Lindblad Expeditions, a global leader in responsible tourism, announced today that they will become a carbon neutral company beginning in 2019. This announcement continues the company's legacy in ecotourism, demonstrating their long-standing and growing commitment toward defining travel industry standards for sustainability and environmentally responsible operations. Lindblad's announcement also supports National Geographic's ongoing efforts to identify greenhouse gas emissions associated with its travel programs, and decrease that impact by offsetting carbon emissions that cannot be eliminated.
Lindblad Expeditions' investments will effectively offset 100% of emissions from their ships (eight from the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet and five leased), all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle, and additional small but measurable emission contributors.
"As a company, recognizing that global climate change is arguably the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, we all need to urgently step up our efforts whether big or small," said Sven Lindblad, CEO and Founder of Lindblad Expeditions. "Our goal is to reduce and offset our carbon footprint, and to commit to carbon neutrality throughout the many layers of our business. It has become increasingly more apparent that we, human beings, and our planet which sustains us are out of balance. Climate change and its resulting impacts on global biodiversity and human health and livelihoods has provided a clarion call and awakening. The message is clear; we must rebalance and rebalance urgently."
"We are thrilled with Lindblad's commitment to be a carbon neutral company," said Nancy Schumacher, EVP Travel and Tour Operations of National Geographic Partners. "We recognize that travel contributes to the overall human footprint that affects the Earth's climate, and have been actively working to reduce this impact over the past decade, investing more than $1.5 million in verifiable carbon offset projects. We look forward to working together to spur further climate action."
Working in partnership with South Pole, a leading developer of international emission reduction projects, Lindblad Expeditions now has a portfolio of six carbon project investments that align with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. These investments focus on renewable energy (solar and wind), reforestation, and community-based projects in six countries, including Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam, countries that Lindblad-National Geographic travelers visit. South Pole requires independent third-party verification and regular monitoring of all projects in their portfolio to ensure they deliver the stated impacts and adhere to the highest internationally recognized standards. Further, South Pole ensures emission reductions are accurately measured and verified to deliver transparent annual public reporting.
Carbon neutrality joins a diverse portfolio of corporate sustainability programs recently expanded under the direction of Amy Berquist, Vice President of Conservation, Education, and Sustainability, at Lindblad Expeditions. "We are always looking for creative and meaningful ways to support the health of the environment and the people and ecosystems reliant on it," Berquist states. "Committing to carbon neutrality is a natural extension of our core beliefs, especially in the face of increasing threats posed by climate change."
This announcement is Lindblad Expeditions' next major step in turning bold commitments into meaningful impacts, through a holistic and robust sustainability program. They successfully eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide in 2018 and have operated a sustainable seafood program aboard the fleet for many years. Other related sustainability initiatives include building new ships that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency; mandating supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic; sourcing and serving local, organic produce; making crew uniforms from recycled plastic; and more.
Longstanding leaders in environmental stewardship, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic have raised more than $17 Million since 1997 from their travelers in the regions they explore together. These voluntary traveler donations currently go toward conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology projects funded by the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund, whose mission is to support the health and viability of our world's oceans, coastlines, and coastal communities.