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Claims and certifications

Sea World

It has likely been the last family holidays as my son will be leaving school and start studying or at least we think so. The kids opted to go to sunny Queensland Gold Coast and experience the theme parks we do not have in NZ. I have to admit that it’s all fun and we had a really good time there.

However, suddenly comes the moment when you slow down a bit and think more closely of what is going on around you.

While I stand in Sea World, zipping on my coffee and watching the pelicans with their broken or missing wings caused by boat hits and the like, I get sidetracked by the jet ski show as the smell and white clouds of fuel gets into my nose. I suddenly notice the noise of the idling helicopter in the background that is waiting to take off again to take the next load of tourists for a spin. It’s running continuously and never stops during opening times.

I recall the talk of the dolphin trainers about the environmental awareness that the park is trying to teach its visitors and that all depends on our choices that we are doing on a daily basis. This starts to sound very shallow when looking at all the energy and the fuel burnt on a daily basis in this park. I would love to see some action to the words and the environmental awareness.

It would be so cool if they joined a carbon accounting or even offsetting scheme like carboNZero. But I do not hold my breath as I figure it would show how devastating their operational emissions were on a per visitor basis. Yet it would make the environmental claim more credible and transparent and be a starting point for verifiable and measurable improvements.

Interestingly, there are not even claims about being environmentally friendly and you won’t find an environmental policy on their website, neither any mentioning of corporate social responsibility. Only claims regarding preservation. But then, how can you preserve wildlife or marine life while you are pumping GHG’s en masse into the atmosphere?

This is why independent 3rd party certification is so important for a company’s credibility.

Ingo Ratsdorf:
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