Attica Group places particular importance on environmental issues; therefore, it is committed to environmental protection in acknowledging the impact that its business operation may have on certain environmental aspects.
The Group companies evaluate annually such environmental issues and seek to minimize their impact on the environment. The most important of these issues pertain to air emissions, discharges into the sea, waste disposal, land pollution, use of raw materials and resources, and environmental demands of local communities.
The Group's environmental awareness cannot be viewed separately from our commitment to offer high quality services to the satisfaction of our passengers. Further to strict compliance with all international, regional and local regulations on environmental protection the Group aspires to the following policy objectives:
- Continuous investment in new technologies and to implement environment-friendly methods;
- Minimization of any adverse effects of machinery operation also by ensuring the unimpeded equipment operation through its proper and timely maintenance;
- Encouragement of staff (office and maritime personnel) to adopt environment-friendly practices and develop environmental awareness through proper information and training;
- Active participation in organizations that promote the principles of environmental safety and protection;
- Participation in international research and development programs that promote efficiency, accountability and pollutants reduction within the shipping sector;
- To be constantly updated on environmental issues and to adopt new cutting edge practices regarding the environment.
The Attica Group fleet consists mainly of modern, newly built vessels that meet the full range of international regulations on environmental protection, the major thereof being MARPOL 73/78 Regulation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Examples of application of strict environmental criteria of operation include:
- Selection of non-toxic antifouling paints in order to prevent the poisoning of marine organisms; another one of the Group's practices that was implemented before the international regulations rendered it mandatory.
- All chemicals used in ships have been selected based on their friendliness to the environment.
- Prohibition of use of substances that cause ozone depletion; all chemical additives in use have been chosen for their environmental compatibility.
As far as human resources are concerned , Attica Group trains its employees on best practices and minimum disturbance of the environment. Onboard, designated officers are responsible for the implementation of the adopted environmental measures. Ashore, qualified engineers and executives monitor the performance and establish the guidelines for general and specialized, needs-based, environmental training. Ships, together with office-based staff, are periodically participating in environmental emergency scenarios, in cooperation with local authorities.
The Group companies Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries were the first companies of the passenger-shipping sector that received the ISO 14001:1996 Environmental Management certification. The Group ships have all received the same certification. Furthermore, the effectiveness and dynamics of said Environmental Management System are certified by the American Certification Body ''ABS Quality Evaluations'', of the International Group of Companies ''American Bureau of Shipping''.
In 2006, the Group companies and vessels received the certification of the new environmental management standard ISO 14001:2004.
In 2007, our Group decided to deeply engage with the major issue of climate change. A special programme was adopted constantly implementing further measures for the reduction of our ecological footprint. In implementing our program, we have thus far carried out the following:
In cooperation with a specialized independent contractor, the Group calculated the ecological footprint of its ships, and from that time onward it calculates said footprint annually, with respect to all the Group ships,.
Our Group held numerous of seminars and discussions with the headquarters staff and ships crews on Climate Change, aiming at raising awareness among its people on environmental issues.
PAPER MANAGEMENT - RECYCLING
Use of double-sided printers (resulting in reduction of the amount of paper consumption) and 100% recycled paper at the headquarters of the Group. Moreover, all waste paper is forwarded for recycling via the non-profit entity ''Klimaka'' ("Κλίμακα"), thus supporting the charitable work of the organization.
Our Group, in cooperation with the non-profit organization Afis ("Αφής"), implements its program for battery recycling. Recycling bins for all types of used batteries have been placed in all offices and on board all of the Group's ships; they are suitable for the collection of all types of used batteries up to 1500 grams, whether primary (one use) or secondary (rechargeable), regardless of the type of the appliance such batteries come from (e.g., mobile phones, camcorders, computers, etc).
INK WASTE RECYCLING
In addition to saving energy and raw materials, ink waste recycling allows the Group to combines environmental protection and social responsibility. In our ink waste-recycling program, the amount of money collected as reward is not being retained, but offered each year to charitable associations and foundations.
COOKING OIL RECYCLING
The used cooking oil from the ships' galleys is forwarded to an authorized utility for the production of biofuel.
WATER & ENERGY MANAGEMENT ONBOARD
- Most of the water used from our ships comes from desalination of sea water through special boilers.
- We use energy saving bulbs everywhere in our vessels (with the exception of security lights).
- With the heat produced by the exhaust gas of the main engines, and with the help of the proper installations, we have warm air for the public areas and hot water for all hygienic uses.
- A printed brochure is being distributed to all our passengers, with a view to raise their awareness regarding the major problem of climate change. It contains advice on climate-friendly practices both for their time on board and for their life ashore.
- Signs have been placed in all the cabins, encouraging passengers to turn the lights off when they are not occupying the cabin and to avoid the unnecessary consumption of water.
ALTERNATIVE - ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY WAYS TO TRAVEL
Our Group promotes the alternative and environment-friendly ways of travel by offering travel packages that combine 'Rail and Ferry' to destinations within Europe, as well as a discount of 50% in freight transport for all hybrid and electric vehicles in all our ship routes of the Adriatic.
Further to its actions regarding to climate change, our Group has proceeded to actively promote the protection of the environment:
SEA TURTLES PROTECTION
Our Group created our Sea Turtle T-Shirt, with the imprinted slogans ''Save our Seas'' & ''The Sea is our life'', which was available for purchase at the ship stores. All income from sales was contributed to the organization for the Sea Turtle protection ''ΑΡΧΕΛΩΝ''.
- Our Group continues its efforts regarding the active support of the major issue of clean coasts. Our Group created individual recyclable ashtrays for the beach, which were distributed free of charge through the central agencies of the Group, our ships, and via the magazine Traveler's Icons, included as an offer in its summer issues.
- Our Group held one day coast-cleaning campaigns on islands where our ships call, with the participation of our Group staff, volunteers and children from local communities.
In Attica Group, we strive to be constantly up to date on environmental issues, through participation in environmental fora, subscriptions to special journals and publications. In addition, we are active members in research projects of the European Union (FLAGSHIP).
Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries are active members of the HELMEPA (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association), a non-profit, non-governmental association, the purpose of which is the development of ecological awareness and the establishment of the ''safe operation'' culture within the shipping sector, with the help of publicity, advertisement and information.