You’ve probably heard about reducing your carbon footprint? Well, at Virgin Voyages, your carbon “ship-print” has been top of mind as part of their commitment to create an “Epic Sea Change For All.”
Way before they even thought about setting sail, the Virgin Voyages team designed an efficient ship with innovative technologies that reduce their fuel demand, yet they recognize they still have impacts on the environment. That’s why Virgin Voyages decided to take their actions a step further, by utilizing carbon offsets as a way to balance their impact on climate change.
February 2020 marked exciting and momentous occasion. That’s because Virgin Voyages received the keys to their long-awaited first ship, Scarlet Lady. Because of their carbon offsetting efforts, they are also pleased to share that Scarlet Lady will be carbon neutral for her direct emissions footprint, making Virgin Voyages the first cruise line to make this commitment from the very first day of commercial operation.
“The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO, and President of Virgin Voyages. “The single biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution.”
Virgin Voyages realizes that their direct emissions make up their largest contribution to climate change, and it’s what they have the most control over. While their long-term ambition is to transition to low and zero-carbon fuels, the technology and infrastructure required at scale are not yet available.
In the meantime, Virgin Voyages is pioneering new onboard technologies, supporting research and development for alternative fuels and purchasing carbon offsets. Utilizing carbon offsets is an immediate, and measurable, first step they can take towards continuous improvement. They also want to give all their Sailors a better, and more responsible way to vacation.
What exactly is a carbon offset? A carbon offset ensures one metric ton of carbon dioxide is destroyed, removed, or prevented from entering the atmosphere. They are generated by initiatives, like renewable energy projects, that reduce emissions contributing to climate change.
The carbon offsets Virgin Voyages purchase, including from wind and solar projects, meet high-quality, internationally-recognized verification standards, such as The Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard. They chose to support renewable energy projects because these are scalable technologies that can mitigate the demand for fossil fuel sources and they are making a difference in the communities where Virgin Voyages will be sailing to and where our Crew members call home.
“There is nothing more important than our oceans,” says Richard Branson who regularly emphasizes the importance of doing business for good, and working for positive change, “and we’re on a mission to protect them.”
While Virgin Voyages is the first cruise line to offset their direct emissions from the very first day of commercial operation, they recognize what an important step this is and hope everyone will join them. When it comes to addressing climate change, we’re all in it together.