Three of Holland America Line’s Vista- class ships—ms Noordam, ms Westerdam and ms Oosterdam—have been honored with the 2006 Green Planet Award, bestowed by Kuoni Switzerland for outstanding environmental standards. The Green Planet Award was established six years ago by Kuoni to recognize eco-minded hotels and resorts; it was extended to cruise ships in 2003. The award has become the Swiss travel industry’s best-known seal of approval in the environmental field. It recognizes exemplary handling of environmental issues such as energy use, water consumption and waste disposal, plus staff training and guest education regarding environmental concerns.
“Everyone at Holland America Line is proud to receive this award for our three newest Vista-class ships,” said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer. “For years, our company has been committed to protecting the waters we cruise and the ports we visit to achieve outstanding environmental results. The Green Planet Award recognizes Holland America Line’s commitment to the environment, which is part of our larger Signature of Excellence in everything the company does.”
Kruse noted in June 2006 Holland America Line’s Environmental Management System was certified to conform to the ISO 14001 standard by an independent registrar—Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. The Environmental Management System encompasses all environmental policies, training and procedures for every shipboard aspect.
“Earning the ISO 14001 certification was a major verification of Holland America Line’s strong commitment to responsible environmental stewardship,” said Matthias Leisinger, project manager, corporate responsibility, Kuoni Travel Ltd. “That, and the fact that most of Holland America Line’s ships are equipped with an advanced waste water treatment system, made Holland America Line ships qualify for 2006 Green Planet Awards. Since Kuoni had to choose the ‘best in class,’ we selected the Vista-class Westerdam and Oosterdam because they have—and the Noordam will shortly have—shore power plug-in systems that significantly reduce fuel consumption and green house gas emissions.”
Holland America Line demonstrates its commitment to responsible environmental practices through a comprehensive fleetwide program that emphasizes waste reduction and recycling, compliance with all international environmental guidelines and a decision to incorporate cleaner-burning propulsion technology into the line’s new ships. Holland America Line’s ships currently meet or exceed all provisions of the international regulations governing the environmental management of marine operations. An environmental officer serves on each ship to oversee shipboard compliance and procedures.
Each ship in the Holland America Line fleet undergoes a strict port- and flag-state inspection annually and a mandatory environmental audit conducted both by an outside environmental auditing firm and by internal staff. Ships also are subject to flag and port state review.