AE Expedition ship

AE Expeditions gains B-Corp status

Who are AE Expeditions?
AE Expeditions (previously known as Aurora Expeditions) was founded by Greg Mortimer — yes, that’s where the name of the infamous ship came from — and his wife, Margaret in 1991. Destined to create ‘ambassadors for the planet,’ Greg would charter small expedition cruises for friends and family to visit places from Antarctica and the Arctic to the British Isles and Costa Rica.

ae-expeditions-ship

Being one of the first two Australians to reach the summit of Mt Everest, he comes from the best of both worlds. Greg’s love for both the polar regions and warmer climates - having originated from Australia - meant that he didn’t narrow his business into a small niche. He ensured that every corner of the globe was loved and explored.

Over 30 years on, AE Expeditions was established. Falling in love with these unique, awe-inspiring places was inevitable. AE Expeditions was driven by their responsibility to inspire, educate and advocate for the preservation of these ecosystems. When cruising’s climate impact started being called into question, Greg was inspired, determining changes needed to be made to explore these beautiful destinations without negatively impacting their landscapes, wildlife and ecosystems.

What does B-Corp mean?

Businesses certified as B-Corp stand by certain mottos such as ‘Make Business a Force For Good’ and ‘Leaders build communities, not just profits.’

B-Corp means benefit for all. Certified businesses meet high standards of transparency, accountability, and sustainability. Don’t think it’s an easy title to gain; in fact it demands a huge amount of effort and time to become a B-Corp business. AE Expeditions had to strengthen collaborations, ensure supply alignment and foster employee awareness and advocacy. Every single employee had to commit and exceed sustainability, balancing purpose and profit to get AE Expeditions where it is now. 

Michael Heath, CEO of AE Expeditions, mentioned in their official certification announcement that, “This achievement is not just a badge; it represents our dedication to rigorous standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency, aligning with the values of the global B Corp movement”.

Antarctica

AE Expeditions went the extra mile. They enhanced their climate programmes, introduced new initiatives that better support staff, and even evolved more than 32 policies that benefit people, culture, environment and supply chain! At the end of the day, it is all about commitment, and AE Expeditions did just that.

Why is this status highly revered?
B-Corp status is especially important to a cruise line. In the past, cruising has traditionally been seen as damaging to the environment. Having an expedition cruise line also be a B-Corp organisation is a tremendous honour. Clients are reassured they are choosing a cruise line committed to balancing purpose over profit, one that values travelling responsibly with ethical practices.

‘It redefines what successful expedition tourism can look like when a business is a force for good.’
- AE Expeditions

AE Expeditions offers a bit of everything for its guests, from camping on polar ice and plunging into freezing seas in Antarctica to hiking through picturesque, tropical rainforests and witnessing life-changing underwater panoramas on snorkelling and scuba diving excursions in Costa Rica. It takes advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime experience for clients and makes it worthwhile whilst also ensuring the environment and wildlife is left how it should always be—untouched.

ae-expeditions-antarctica

Is this the future of cruising?
We all wish cruise lines were working towards the B-Corp standard, and we may not be far off with that wish.

Cruise lines are pursuing more and more ways to become sustainable, with the word ‘eco-friendly’ appearing much more than it was. More efficient ships, alternative fuels, and progressive technologies means the chance of navigating towards net-zero carbon cruising by 2050. They utilise Advanced Wastewater Treatment systems to not discharge untreated sewage anywhere in the world. A fun fact is that 100% of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems to sail to a greener future.

costa-rica-sloth

Some businesses, however, attempt to ‘greenwash’ nowadays, which is the process of telling small truths about being ‘eco-friendly’ to hide the fundamental lie that they’re causing more harm than good to the environment.

For AE Expeditions to have earned the B-Corp certification is proof of their vow of protecting ecosystems and environments. Since it is such a difficult certification to obtain, it is obvious they rightly fought and changed for it, not just changed from plastic to paper straws! AE Expeditions have taken a step to ensure the natural places they visit are left how they should be, setting an excellent example to other cruise lines that this new higher standard should be the same for all.

Call Panache Cruises on 0161 513 8200 if you want to learn more about AE Expeditions Cruises.

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