Interislander supporting World Tourism Day’s sustainability campaign

27 September 2012 9:09AM

Interislander is getting behind today’s World Tourism Day campaign, which encourages tourism operators around the world to play their part in introducing and promoting sustainable initiatives in the tourism sector. The campaign’s theme ‘Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development’ urges everyone involved in tourism – from governments to businesses and tourists themselves – to learn more about sustainable energy initiatives in the tourism sector.

“For Interislander providing a low carbon emission way to cross the Cook Strait is a key advantage in an increasingly aware tourist market.  To maintain this advantage Interislander has been working on a number of initiatives to reduce emissions as well as making a bigger push to implement sustainable tourism business practices throughout the organisation,” says Interislander’s General Manager, Thomas Davis. 

The installation of new propellers on the Aratere and Arahura are some of the latest initiatives to help reduce fuel consumption and therefore emissions.  The new propeller, installed on Arahura at the Devonport Naval base in August, is expected to have a positive impact on fuel consumption and therefore emissions.

The extension of the Aratere in 2011, which included a replacement bow and a 100 percent increase in passenger capacity, has helped to contribute to a drop in emissions per passenger kilometre of around 15 to 20 percent.  Fuel monitoring technology that has been installed in the last eighteen months will allow Interislander to measure these and other changes. 

“The introduction of fuel monitoring technology to allow us to accurately benchmark our fuel performance and see the impact of operational or design changes will help us identify ways in which we can improve the efficiency of our operations.  We’re also actively exploring alternative fuels such as biofuels as we prepare for the future,” Mr Davis says.

“Doing our fair share to cut back on activities that produce greenhouse gases; minimising the amount of waste our business sends to landfills; and recognising that communities are where our employees and customers live and that we need to respect their needs is part and parcel of the whole package of being a responsible and responsive business.”

Interislander has also engaged carboNZero Holdings, to confirm its methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions for its freight and passenger services.  The verified approach allocates emissions from fuel used in ferries between passengers and freight based on weight, so for a foot passenger travelling across the strait, emissions are estimated to be around 23 grams per passenger kilometre.  In comparison domestic air travel produces almost eight times the emissions on a per passenger kilometre basis. 

Additionally, Interislander selects packaging and products that have less impact on the environment in both their production and disposal; has installing recycling stations for glass, cans and plastics in our onboard cafes, foodcourts and bars; has undertaken an energy audit to identify possible savings in lighting, air conditioning, cooking and other forms of auxiliary power use; and has just completed a waste audit on Aratere to understand the composition of waste from our ships.

“These initiatives, some of which are seemingly small, make a big impact on the way we run our business and have the double benefit of being both cost effective and good for the environment. Tourism is leading the way in some of the world’s most innovative sustainable energy initiatives, and Interislander is making efforts towards identifying any energy and fuel efficiencies we can make within the business – whether that’s onboard our ships, in our terminals or in the office. These initiatives are an important part of running an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable business,” Mr Davis says.

Media Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, 04 498 3181 or 027 435 9464 or