Maori owned company Whale Watch Kaikoura says it is important for its business to be environmentally friendly, otherwise it would be out of business.
The Ngai Tahu owned South Island operation is a finalist in the World Responsible Tourism Awards for the people's choice category.
It carries between 90,000 and 100,000 passengers every year on energy efficient boats that have little impact on the marine environment.
Whale Watch Kaikoura chief operating officer Kauahi Ngapora says the company also tries to conserve its power consumption at its headquarters.
He says it has to be environmentally conscious for the sustainability of its operation and for Kaikoura because without the environment and the whales its business would not exist.