International Cruise and Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2019

103 ”Clipper’s 33 years of success has revolved around safety, reliability and relentless commitment to superb customer experience” in January 2020. Clipper’s vessels also operate in an area of outstanding natural beauty, which has an abundance of sea life that could be badly affected by pollution. That’s why the company has several key goals when it comes to minimising the environmental impact of its fleet. “We’re excited that Clipper is rolling out its first official corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme by the end of 2019,” says Gudgel. “We realised that there is so much we are already doing to give back to society, engage in a meaningful shared values-based way with our customers and employees and reduce our impact on the environment – we just haven’t done a great job telling that story. Environmental impact is a core component of our CSR programme and we are already making moves on this front.” First, the company has greatly reduced the number of sailings – without impacting its capacity. “In 2017 and 2018, we offered 232 fewer sailings between Seattle and Victoria by introducing our newer, bigger Victoria Clipper V vessel on the route,” comments Gudgel. “Less sailings equates to less fuel consumption, as well as less traffic and disturbance to our sea life in the Salish Sea. “We’re also moving to 100% compostable packaging for onboard food items to reduce plastic consumption. Plus, we actively assist whale and sea life-monitoring organisations by collecting and reporting data to help inform conservation efforts.” Employees are actively involved in conservation too. “Our employees are engaged in public education training, beach clean-ups and salmon habitat restoration efforts around the Puget Sound,” explains Gudgel. “We feel all of these activities speak to our core values as an environmentally-minded company leading by example in the Pacific Northwest.” Clipper regularly reviews operational processes and explores how new technologies could potentially enhance efficiency. This also enables the company to identify opportunities for improving passenger experience. “We operate on a continual feedback loop and we are data hounds,” says Gudgel. “While department leads regularly assess individual key performance indicators, we use a weekly leadership meeting to review overall operational and customer experience areas of improvement. Between customer surveys and direct feedback, as well as partner and sales channel feedback, we align and prioritise an ongoing project roadmap to ensure we are constantly improving our overall brand impact and experience.” C&F Victoria Clipper V accommodates 545 passengers and provides a year-round service between Seattle and Victoria