AURORA Expeditions has reached its latest sustainability milestone, becoming the first major cruise line to achieve B Corporation certification, Chief Executive Officer Michael Heath exclusively revealed to travelBulletin.
The cruise line was assessed over the past three years on its impact across five key areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.
The certification is a culmination of Aurora’s efforts to embed company-wide sustainable practices, with one of the keys to its submission its portfolio of sustainability programs.
This includes initiatives such as Aurora’s 100% climate neutral status, emissions reduction strategies, conservation, climate change education, and more.
Heath told tB Aurora is extremely proud to join the B Corp community, following what was a “rigorous but rewarding” process.
“This has been a powerful step for our business,” he declared.
“Through this process we have learned sustainability is so much more than our environmental impacts,” he said.
“Much of the work we were already doing in other areas such as policy and governance has also been formalised, and we are now meeting a higher level of accountability, ensuring we consider the impact of business decisions on all stakeholders.”
Heath said Aurora will strive for “continuous improvement” following the certification, in particular attempting to improve upon its score from its initial verification.
Aurora’s certification – which will be reverified every three years – is a building block for its wider sustainability program, Heath believes.
“It’s about continuous improvement, so yes, we’ve been given certification, and yes, they’ve looked across all those areas that we outline, but really, it’s about us continuing to improve upon what we currently do,” he explained.
“While we’ve achieved this first stage, which has been certification, now it’s about, ‘how do we continue to build on and improve on all those things, how do we make sure that we’re constantly looking to do better on what we’re doing?’”
The three-year certification process saw Aurora take roughly a year to scope through the hundreds of questions which query every facet of its business, Sustainability Manager Sasha Buch outlined.
The process, she explained, scoped out what Aurora had to achieve to attain B Corp certification, and the marks it had already realised.
Organising all of Aurora’s documents and legal papers to be audited took another year, and the certification process itself took another 12 months, following which the cruise line was named the first in its sector to be B Corp certified.
Buch added Aurora is not intimidated by the magnitude of what it means to be a B Corp, adding on the other hand it is a feat which has inspired the cruise line’s team to strive for more.
“The more that we achieve everything that we’ve set out, the more excited we get, because we’re always ready to take on more,” she said.
When asked if the certification made Aurora a more attractive business from a customer-facing standpoint, Heath said “if people also see it as valuable, then obviously we’d be really pleased with that.”