition, the company will operate Red Falcon’s main engines and generators exclusively on Green-D Bio-Fuel from early October 2018. This will significantly reduce emissions of sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and soot particles, and allow Red Funnel to determine the impact of the biofuel on the ferry’s maintenance regimes, reliability and fuel consumption.

Working in partnership with Southampton’s Clean Air Network, an environmental charity named tec and a local school, Red Funnel is also promoting its anti-idling campaign. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the air-quality issues caused when its private and commercial customers idle their vehicle engines when waiting to board or disembark from the ferries.

As part of this year’s Isle of Wight Day, Red Funnel is also donating £15,000 (US$19,600) to support the clean-up of the island’s entire coastline from 22-23 September. Red Funnel staff will remove plastic and other litter from the beach at Ventnor and Steephill Cove on 22 September.

“Our new ‘Red Goes Green’ strategy incorporates discounts for electric vehicles, the trial use of eco-friendly biofuel and a pledge to reduce waste, improve recycling and encourage changes in consumer behaviour,” said Fran Collins, Red Funnel CEO. “In summary, it marks the next step in a journey with our customers, suppliers and partners to safeguard the natural environment and reduce our ecological footprint.”

To raise awareness among passengers, Red Funnel has rebranded Red Falcon with a green funnel and logo to raise awareness among passengers. In addition, the main passenger thoroughfare on B Deck will soon display information about how passengers can get involved with Red Funnel’s initiatives.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Monday, September 17, 2018