Setting goals around our sustainability is an important part of our business, and how we ensure we are continuing to do better!
We set the following goals for ourself at the start of 2021, and have made some significant strides towards reaching them.
1) To eliminate single use plastics by 2022
We are very proud to say that we have accomplished this goal! Back in 2019, we were on track to complete this goal for 2020, but due to the COVID 19 pandemic we did have to continue to use single use plastics in a number of places on our tours. The biggest offender we were using, was plastic water bottles! This was something we hated to use, but needed to have some office protocols in place in order to discontinue their use. In 2021 we fully switched over to reusable metal water bottles, and they have been working great, and lasting very well. We are lucky that our caterer also prioritizes sustainability, so our food packaging contained very little plastic. The two remaining plastics: small garbage bags on each trip (two per tour, one for dirty dishes, and one for garbage), and plastic ice bags.
For our 2023 season we will be fully switched over to reusable bags on our tours for ice and dirty dishes, and switching to a compostable bag for our garbage.
2) To double the amount of forest we protected in 2019 annually by 2023
In 2019 we protected 10 481 Sq M. In 2022 we protected 15 527 sq. M with Campbell River Whale Watching, plus an additional 6783 Sq M through our sister company Wildcoast Adventures. Including Wildcoast, we reached this goal a year early! Campbell River Whale Watching is on track to double our 2019 numbers by the end of 2023.
3) To increase our community impact through a minimum of 150 volunteer hours
While we are all actively volunteering in our community, we have room to improve on our tracking. We will continue to work towards tracking our volunteer hours in 2023.
4) To conduct a waste audit and decrease our garbage going to landfills by 5%
Over the course of our 2022 season we tracked our garbage, along with our recycling. At the start of the 2022 season we started to compost all of our coffee grounds. We are looking to expand our composting program in 2023.
5) To form a partnership by 2023 to start developing a hybrid or plug-in whale watching vessel
Through a strategic partnership we have applied for a federal grant to support research into reducing our CO2 emissions through hybridization and / or electrification of whale watching vessels. We are currently waiting to find out if our application was successful.
6) To pursue deeper connections with our local Indigenous Nations, including attempting to move forward protocol agreements by 2024.
This continues to be very important to us. We are hopeful to have progress in the next year.