The chief executive of a French cruise firm has shared how his company is pledging to protect the oceans.

Hervé Gastinel of Ponant shared the company’s five founding commitments during the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France. The first of its kind, the goal of the summit is to translate the marine community’s responsibility to the environment into tangible action.


Hervé Gastinel, CEO of Ponant, speaking at the One Ocean Summit Photo: Ponant

“We are proud to be invited to present the corporate actions taken to minimise the ecological footprint of our ships,” said Mr Gastinel.

“We have ambitious objectives and are pursuing our actions with determination, as it seems to us essential to protect the ocean, particularly the polar ecosystems. In publicising these statements today, we also want to inspire other players to get involved.”

Ponant’s five commitments are to: 

  • Consider the whole world as a ‘controlled sulphur and nitrogen oxide emission zone’ for its entire fleet before 2025;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2026 and 30% by 2030 compared to 2019;
  • Completely eliminate single use plastics aboard and on shore from 2022;
  • Ensure reuse and traceability of all waste by 2025;
  • Host scientific research teams aboard the high polar exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot.

All Ponant ships have already been converted to ultra-low sulphur diesel and will soon be equipped with catalytic systems that reduce NOx emissions. The company is also using digital navigation aids and weather routers to further improve energy efficiency, as well as using shoreside power where available. The use of alternative fuels, such as e-LNG, is also under review.

Ponant is a signatory to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and is rolling out its ‘Zero Plastic’ policy on all ships, banning single use plastic water bottles and saving more than 30 tonnes of plastic each year. The company also works with service providers and ports to ensure recyclable waste like cardboard, tin cans and packaging are being recycled and reused.