Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company, has reduced its carbon emissions from shipboard operations by 20 percent one year ahead of schedule, according to the company’s new sustainability report.
To meet the goal, Carnival and its eight global brands — Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in the U.S.; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Italy; and P&O Cruises in the UK and Australia — developed energy-reduction and conservation initiatives, many of which exceed current laws and regulations. Carnival pioneered an industry-first effort to develop a new exhaust gas cleaning technology, called ECO-EGC™, that removes pollutants from the exhaust gases at any operating condition of a ship — at sea, during maneuvering and in port. The company is in the process of installing the systems on its fleet with plans for installations on more than 70 percent of its fleet, representing what it calls a significant advancement in environmental technology and reduced air emissions.
Carnival and its brands have also implemented extensive measures to keep guests and crewmembers safe and comfortable, protect the environment, develop and provide opportunities for its workforce, strengthen its stakeholder relations and enhance the communities in which the company visits and operates:
- Introducing two new ships, Royal Princess and AIDAstella, that are among the most efficient ships at sea today, both from a unit cost and fuel efficiency standpoint
- Investing up to $700 million into the company's ships and operations to ensure its ships operate safely and reliably, underscoring that the safety and comfort of guests and crew are the top priority for the company
- Adopting a Passenger Bill of Rights along with other members of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to commit to further inform cruise guests of the industry's commitment to their comfort and care
In October, Carnival released the results of its multi-year Fleet Fuel Conservation Program that by the end of 2014 will have saved more than one billion gallons of fuel and reduced fleet carbon emissions by 12 billion kilograms over a seven year period. By that time, the program will also have improved the fleet's overall fuel efficiency by 24 percent compared to 2007, while saving approximately $2.5 billion in fuel costs, the company's single biggest expense.
With climate change and unsustainable development becoming an increasingly clear and present threat to some of the world's most popular and appealing travel destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises and several other organizations earlier this year partnered to help tourism destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America "to safeguard their natural and cultural assets, while enhancing communities and securing a vibrant regional economy."
But what about waste? Cruise ships dump more than a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean each year, much of it raw or poorly treated, according to federal data analyzed by Friends of the Earth, which calls for stronger rules to protect oceans, coasts, sea life and people. The organization's 2013 Cruise Ship Report Card, released late last year, says some of the 16 cruise lines graded are becoming less polluting — with five companies including Disney, Norwegian and Holland improving over last year — but more than 40 percent of the 162 ships assessed still rely on 30-year-old waste treatment technology, leaving treated sewage with levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants harmful to aquatic life and people.