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Carbon Footprint

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BF seem to be taking their environmental and carbon footprint more seriously - with the appointment of an eco-responsibility manager and the use of LNG in new vessels.  Does anyone on here consider their carbon footprint when travelling?  I've looked at some online calculators which give me an idea of how much carbon our trip to Spain and back emits and how I can offset that.  There's nothing on ferries, so I've emailed BF to get a figure for the Cap's voyage to Spain and they are going to look into it, but they admit it's not a simple matter.  We shall wait and see.

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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.”

Progress today

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

Looking forward

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.

 Circular economy

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.


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@ Neilcvx - I'm not too hopeful.

@TonyMWeaver Thanks.  The LNG should make a big difference, but it would be interesting to see how carbon emissions of a ferry compare with other mass transit options such as flying, driving and trains.  The other stuff is very welcome, but I seem to remember when I was a lad we didn't have much throw-away stuff.  Butter came in a huge barrel and portions were cut off, put in grease proof paper for each customer; veg was loose and maybe put in a paper bag or straight into the shopping bag; no plastic bottles to throw out the car window....and so on.  No "best-before-dates", after which food became as lethal as plutonium.  A lot of it is catching-up with what we used to do.

I don't think we appreciate just how serious global warming is going to be and the chaos and conflict it will likely produce.  And with a complete idiot running the world's "most important" country who thinks it's all a hoax and wants to burn more coal.....

We do what little we can, we have an eco house, an electric car (and I know they have problems of their own but we can charge it using renewable energy), we don't fly, we grow a lot of vegetables, we don't eat a lot of meat - and only if it's not intensively reared - and so on.

So I thought we should look at our carbon emissions for our winter trip and think about off-setting (which I admit is a bit of a feel-good con but every little helps - and some of the projects are problematical).  The online calculator for CO2 emissions for 3000 miles to Spain and back (not including the ferry, or @Gareth swimming home) was really quite small.  I think what we'll do is just make a reasonable donation to something like Trees for Life which is planting trees in the Highlands, an area which has been denuded of tree cover over the centuries, as has much of the  UK.  And trees are a great, if long-term, carbon sink, as well as providing many other environmental benefits.

More info here: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/aug/02/offsetting-carbon-emissions-how-to-travel-options

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