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How Green is Armada?

Benjamin Javitz -

Roisin Callaghan -

What did you think when you first saw Armada's logo? Are they pirates? Do they build yachts? Sustainable cruise company? Armada is green, at least in the logo - and "sustainability is one of Armada's core values", according to their website. I wanted to look closer.

"There are people that join Armada because of the cruise," says Leonard Hökby, Armada's next Project Manager. He will work full-time for the entire year to organize Armada 2023. And what he means is the "Armada cruise", a yearly thank-you event for 150 of Armada's Project and Organization Team & Hosts that takes them on an overnight cruise extravaganza.

Looking at Armada's sustainability website, you'd be forgiven to think that they would not work tirelessly on saving the last 27 leftover lunchboxes and reusing all of their carpet, but then go on a stinking oil-tanker. And indeed, it's not that black-and-white.

"I understand it sounds contradicting but we don't want to greenwash either, we have been transparent and I'm pushing a lot in transparency. I'll be soon working on a sustainability report which will be published internally and externally," replies Ajay, Head of Sustainability at Armada 2022, when I ask him about the cruise. And he sends over 2021’s entire emission calculation along with his answers to prove his transparency.

In 2021, Armada paid to "climate compensate for all caused carbon dioxide emissions", 50 tons of CO2 in total. "THS Armada 2021 emitted 43 tonnes of CO2-emissions and will compensate for that and even more." ( I take a closer look at the Excel file Ajay sent - and find my suspicions confirmed when I can't find a single row related to either cruise or banquet. "All caused emissions" - are banquet and cruise not part of Armada, even though the logo with the cute green ship is transparently shown all over at least one of the two? "The climate compensation was only done for the fair and other office activities throughout the year [2021], the banquet and cruise was excluded," says Ajay.

Sure, that seems reasonable. I ask if going on a cruise in the first place is also a reasonable thing to do, considering emissions of about 20 tons of CO2 (assuming a trip of 500km, 150 participants and 250gCO2/passenger-km, based on data from "It's a difficult thing to put reasonable or not in regards to a cruise, but we believe that we are working [on sustainability] in most areas this year [2022], had dialogues with our suppliers and made crucial choices to improve environmentally. We looked for alternatives for the cruise. I understand and I agree that it is contradicting when doing an activity like a cruise which impacts the environment. But, in the next year there will be better alternative options which are sustainable and also intriguing for everyone involved in Armada. We in Armada will continuously evaluate our process and work towards better Sustainability & Diversity."

I ask Leonard the same thing: "We need to do something as a thank-you event - then the question is what we could otherwise do? These cruises are well-packaged for exactly what we want to do, they are quite affordable. Next year we won’t include the cruise in our recruitment marketing, until we’ve actually evaluated alternatives and made an educated decision." So - is there going to be a cruise next year? "We have to evaluate that very carefully and evaluate alternatives. The Heads of HR and Sustainability as well as the Project Manager need to work together to make a balanced decision."

In the future, organizing the Armada cruise could become more difficult either way: the Union Board (KS) recently added a new section to the "Delegationsordning" that specifies that "All journeys made with means of transport with high emissions, such as aircraft and ferries, must always be approved by a supervisor who is not participating. [..] for elected officials [which includes the Project Manager of Armada and it's group], that is the Union Presidium."

Publicerad: 2023-03-03

Ansvarig utgivare: Raquel Frescia
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