As an independent, locally-owned business, Cape Clear Ferries is determined to play our part in ensuring the survival of our unique island, its community and its environment.
We view ourselves as custodians of our beautiful area, and we want to protect its natural beauty as well as its rich cultural and historical heritage.
We also want to share our beautiful island with as many people as possible and know that sustainable tourism helps to ensure the viability and prosperity of life on Cape Clear Island.
Cape Clear Ferries is partnered with ‘Sustainable Travel Ireland’ and we encourage our customers to follow the ‘Leave No Trace Ireland’ principles in our area.
As well as environmental protection, we are focused on economic development and social cohesion. We strive to balance an expanding tourism sector with the needs and priorities of this unique offshore community.
Tourism interacts closely with other activities on the island such as transport, energy, environment, socioeconomic planning, business and trade. There is a need for coordination and integration, so we work closely with all relevant stakeholders to maximise the benefits to all while minimising the problems that may sometimes arise.
As a significant employer in the region, we also know that local employment enables families to continue living on the island.
All of our directors and employees are either Island-based or from the local mainland town with strong family connections to the Island. Many of our shareholders live on the Island, and this includes Comharchumann Chléire Teo, the local island co-operative.
We work with Comharchumann Chléire Teo, which manages the recycling facility on the island, by transporting recycling material from the Island to the mainland for collection.
Cape Clear Ferries cooperates with other service providers on the Island, incorporating them into our various packages to ensure local revenue is maximised. This includes incorporating admission to the local Heritage Centre as part of our Fastnet Tour and encouraging tours of the island on Cape Clear’s electric buses.
In the business itself, we use tin-free and non-toxic paint on our ferries and we are in the process of replacing all our outdoor seats with ones made from recycled material. We promote the use of electronic tickets by providing an online booking system and our aim is to be completely paperless. We also measure all our fuel output, only fill our water on the mainland and use seawater in our toilets.
Another initiative Cape Clear Ferries supports is the development of a woodland in the centre of the island – which is being developed by the Cape Clear Island Community since 1992. Cape Clear Ferries supports the annual planting of new trees in this area.
Cape Clear Ferries has invested in Cape Clear Island distillery, which seeks to provide a sustainable long-term enterprise on the Island based on its natural resources.
The distillery was refurbished using largely repurposed materials, uses locally harvested ingredients and has made various practical low-tech innovations to improve its sustainability.
It has to date incorporated solar thermal preheating of its distillation water and uses gravity-fed stream-sourced water for cooling.
If you would like to know more about sustainability at Cape Clear Ferries or on Cape Clear Island, contact us on email@example.com