Greenwashing firms ‘damage cruise sector’ and will ‘disappear’, warns Hurtigruten chief

Greenwashing firms are “damaging the cruise sector” and will “disappear from the industry” in years to come, the chief executive of Hurtigruten Expeditions Group has warned.

Daniel Skjeldam told Travel Weekly customers are becoming more aware of the impact of climate change and will soon reject companies that falsely claim to implement sustainability practices.

“We see a lot of greenwashing out there and it is setting the industry back,” he said.

“I believe companies that greenwash will disappear from business – that’s how material the change ahead is for this industry.

“Today, it’s difficult for guests to see through what is greenwashing and what isn’t, but guests of tomorrow will be far more educated on sustainability and they will make decisions based on the companies that take it seriously and those that don’t.

“Ten years ago, people didn’t see climate change in their daily lives, but now they do – there are forest fires in Canada and California, people in London are experiencing heatwaves unlike any they have felt before, and there are flash floods in Germany – so people are seeing change happening fast and that will accelerate education around this topic.”

He went on to say sustainability is at the heart of both the company’s Hurtigruten Expedition and Hurtigruten Norway products, with both units on track to produce zero emissions by 2030.

“Even with the split, sustainability is a really crucial part of everything we do in the company,” he said.

“We are so relentless on our sustainability drive because a lot of people in the company come from coastal communities and they are our internal drivers and they push us.

“We also sail in areas where the impact of climate change is more visible than in the rest of the world. For example, at the Poles you can see the changes in front of your eyes which has a big impact on people in the company.”

He added: “We already see guests choosing us because we do the right thing, and that enables us to hire better people in the organisation which makes us even more desirable.”

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