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CalMac Environmental Strategy 2018-2020

CalMac Environmental Strategy 2018 - 2020

CalMac Environmental Strategy 2018-2020 [156KB]


Accessible Version | CalMac Environmental strategy 2018 - 2020

Environmental Strategy - How we protect your world


We love our environment as much as you do.  And no wonder - we live and work in the beautiful Clyde and Hebrides areas of Western Scotland. Here, we're busy ferrying residents, workers and tourists around, all the time making sure we look after our natural and built environments.  This is guided by our strategy which aims to raise our environmental performance to a level where we can proudly claim it is industry leading.  We also want to be part of the Scottish Government's plans for creating a greener Scotland for the benefit of present and future generations.

How we got here

When we won the contract to run the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry service and the Harbour Operating Agreement in 2016, we wanted to do more for the environment over the next three years.  We set objectives to work towards, developed a strategy to help us get there and set to work.  This quickly led to big improvements in our performance while also opening our eyes to what else could be achieved.  With the help of our fully ISO certified environmental management system, we prioritised what to work on so we could build on what we've already achieved.

Looking ahead

We are confident we will achieve our initial environmental targets by 2020.  This will take us a step closer to our vision of being "recognised as an environmental leader within the UK ferry and port industry".  But we can only get there with hard work, driven from the recognition our activities and services can directly - or indirectly - affect our environment.  Our environmental policy outlines our commitment to reducing, eliminating and enhancing the quality of the beautiful world in which we operate.

What we look for

The environment is now part of our company culture, driven by two full-time members of staff dedicated to improving our performance.  They are helped by colleagues across the organisation working together where there are common environmental goals.  And where we want to pursue larger projects, we will seek external funding to support our aims.  But what exactly do we look for?  Here is a brief rundown with a few examples under each of what we're doing:

Energy and carbon management

We're looking to shrink our carbon footprint by reducing our energy use on our ferries and vehicles.


  • Work with academics to deliver energy efficient vessels
  • Investigate replacing normal vehicles with electric ones
  • Identify opportunities for increased vessel efficiency on passage

Water management

We want to cut our water consumption through efficient use and management.


  • Monitor water usage to identify areas where savings can be made
  • Introduce water efficiency projects
  • Investigate greener water management measures

Biodiversity and ecosystems

We aim to operate without reducing the number or types of plants and animals that exist in our locations.


  • Survey our sites to understand what plants and animals live there
  • Prepare plans to help any threatened species of plants or animals
  • Report on the effectiveness of our actions

Waste management

We want to minimise waste from our operations andmaximise recycling.


  • Comply with and exceed our legal requirements on managing our waste
  • Investigate opportunities to minimise or eliminate waste including single-use packaging
  • Explore innovative waste management options through partnerships and using technology.


We plan to reduce emissions from business travel by looking at more sustainable travel options.


  • Investigate options for monitoring emissions from business mileage
  • Promote the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing
  • Prepare for future demand for electric vehicle charging during office and harbour upgrades.

Staff awareness

We want to ensure all employees are aware of environmental issues and our environmental management system.


  • Develop a training package to deliver to all staff
  • Keep staff updated on environmental issues, initiatives and our performance
  • Regularly check there is sufficient environmental awareness with staff.

Partnership and engagement

We're looking to develop formal and informal partnerships with regional, national and international stakeholders.


  • Develop a programme to raise awareness of marine litter, working with stakeholders such as local authorities
  • Continue to support and co-ordinate the CalMac Ferries Marine Awareness Programme which puts the spotlight on the marine environment of the West of Scotland
  • Investigate opportunities for partnership working with similar transport operators.

Compliance and governance

We aim to remain compliant with environmental laws.


  • Continue to develop strong relationships with stakeholders, such as Marine Scotland and SEPA
  • Encourage the reporting of any environmental near misses or incidents
  • Monitor compliance with legislation and report to the board regularly

Climate resilience

Prepare for climate change by managing risks and planning how to maintain our operation.


  • Investigate the risks posed by climate change and prepare a plan for responding
  • Ensure our environmental policy reflects identified climate change risks
  • Ensure climate change preparation is introduced at all levels across the company.

Air quality

We aim to reduce the level of air pollution from our vessels.


  • Continue working with academics and industry to investigate alternative fuels for our ferries
  • Encourage our stakeholders to invest in vessels with alternative fuels
  • Investigate opportunities to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from our ferries.

Further information

If you would like to know more, please contact

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