CAMPBELL RIVER – Whale Watching companies provide a unique opportunity to bring the public to the wonders of the marine environment. Yet, we feel that it is our responsibility to acknowledge and mitigate the impact that our vessels have. In 2018, we spent a grand combined total of over 3850 hours on the water. We have always been aware of and concerned about our fuel consumption and have made many efforts over the years to reduce our carbon footprint, but we knew there was more that could be and needed to be done. We are proud to announce that we have partnered with Wilderness International and through the purchase of carbon offsets, Campbell River Whale Watching is now officially carbon neutral.
What does being carbon neutral mean? It means that in 2018 we have protected 6848 m2 of pristine old- growth rainforest in British Columbia. Each square meter of rainforest holds 104.79 kilograms of CO2. We are offsetting our carbon footprint by 1.5x with a goal of reaching 2x by 2019. All of this is determined by an in-depth 2018 sustainability report (available online) which is a monumental achievement for a company with less than 20 employees.
Why are we doing this? Stephen Gabrysh, one of the owners and operators, said, “British Columbia is known for its beauty and pristine nature. The last thing that we want to do is ruin or cause any unforgivable damage to our favourite place in the world. We want to share our backyard with new and recurring visitors but also ensure that it will still be around for many more generations to come.”
How we are encouraging our guests to become green? We are automatically protecting 1 m2of rainforest for every guest that joins us on a tour. Guests are also given an additional option of donating to protect more m2 of rainforest when booking. By educating and offering a simple option to give back, we are confident that we will not only reach our goal of 2x our carbon footprint for 2019, but that we will surpass it with flying colours.
Campbell River Whale Watching is currently the only operation in Campbell River and the only company on the entire North island with the title of Carbon Neutral. We are hoping that by starting the conversation in ways to become more sustainable, we will inspire other local companies to join in and work towards saving the planet, one square meter of rainforest at a time.
“This is our way to say thank-you to nature,” added Tyler Bruce, owner and operator.
About Wilderness International: Wilderness International is a non-profit foundation with a goal to protect unique wilderness areas for future generations. Since their founding in 2008, with the help of schools, companies, and private individuals, they have been able to purchase, register, and thus legally protect 3.16 million square meters of valuable and endangered rainforest in Canada.
About Campbell River Whale Watching: Since 2008, Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours has been a key player in Campbell River’s whale watching industry. The company was founded by “Hurricane Jack” aka Jack Springer and his partners Jennifer and Aaron. Over the past 10 years, the company has grown from one boat to seven and continues to expand and look for new ways to engage with guests. In 2018, Tyler Bruce and Stephen Gabrysh purchased the company and are excited to carry on the legacy. Campbell River Whale Watching specializes in educational nature tours, including Whale Watching, Grizzly Bear viewing, Ocean Rapids Tours, and Chartered Fishing.