Achievable targets aimed at further reducing engine emissions, its environmental footprint and raising awareness about the state of the world’s oceans will be developed by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd as part of a five-year global partnership with the World Wildlife Fund.
The tie-up will also seek to support the ongoing ocean conservation work by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by fine-tuning its supply chains to more sustainable sources as well as improving its practices both in destinations visited and in its shore tour operations.
Among the targets jointly set in the partnership are for a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a commitment to source 90% of seafood served onboard from sustainable and certified fisheries, 75% of other produce from responsible farms and the implementation of a framework to ensure commitments are able to be traced and verified.
The cruise giant will also donate US$5 million to support initiatives of the WWF.
“Our mantra at Royal Caribbean is ‘Continuous Improvement,’ and this partnership with WWF represents a great opportunity to make a big step forward in meeting our special responsibility to protect the oceans,” Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd CEO Richard Fain said.
“This initiative centers on two core concepts: first, committing to specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainable sourcing and build destination stewardship; and second, comprehensively engaging their millions of travellers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it,” WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts added.
Cruise lines are already set to be bound by a new global standard of 0.05% in the sulphur content of fuel used during regular operations, however many are already actively working to meet even stricter limits imposed by cities around the world. Nearly all newly built ocean ships are fitted with technology, known as scrubbers, which clean exhaust emissions by using seawater to remove carbon and harmful particles which would otherwise be emitted.
Major cruise lines are also retrofitting the technology to their older ships, while some others have opted to investigate the use of cleaner burning fuels such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), however supply infrastructure for widespread use is not currently in existence.