NorthLink Ferries and the Environment

NorthLink Ferries is committed to improving the environments of our ports, the seas and the beautiful islands of Shetland and Orkney that we serve. To this end, we have undertaken a range of Environmental Initiatives listed below.

Waste and recycling

  • We are eradicating the use of single use plastics.
  • Recycling bins are available in ships and terminals.
  • Water dispensers are available on board
  • Since Febraury 2021 245,000 plastic bottles have been recycled.
  • Zero percent our our waste goes to landfill.
  • Working to reducing food waste

Procurement and Partnership working

  • 90% of food, produce, and laundry used by NorthLink Ferries comes from within 50 miles of operating ports.
  • NorthLink Ferries donate to, and support Environmental charities, including the RSPB and the Sea Watch Foundation

Energy efficiency

  • Eco lighting has been introduced to all offices and the flood lighting.
  • The Hamnavoe shore power project sees the ship ‘plug in’ overnight rather than using generators.
  • The Hamnavoe timetable is reduced in winter months to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Captains are sailing more efficiently to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.


  • In our lairage, animal waste is saved and delivered to farms to be used as fertiliser
  • In our lairage, rainwater is harvested and used for washing the building

Encourage more environmentally friendly behaviour

  • Passengers in cars are encouraged not to leave their engines switched on whilst waiting to board.
  • Bicycles travel for free, and bike racks and chargers are available in most ports.
  • Electric car chargers are available in most ports.
  • 83% of Projects undertaken by staff are focused on environmentally friendly behaviour.