An Interview with Dr. Hrvoje Carić
Author: Green Sail
We recently met with Dr. Hrvoje Carić, an experienced researcher and analyst at the Institute of Tourism in Croatia, who has been a supporter of Green Sail’s VEF system since its beginnings. Dr. Carić’s role in ensuring the accuracy of the calculations used in the VEF system has been vital in ensuring the ratings incorporate relevant and up to date data.
Why is it important to calculate your environmental footprint, especially within the nautical sector?
Let us start with the selfish reasons:
- it is economically profitable
- tourists already adopt these habits in there home country, and therefore they expect it when they go on holiday
- we will soon move from a sustainability grey area of allocating responsibility to a "polluter pays" practice
There are also the altruistic reasons we all like to talk about, including the beauty of nature and our responsibility to it for future generations, but this idea of ethics has never really caught on... so let us stay with the selfish reasons.
What are the long-term benefits of calculating the emissions produced per vessel?
The biggest advantage of calculating emissions is the management of risks and opportunities. When we think about the management of the sea and tourism in the long term, it is logical that we take care of it.
What are some of the worst impacts of the nautical sector on the environment?
As we are the closed sea (Adriatic) of the closed sea (the Mediterranean), the worst impacts are pollution from hydrocarbons, heavy metals, microplastics, black water and invasive species. These issues have been intensively researched and the results are devastating. But do not reach for sedatives 😊, reach for solutions.
What research would you like to carry out that is related to the marine environment and nautical tourism?
The marine environment is in a state that poses numerous challenges, and we cannot afford to ignore them. That is why research connects you (association), us (science), them (authorities) and, above all, the people who are at sea every day.
What green policies would you like to see in Croatia in the future?
Those that are implemented ... as opposed to what we have today.
What can boaters and vessel owners do to become more sustainable?
It is important to remind yourself why they do this work. If it's a love of the sea, then it's easy...you just need to manifest love through actions, small ones are enough, and share them with others. If they don't know how, ask Green Sail 😊 .
The Institute of Tourism is also trying to contribute, so, amongst other things, we recently embarked on the project of Low Carbon Tourism - VINCI.
What would you say to charter companies or boat owners who do not want to invest in renewable sources of energy due to the high initial costs?
Don't give up. Solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic) prices are falling and feasibility is certainly close, if not already here.
How do you see the future of nautical tourism in the Adriatic?
The evolution of the global tourism model is increasingly dependent on transport to maintain its economic contribution, along with the ever-increasing price of carbon. In this situation, new tourism models must be found that significantly reduce the emissions generated by the sector, while maintaining the income and the welfare of those who work in it.
Do you want to add/mention something regarding the calculation of the ecological footprint of the vessel or the nautical industry tourism?
Environmental efficiency means monitoring the parameters of financial costs related to environmental issues (energy, waste, water, other emissions) and a very large number of small businesses and international corporations have realised the business importance of this. The goal of the tourism "industry" (considering all circumstances) should be to establish high value tourism models that are low carbon producing and economically resilient.
Dr. sc. Hrvoje Carić - researcher, analyst and project manager with 25 years of experience in the field of sustainability and numerous interdisciplinary projects of tourism, environmental protection and sustainable development of domestic and foreign organisations. Senior research associate at the Institute for Tourism, where he deals with indicators (un)sustainability and the application of environmental/ecological economics and the protection of the environment and nature in tourism.