Ponant has announced the creation of the Ponant Foundation to support sustainability initiatives that will focus on research, raising awareness, and conservation efforts for the oceans, polar regions, and indigenous populations, the company said.
This project initially began in 2018 when the company created the Ponant Foundation’s preliminary endowment fund.
“Well aware of the challenges and the scale of the task, we remain true to our belief as sailors eager to share our passion for the oceans. Thirty years after the company was created, that same philosophy still drives each and every one of us today: we protect best what we know best,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant and member of the Board of Directors of the Ponant Foundation.
The Foundation aims to encourage the development of innovative solutions to better understand and protect the oceans and the polar regions and to promote mutually beneficial interactions between travelers and local communities.
To achieve these goals, Ponant has outlined three main approaches:
• Support innovative initiatives for the conservation of the ocean
• Facilitate further scientific knowledge about the polar regions
• Encourage exchanges with indigenous populations
One of the first projects to receive support is the Aldabra Clean Up, an initiative that aims to fight marine plastic pollution led by the Seychelles Islands Foundation and Oxford University. It aims to preserve the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles and raise awareness around the globe.
The Foundation has also partnered with Plastic Odyssey focusing on recycling plastic as well as the Pure Ocean Fund whose applied research projects aim to protect the oceans and the communities who depend on them, according to a statement.
The Foundation is also supporting projects dedicated to the protection of the coral reef in New Caledonia and the conservation of humpback whales in the Antarctic, both led by the NGO Conservation International. Among other initiatives, the Foundation is also funding a visit by a young Greenlander to Ponant’s head office in Marseille to encourage cultural exchanges and offer her a position in the company.
The Foundation is overseen by a board of directors that selects the projects that will receive financial support. Almost half of these are examined as part of an annual call for proposals, the theme of which is decided by the Board. It is made of four members: Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO and Co-Founder of Ponant; Véronique Albertini-Saadé, Deputy CEO; Nicolas Dubreuil, Director of Expedition Cruises and Sustainable Development; and Aurore Asso, World Vice-Champion in team freediving, a documentary filmmaker, and an agricultural engineer.