Shaping Portsmouth Patron, Wightlink has reached the finals of two prestigious awards in recognition of its environmental achievements and ambitions.
The Isle of Wight ferry company is a finalist in the Beautiful South Tourism Awards (Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism category) and the Maritime UK Awards (Clean Maritime Operator category).
Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “As Wightlink sails through some of the UK’s most scenic waters, we pledge to protect our environment, reduce carbon emissions and operate as sustainably as possible. Our flagship Victoria of Wight, sailing between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, is England’s first large hybrid ferry and her carbon emissions are 20% fewer than comparable ships. We are now planning to build an all-electric ferry for the route, using shore power to charge her batteries. We are thrilled that our environmental commitments have been recognised by the judges of these two competitions and look forward to the finals.”
Tourism South East organises the Beautiful South Awards, and the winners will be announced in April. Maritime UK is the collective voice of the UK maritime industry and will announce its award winners next month.
Wightlink’s green initiatives started with campaigns to replace single-use plastics with better alternatives, recycle or generate electricity from 99% of waste and support environmental initiatives. Buying Isle of Wight produce for cafés on ships and at ports has radically reduced food miles. The company teams up with organisations like the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to inform and educate customers and staff about wildlife and environmental issues. It also provides habitats for marine creatures through oyster nurseries and artificial rockpools (Vertipools™).
Looking to the future, Wightlink is investing in renewable power generation, widespread EV charging points, and converting the rest of its fleet to all-electric or hybrid power. The aim is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in ten years. See www.wightlink.co.uk/zero