Environmental & Social Sustainability
Creating affordable, accessible, customer centric, marine based sustainable experiences
The Ningaloo Glass Bottom Boat team loves our home and the ocean that surrounds us. The owners of Ningaloo Glass Botom Boat have lived in Exmouth for over 20 years and feel a deep connection to this land and water. Ensuring that this place is not only still here, but thriving for future generations is woven into the fabric of our business.
Our business operates on the Ningaloo Reef and within the Tantabiddi Sanctuary Zone, an area so rich in biodiversity that, with our companies assistance, it acquired its sanctuary status in 2005. In 2011, The Ningaloo Coast was inscribed on the World Heritage List for it’s natural beauty and biological diversity.
Our strength lies in our spoken word. Our business prides itself on delivering a message of conservation in a fun and interpretive way on every tour. This message, along with the wonders below the water, is the reason why we continue to exist and thrive personally and in the marketplace. When it comes to environmental awareness and conservation we believe in action – now, not tomorrow.
Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”
How do we achieve this?
- Promote a culture of innovation, engagement, and participation.
- Promote the efficient use of energy and water, reduction of waste, recycling of materials and prevention of pollution.
- Improve our energy efficiency and management of our greenhouse emissions.
- Maintain an Environmental Management System in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 14001.
- Meet or exceed relevant environmental legislation and other criteria to which we subscribe.
- Regularly review our environmental performance and identify and implement opportunities for improvement.
- Influence our suppliers and subcontractors with our approach towards responsible environmental practices.
- Promote practices, systems, values, and behaviours that contribute to environmental sustainability.
- Demonstrate leadership in environmental management both internally and within the industries we operate.
“Ecotourism is environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy, study and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present), that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations.” ~Definition as adopted in 1996 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
How does this look on our tours?
Our presentations on tour highlight the message of conservation, of the remaining biodiversity in the world – including things that you can do to preserve our precious environment.
We teach you about the Ningaloo Reef and its marine biodiversity, letting you know what it is you are seeing whilst on tour and also highlighting the negative impacts that humans can have on the fragile reef system.
We hire the best guides, to ensure you benefit from our staff’s strong understanding of Exmouth, the Ningaloo Reef and the surrounding areas, and support those living here.
We partner with scientists to support the ongoing monitoring of the Ningaloo Reef system and its fauna.
We work with the local Exmouth Visitor Centre and other regional Tourism bodies to promote and protect Exmouth’s many wonders to potential visitors.
We donate a portion of our profits to offset our carbon footprint.
We regularly support local community organisations via sponsorship and donation of tours.
We provide work experience opportunities for young people.
Substantial discounts are given to local and regional school groups bringing students on tour.
We donate the use of our bus and driver for various community functions and fundraisers.
Whenever practicable, we buy local. Approximately 80% of our spending is done locally. This includes the sourcing of products and services for all our vehicles, vessel, and other equipment.
We continue to utilise moorings as a low-impact alternative to anchoring during our snorkelling activities. If a mooring is unavailable, a suitable sandy area is always found to ensure minimal impact.
We use the most efficient Mercury 4-stroke engines (far exceeding the Australian emission standards) on our vessels to minimise environmental impact and operate them in an efficient manner.
We use reusable containers & buy in bulk where possible.
How can you reduce your travel emissions?
Reduce your emissions while you travel by,
- You can reduce your emissions by choosing non-stop flights rather than connecting flights, taking the train where available and driving a fuel efficient car, for example.
- Choose to offset your emissions when you book a flight. Offsetting means that any emissions you generate by flying will be balanced by an environmental program or programs that reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Compare airlines and choose the one that produces the least C02 emissions with Atmosfair.
- Opt for accommodation that understands the importance of environmentally friendly practices. Look for eco labels to avoid greenwashing and ensure the sustainable claims made by your hotel are actually in place. For example, look for water conservation and electricity conservation measures, sustainable foods used in restaurant menus and native landscaping designs that benefit local wildlife.
- Switch off all your electronic equipment and relevant appliances back home and set your water heater to ‘Holiday’ mode when you are away for extended periods. This mode will keep the water warm, but use less energy than it requires when you are home.
- Buy local products. Many food items travel considerably before they reach your dinner table. Your local fresh food market is a good place to start – good for the climate, your palate, and the local economy.
10 tips to being a responsible traveller
- Before you go, switch off all electronics at home.
- Pack light. You can reduce your emissions by only taking the essentials.
- When leaving your room, make sure all lights, air conditioners and devices are switched off.
- Reduce emissions, meet the locals and immerse yourself in the culture by using public transport.
- Use reusable products to reduce disposable plastic waste e.g. water bottles, plastic bags and straws.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Aim to disrupt the natural environment as little as possible.
- Avoid polluting the oceans. Apply a natural sunscreen 1/2 an hour before swimming to prevent it from harming marine ecosystems.
- Save water when you stay. Opt not have towels and sheets washed everyday, re-wear clothes that aren’t dirty.
- If renting a car, opt for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles and try to car pool where possible.
- Lead by example and spread the word. Encourage other guests to be environmentally conscious and demonstrate how thiscan be achieved.
Other things to check out
What is your Ecological Footprint? How many planets do we need if everyone lives like you?
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. What can you do?
Resilient Reefs Ningaloo. Resilient Reefs is a global initiative to support coral reefs and the communities that depend on them to adapt to climate change and local threats.
Take a virtual dive
Learn about coral reefs
Support tour operators who are certified