A sustainable future matters to us all

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While recognising that climate change will never be an easy topic of conversation for those in the travel industry, the team at Ports of UUֱ explains why and how the organisation is committed to having a positive impact on the environment and the Island as a whole

AS a major Channel Island business, Ports of UUֱ aims to go beyond providing the lifeline services of moving people and freight in and out of UUֱ. We pride ourselves in our central position in the community and are committed to making a positive difference to Island life. We are here to serve our community and the economy that supports it. We have a responsibility to the environment, to our community, to our customers, to our partners and to our employees. We believe that the best way we can help build the future that the Island deserves is by taking a leading role in developing a sustainable future and tackling the challenges this brings head on.

Planet

For anyone in the travel industry, a conversation about climate change is never going to be an easy one.

Our economy is built on our transport links. Our lifeline freight connections bring the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the materials with which we build, furnish and heat our homes. But we know that while we need our links, and couldn’t live without them, they also have an environmental impact on our Island and our planet. We understand that operating essential transport infrastructure can come at a high cost to the environment.

Climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time and every airport and harbour has a major role to play. It is not just about what we do, but the difference we can make together. Therefore, when it comes to sustainability, our ambitions go much further than just offsetting the emissions created by transport links.

Our Ports Planet and People Plan was created by people from across the organisation and puts sustainability at the heart of the way we manage the harbours, Airport and all our ancillary business. It commits the organisation to playing a leading role in developing a sustainable future for our Island.

It is a strategy of priorities, goals and initiatives which are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and which will make an impact on our Island and our planet. We want to lead a sustainable future for UUֱ that we can all be proud of. We want our brand to be a symbol of positive change and we want our progress to have a purpose.

Our plan focuses around four key areas:

  • Decarbonising travel and enhancing biodiversity.
  • Championing a sustainable future for the visitor and blue economies.
  • Creating a sense of belonging for our teams and partners.
  • Serving the community to enhance the lives of Islanders.

We have already developed new routes for aircraft flying in and out of the Airport which enable more fuel-efficient departures and arrivals, reduce noise and CO2 emissions.

We are taking part in a trial of uncrewed aircraft and are working with Blue Islands and Universal Hydrogen to enable hydrogen-powered, zero-emission flying.

We have introduced the CarbonPass – a bespoke app which calculates how much carbon each air or sea journey will generate and then suggests a small cost to balance it. The money collected goes to Durrell’s Rewild Carbon scheme.

We are undertaking multiple marine biodiversity projects to protect our marine habitats. For instance, we are overseeing a project to restore UUֱ’s largest area of seagrass at St Catherine’s Bay. The project is trialling new kinds of moorings which prevent the damage caused by traditional moorings and anchoring. UUֱ Marine Conservation is assessing how the seagrass is recovering. And, through our Living Seawalls project, we are working with schools to design and create 3D tiles that will encourage the growth of marine life in our marinas.

We have gained our Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation (an international carbon management standard for airports), EcoPorts status and Clean Marina accreditation.

We have developed a sustainable vehicle strategy, starting with our new electric coastguard vehicle, which looks at low-carbon fuels, electric vehicles and more efficient driving practices to reduce our emissions and limit air and noise pollution across our Island.

People

All our employees get one day a year to put towards volunteering activity for local charities and organisations. Last year, our employees gave more than 900 hours to their chosen organisations.

Since our incorporation in 2015, we have supported clubs, societies, charities and a wide range of educational programmes. 

  • We visit schools to educate youngsters about sea safety and to talk about the wide variety of careers available at Ports of UUֱ.
  • We run our Let’s Play Airports programme for young children.
  • We have hosted international logistics students and groups of Highlands engineering students to learn from our Harbour Masterplan.
  • We run our SeaPerch competition, a STEM event where secondaryschool students are supported to build a remotely operated vehicle and learn about basic engineering and design. 

We are passionate about inspiring future generations and supporting their learning.

A sustainable future matters to us all. We need to know that we are caring for our Island and our planet, our family, friends and future generations, and for the people and community who make our Island the amazing place it is.

We know we cannot achieve our goals alone, and that the key to our success will be the partnerships we build and the collaboration we can inspire. Together with our community, government, business, industry and our partners, we can make the greatest difference, so please join us on our journey.