Ecotourism

Sustainable Business

Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay cares about the environment, culture, its people (team members and guests) and its business.  We firmly believe all are essential for a balanced business to survive and thrive.

Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay Advanced Ecotourism certified

We pride ourselves on working with the local community in Hervey Bay to preserve the area in which we work and play. That’s why we have obtained our Eco-Tourism certification from Australia’s leading and most innovative eco-tourism certification body, Ecotourism Australia.  We've achieved 'Advanced' Ecotourism status which means our people, products and processes go to the next level in sustainable practices.

Whalesong Cruises is also a 'Quality Tourism Accredited Business - Sustainable Tourism' accredited through the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

 

This means above and beyond the traditional definition of ecotourism, all other things that make the business 'tick' are necessary.  Excerpt from the Quality Tourism website:

Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay Quality Tourism Framework

When you choose a business with the “tick” you can expect:

  • Quality
  • Reliability
  • Professional customer service
  • Accuracy in advertising
  • Sound environmental practices
  • An appropriately licencesd and qualified operator
  • Adherence to a Code of Ethics

Our commitment to you:

  • Adopt the highest environmental standards in all areas of operation to ensure we meet or exceed all relevant legislative requirements.
  • Respect for the local Aboriginal (Butchulla) culture as we believe sustainability embraces the environment as well as culture.
  • Ensure our guests receive value for money, team members are paid fairly and treated respectfully (and well), the business makes enough to re-invest and keep business strong.

 

Environmentally, here are some of Whalesong's initiatives:

  • Follow the principles of reducing, reuse, recycle (in that order too)
  • All cutlery, crockery, cups, glasses are all reusable (a practice we've embraced for over 20 years)
  • All marketing brochures are printed using non-toxic ink and on recycled paper that doesn’t have plastic coating and is, therefore, recyclable also.
  • Minimise waste through efficient use of all materials and inputs. We prepare all our catering items with as many products as possible sourced from fresh local produce, in bulk and with minimal packaging. We also provide some of our suppliers with our own large food plastic storage containers, which they fill with produce; we use the produce, wash and return to supplier.
  • Uses quality melamine plates and cups; quality Australian Made polycarbonate plastic glassware and metal cutlery that is washed and not thrown away. With COVID-19 concerns, we were able to continue using reusable crockery and cutlery with the installation of a commercial dishwasher on the boat (wasn’t a requirement, previously).
  • Chilled water filter meant no more plastic water bottles. Reduction of approx. 5,000 plastic bottles in the environment, per annum (conservatively assuming, one water bottle per two people on board).
  • Use sustainable produce and recycled products as much as possible. We know for a fact that the amount of garbage we take off the boat to the bin area is minimal in comparison to others. Leftover food is taken home by staff given to a local woman to feed her chickens.  Anything not suitable for consumption is composted or binned accordingly.
  • Recycling bins are provided on board with guests being informed of their whereabouts. They are well labeled and heavily promoted. At the end of the day crew actually go through the bins re allocating recycling + checking for our glassware which many people mistakenly throw in the bins (even though it is mentioned to them various times that they’re reusable).
  • We encourage employee involvement. Interpretation is a large part of our business, so we teach and encourage our crew in environmental values and practices. This is reinforced by the crew as part of our onboard ethos.
  • By offering a pickup and drop off service we are helping adopt an environmentally sound transport strategy that minimises impacts and emissions. Less cars coming to the Marina.
  • Two different size generators, which allows a smaller generator to be used most of the time, and the larger generator only being used when greater power usage is required.
  • In May 2021, we installed brand new engines on the boat. These are faster, quieter and more fuel efficient (engines run approx. 20%-25% less now).
  • Oil efficient engines and filters (therefore, using approx. 1/2 of the oil other boats use)
  • Are continually assessing the environmental impact of all our operations with the objective being to continually monitor and improve.
  • Develop action plans each year to ensure we deliver each of our environmental and safety policy objectives. These can be found in the ships Safety Management System / plan. (SMS)
  • Annually review its performance to these objectives and make the results available in the ship’s SMS.

 

As you can see, being a sustainable business has many facets.  It's also an evolving process that will never cease.  With new environmental technology, deeper understanding of traditional cultures, human resource needs/training and refining business processes/compliance, we'll see an even more refined Whalesong Cruises as time goes on.

 

Please feel free to contact us to discuss any thoughts/ideas you may have about sustainability in business: info@whalesong.com.au or (07) 4125 6222

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