New Green Initiative: Reducing Our Company’s Carbon Footprint
by Federico Lopez
Perhaps it is the experience of being close to nature, so intrinsic to a private yacht charter, that creates a keen awareness here at Ritzy Charters of the critical importance of protecting our environment. A private yacht charter allows guests to experience the finest aspects of nature…a clear blue sea, amazing marine life, and fantastic reefs teeming with colorful fish.
We recognize the importance of doing our part to protect our environment and reduce climate change, and we are actively working to minimize the carbon footprint of our operations. If you are curious about how our daily work practices help reduce our carbon footprint, please read on.
Tracking our work-from-home emissions
At Ritzy Charters our employees all work from home - a great starting point to reduce emissions. People who work from their homes rather than commute to an office produce less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of office workers, according to a new study.
Broker Florencia Ballve enjoys visiting with her clients by phone from her home office in Buenos Aires. A new study in the US shows that people who work from home all the time ‘cut emissions by 54%’ against those in office.
Working from home is clearly a more sustainable practice, but we still create emissions as we work. So what contributes to emissions in a home office? Put simply, it’s all the equipment our team uses to perform work—computers, monitors, printers, and keyboards, plus lighting, heating, and cooling. You might wonder how one would begin to offset these power-demanding tools. In fact, we have found a way to do just that.
With the assistance of Yacht Carbon Offset, we calculate our carbon footprint and then purchase a monthly subscription to fund green energy projects to offset that same amount of carbon emissions. Funds raised are designated for environmental initiatives that would not otherwise exist. Projects range from building new wind generation plants, tree planting and reforestation, constructing solar power plants, and generating hydroelectric power. A few examples include:
Our 2024 Annual Corporate Footprint Offset supports the Larimar Wind Power Project in the Dominican Republic. Wind Parks decrease the dependence on fossil fuel power production facilities, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1.18335 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per MWh of power produced.
The average office worker generates 10,000 sheets of paper waste every year, and most of the 375 million ink and toner cartridges end up in a landfill and release volatile organic compounds and heavy metals into the environment.
Having this in mind, we’re proud of being paperless at Ritzy Charters. All documents produced while conducting our business are electronic and our customer interaction is entirely achieved through electronic mediums, saving resources and energy. Even guest preference sheet forms are provided to guests through an online link, completed by guests online, and submitted to the yacht crew electronically.
Want to quantify our environmental impact by being paperless? A single tree pulls up to 14.7 pounds of CO2 from the air. Saving a ton of paper—about 20,000 sheets, which is the average amount for 2 team members—saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 2000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water every year.
17 trees can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide (Photo by Mekht licensed under Unsplash).
The professional organization of the charter yacht industry, the Charter Yacht Brokers Association, actively supports green efforts throughout the charter experience through the program "Going Green to Save the Blue".
Our CYBA member brokers who are attending the annual charter yacht shows in the Virgin Islands in early November will show their commitment to Going Green by pledging to adhere to green practices in our home offices and at charter yacht shows for the upcoming 2023-24 season. The Going Green Pledge includes:
- Zero use of plastic single-use water bottles and straws while traveling to/from and attending the shows.
- Support yachts that take green seriously.
- Provide information for charter guests before and during the preference sheet stage about the importance of drinking the yacht’s filtered water rather than bottled water.
Save Our Reefs
Sadly, the amazing coral reefs we love for snorkeling and exploring are in jeopardy. While there are many culprits, did you know that every time someone slathers on Coppertone before jumping in the water, they are adding to the problem? Any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, octocrylene, 4MBC, butylparaben, and octinoxate is like poison to our ocean’s reefs.
When you swim with sunscreen on, chemicals like oxybenzone can seep into the water, where they're absorbed by corals. These substances contain nanoparticles that can disrupt coral's reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching (Photo licensed under Unsplash).
Ritzy Charters is committed to our own personal use of reef-friendly sunscreens with biodegradable ingredients, and helping to educate charter guests as well about this issue. Fortunately, many charter yachts provide guests with reef-safe sunscreen for their use on charter.
Sol's large solar panels (21 kW) fuel battery banks, propulsion, and house power needs. Her energy demand is minimized with a best-in-class high-efficiency cooling system and eco water makers.
If you’re interested in supporting green efforts when planning your charter, consider choosing a yacht that goes above and beyond to be environment-friendly such as Sol or Big Nauti. Be sure to ask one of our charter brokers to help you find the perfect yacht for your charter!