Silversea Cruises has become the first tour operator to receive environmental management certification in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
The cruise line has achieved this milestone by diverting all waste from landfill disposal in the Galapagos. Silversea ensures proper waste management by classifying and sorting all waste generated on its Silver Origin ship. Non-organic waste is transported off the islands to be recycled or processed in accordance with regulations.
The cruise line receives a traceability document that verifies the responsible movement and disposal of all waste.
Working in collaboration with a local waste management company, Silversea offloads waste from the Silver Origin ship in San Cristobal on a weekly basis. Cardboard, cartons, plastic, and crushed glass are flown to the mainland for recycling, while the remaining refuse is transported by marine transportation to Guayaquil on the Ecuadorian mainland. In Guayaquil, the waste is collected and recycled or processed according to environmental legislation and sustainability practices. The waste management company even uses refuse oil to fuel its incinerator. The entire process is traceable.
“We are very proud to become the first tour operator to gain this certification in environmental management—a representation of our long-term commitment to sustainability and conservation in the Galapagos Islands,” said Gabriela Naranjo, Vice President and General Manager, Silversea Cruises Ecuador. “We started this initiative in 2020, entering into a partnership with an airline to transport recyclable waste out of the archipelago to the mainland. We are delighted to have taken the next step on our sustainability journey, diverting all waste from landfill in the Galapagos to dispose of it responsibly—with full traceability. This initiative is just one of the many examples of how Silversea is working to safeguard the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos for future generations.”
These efforts are part of Silversea's Environmental Management Plan, approved by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, which aims to minimize the ecological impact on the Galapagos Islands. The plan aligns with Silversea's commitment to "SEA the Future" by sustaining the planet, energizing communities, and accelerating innovation.
The Silversea Fund for the Galapagos
In 2019, Silversea launched the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos, a program that supports various education and conservation projects each year. The fund aims to protect the ecological integrity of the Galapagos Islands for future generations. Donors to the fund not only contribute to regional conservation efforts but also receive savings on Silversea's voyages, as the cruise line matches their contributions with a Future Cruise Credit.
Locally Sourced Produce
Silversea also strives to source locally grown produce from the Galapagos whenever possible. In recent years, Silversea has increased its sourcing of local ingredients fivefold, working closely with independent farmers and suppliers on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands. Most proteins and around 40 per cent of dairy products, as well as various fruits and vegetables, are sourced locally. By consuming local products, Silversea reduces the need for importing goods from the Ecuadorian mainland, thereby minimizing the risk of invasive species entering the islands.