PRESS RELEASE FROM JULY 17th 2019
Brittany Ferries has hired its first eco-responsibility manager, in a move to centralise the company’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. The appointment of Claire Artagnan reinforces a long-standing commitment to sustainable development across all aspects of ferry operations, from building new ships to reducing single use plastics on board.
Claire joined Brittany Ferries in March 2019. She spent six years working on the development of offshore wind farms and on smart building projects prior to joining.
“From the outset, Brittany Ferries has had a profound respect for the environment,” said Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries. “We were founded by the farming community in Brittany and protecting and nurturing the environments in which we operate is part of our DNA. However, Claire’s key role will be to ensure positive action is coordinated across all parts of business, from the delivery of new ships to tenders for every new contract. It’s a key role and we warmly welcome her to the Brittany Ferries family.”
The company has already taken concrete action reduce the environmental impact of its operations today, particularly in terms of single use plastics. Many changes have been driven, for example the replacement of plastic cups in cabins with a cardboard cups, the replacement of plastic straws and stirrers on board, and the installation of battery recycling points on ships and in French terminals.
Brittany Ferries’ buyers are also in the process of sourcing bamboo cutlery to replace the limited remaining plastic cutlery used on board,. Eco-friendly shampoo/soap distributors have been installed in ensuite showers, while studies are taking place to replace soap packaging on the sinks (lavabos) with biodegradable alternatives
In terms of progress, Brittany Ferries has already announced significant steps towards cutting emissions from ships, through the transition to LNG (liquefied natural gas). Three new LNG ships will be delivered within the next four years, in an investment worth more than half a billion Euro. This will deliver an estimated CO2 reduction per passenger on long haul routes by 46%. Better air quality in ports will also follow, with a dramatic reduction in sulphur, nitrogen dioxide and particulate emissions.
The company has a strong track record on what is known as the circular economy. Eighty percent of food served on board originates in France, reducing food miles, the majority coming from Brittany. Dishes served in restaurants, for example, include vegetables supplied by Prince de Bretagne, a farming collective run by the shareholders (and farmers) of Brittany Ferries, including the company chairman Jean-Marc Roué.
Protection of marine mammals
Scientists from ORCA, a charity dedicated to monitoring and protecting marine wildlife, regularly observe marine animals’ behaviour from on board vessels. They organise public awareness campaigns during the summer and are engaged in ground-breaking research projects. This year scientists will start a ship strike study, based on observations from Brittany Ferries ships, documenting whale behaviour as a ship is approaching. The aim is to learn by observation, then make recommendations that could apply to global shipping operators anywhere in the world.