Uniworld Establishes New Sustainability Officer Role And Partnership To Reduce Food Waste. River Cruise Company Appoints Julie Higgins to Lead the River Company’s Food Waste Reduction Efforts and Implementation
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises announces their new Sustainability Officer, calling upon Julie Higgins to spearhead the company’s implementation of their sustainability strategy, ‘How We Tread Right’.
The strategy consists of eleven measurable goals including reducing 50% of food waste by 2025, ensuring Uniworld offices are using at least 50% renewable energy, and offering guests sustainable tourism experiences in the form of MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences, designed to engage and give back throughout their river cruising journey.
As part of the effort required, Uniworld has partnered with certified B Corporation® food waste reduction system Leanpath. The company successfully trialed Leanpath onboard the S.S Antoinette in 2021 and saw a 15% reduction in food waste over a three-month period. Rollout of the system will begin this year and is scheduled to be introduced to six ships, covering half of the company’s fleet by the close of the year. By some estimates, food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse emissions.
Uniworld will also tackle its own emissions from its 13 owned ships and global offices and proudly supports its parent company, The Travel Corporation (TTC), as it formally commits to science-based carbon reduction targets. A vital next step on its net zero journey, TTC’s targets are currently under review by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and will be shared later this year. Uniworld will play a vital role in achieving these targets.
Julie Higgins has been with Uniworld for 18 years, previously playing an active role in operations and the ongoing learning and development of all Uniworld crew.
“It is now clearer than ever that travel providers and travelers must take responsibility and acknowledge the role that each of us plays in helping to make travel matter,” said Julie Higgins, Sustainability Officer for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
“With the recent release of our sustainability strategy, ‘How We Tread Right,’ and our new partnership with Leanpath, we are making good on our long-term commitment to truly understand and reduce our impact. More travelers are beginning to prioritize more conscious travel as an integral factor in vacation planning, and I want our customers to know they can enjoy the luxury of world exploration while making a positive impact on communities, with a company that prioritizes reducing its environmental impact. It is this passion for doing right by the people and land that we touch that makes Uniworld special to me and to every passenger who comes onboard.”
Uniworld promises to reduce 50% of food waste by 2025.
Leanpath is a Certified B Corporation® that empowers companies through technology and coaching to improve kitchen efficiency and prevent food waste on a large scale. Leanpath invented automated food waste tracking in 2004 and has since provided a formalized professional system to thousands of kitchens around the world using data and technology to drive change.
After a successful trial of the system on the S.S. Antoinette ship that returned to the rivers in August 2021, Uniworld has implemented Leanpath on soon-to-be six ships, and plans to expand across the entire fleet by 2023.
Net Zero Ambitions:
Uniworld, through its sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right, committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2030 or sooner.
The company has since evolved this position by signing The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism committing them, and parent company TTC, to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. TTC counts towards its footprint a combination of direct emissions (Scope 1 +2) and indirect emissions (Scope 3). The Scope 1 + 2 target will tackle the emissions from 13 owned Uniworld ships in addition to other owned assets, including all offices. The Scope 3 target will address indirect emissions including trip emissions. To adhere to the highest carbon accounting standards, TTC has developed an internal carbon calculator which was developed by an independent third party to account for trip emissions from included transport, meals and accommodations, and has made its methodology publicly available.
‘MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Offshore Experiences:
Uniworld to offer MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences on at least 50% of itineraries by 2025.
In an ongoing commitment to conscious and sustainable travel, Uniworld has committed to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® by transforming exploration into positive change. Uniworld offers MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experiences on itineraries throughout India, Europe and the Middle East. These experiences are carefully chosen against a robust set of criteria that are publicly available and aligned with United Nation’s Global Goals, allowing guests to positively engage and give back to the communities, wildlife and land through their travels.
Some of these experiences include tastings at Wachauer Safranmanufaktur, the world’s only bio-dynamically certified saffron producer; a visit to The Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative, an organization helping local women become financially independent; plastic-fishing in Amsterdam’s waterways; and a visit to a local underprivileged children’s rescue in India.