Environment

Royal Caribbean celebrates sustainable shore excursion milestone

In:
10Mar2017

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and 70 operators are celebrating the completion of a multi-year program aimed at increasing the number of sustainable tours available to the company’s five million annual guests.

Royal Caribbean's Save the Waves program has been an important part of the company's drive to raise awareness among its guests by designating tours whose operators have been verified to have adopted policies that align with international standards for sustainability developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for tour operators.

RCL worked with Sustainable Travel International to develop the Sustainable Tourism Education Program’s (STEP) Sustainable Shore Excursion Standard, a subset of criteria and indicators from the GSTC standard selected by STI as being applicable to cruise tourism shore excursions.  The SSE standard is designed to help identify providers who offer high-quality shore excursions that also support local communities and conserve the environment.

Sustainable shore excursions are more than just nature tours – they encompass a broader category that includes tours that responsibly manage environmental impacts, preserve local history and cultures, protect the rights and resources of the local community and have properly trained employees committed to quality service.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.  

Royal Caribbean's Turtle Walk and Swim allows guests to support World Wildlife Fund efforts

In:
Category: 
09Jan2017

Guests on a Royal Caribbean cruise can help save the Earth between time at the pool and or enjoying a show.

Last year, Royal Caribbean announced it was teaming up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create a global partnership to support ocean conservation, and those efforts are spreading to onboard the cruise ships for guests to get involved too.

On Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean allows guests to walk or swim as a group to support the efforts of the WWF.  T-shirts and plush dolls are available for sale, with proceeds from every sale going to WWF's global ocean conservation work.  

The plus doll available is a sea turtle, which is indicative of the type of animals the WWF is working to protect.

Royal Caribbean releases new sustainability report

In:
19Dec2016

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. released today its Sustainability Report, which documents the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet.

In the report, the company noted the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program, as well as a new set of goals for the year 2020 that were established with input from the company's global conservation partner, World Wildlife Fund.

2015 marked the 10th-year of the Save the Waves program, which focused on emissions and waste reduction, as well as increasing the number of shore excursions that met an internationally recognized sustainability standard.

In line with these goals, over the past decade RCL built its most efficient cruise ships and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25 percent. In 2015, 17 ships reported 100 percent re-purposed waste on certain itineraries.  

"At Royal Caribbean, we are working to put sustainability into the heart of our business," said  Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand our responsibility to do so in a way that protects the oceans that we sail every day. Our mantra is continuous improvement, and that especially applies to our environmental performance."

Royal Caribbean also achieved a few other notable highlights during this year, including

The full Sustainability Report may be viewed at www.rclcorporate.com/environment.

Royal Caribbean and World Wildlife Fund set 2020 sustainability goals

In:
Category: 
01Jul2016

Royal Caribbean and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced they have set new sustainability goals to reduce Royal Caribbean's environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the cruising guests and support WWF's global oceans conservation work by 2020.

Royal Caribbean initially targetedon reducing carbon emissions and ensuring sustainable seafood procurement, and now is now announcing additional 2020 environmental sustainability targets.

This second phase will focus not only on RCL’s direct operations, such as the development of sustainable sourcing strategies for key soft commodities, but also on the sustainability of the company’s tour operators and destinations. This will be done through the endorsement of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s standard, an internationally recognized travel industry sustainability standard.

These new targets include:

 Additional Sustainable Seafood Procurement 2020 Targets

  • Obtain MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certification for Royal Caribbean’s global fleet of ships to ensure seafood marked as MSC or ASC certified is traceable to a certified fishery or farm.
  • Eliminate the procurement of highly vulnerable species, including shark fin, identified by WWF utilizing IUCN and CITES rankings.
  • Publically adopt the “WWF Traceability Principles for Wild-Caught Fish Products”

 Key Commodity Procurement 2020 Target

  • By the end of 2016, conduct an analysis of key food commodity categories in order to identify and prioritize commodities with the highest environmental impact.
  • Using this analysis, develop strategies to improve sustainable sourcing practices by 2020.

Global Tour Operations 2020 Target

  • RCL endorses the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards and its certification framework for sustainable tourism.
  • RCL will publicly recognize current tours that are verified against a GSTC-recognized sustainability standard. In addition, RCL will indicate which tours are verified to this standard and will categorize all of these tours under “sustainable tours” so that consumers can view our range of “sustainable” offerings.
  • Starting in 2016, RCL will educate key staff by updating RCL’s Operations Manual for Tour Operators with GSTC standard and certification process and organizing supportive trainings.
  • By the end of 2017, RCL will include educational information in the request for proposal bid invitations regarding RCL’s commitment to the GSTC standard and certified operators.
  • By the end of 2018, RCL is committed to leveraging our influence in the marketplace to conserve and protect natural and cultural resources. As a cornerstone of our responsible tour sourcing policy, RCL will give preference to tours that are GSTC certified and to those that have made progress towards certification, when quality, price, and availability are equal.
  • Investigate the option to offset carbon emissions, through WWF Gold Standard projects, for RCL shore excursions.
  • By the end of 2019, all “sustainable tours” offered by RCL will be provided by GSTC certified operators and RCL will categorize all tours by GSTC certified operators under a sustainability designation so that consumers can search for and readily identify these options.
  • By the end of 2020, RCL will increase the number of sustainable tours offered to guests by certifying 1,000 RCL tours by GSTC certified operators.

Destination Stewardship 2020 Target

  • Beginning in 2016, RCL will support up to three WWF ocean tourism and coastal conservation projects per year to advance ongoing conservation efforts and continue to drive sustainability within the tourism industry.
  • By the end of 2017, working with partners such as WWF GSTC, RCL will support the implementation of GSTC’s destination assessment in two destinations, as well as RCL private destinations, to identify sustainability and environmental threats and develop corrective action plans in concert with destination managers and local stakeholders.
  • By 2018, RCL will set a target for RCL private destinations to become GSTC certified to the applicable GSTC standard.
  • WWF and RCL will continue to pursue alignment with WWF ocean conservation priorities and WWF’s Marine and Coastal Tourism Strategy.

Royal Caribbean pledges to combat wildlife trafficking

In:
Category: 
04Apr2016

Royal Caribbean announced that it was joining 16 other companies and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) in a pledge to crack down on wildlife trafficiking and educate consumers on the dangers trafficking poses to animals around the world.

Royal Caribbean is joining the cause by building awareness of wildlife crime and influencing buying behavior through the education of its 60,000 crew members and upwards of 5 million travelers annually. The cruise line also will work to identify and eliminate any indirect sale of products and souvenirs made from illegal wildlife products, through its on board shopping vendors and suppliers.

The illegal wildlife trade not only threatens the survival of many species in the wild but generates approximately $10 billion per year in illegal profits for sophisticated criminal syndicates that are masterminding the killing, transport and marketing of illegal wildlife products.

These commitments are part of a broader effort towards sustainability by Royal Caribbean.  As part of its environmental stewardship program, Save the Waves, and global partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), RCL will work towards ensuring that its ships, operations, suppliers, and vendors are not indirectly promoting illegal wildlife products, and has committed to removing high risk seafood species from their procurement.

Royal Caribbean partners with World Wildlife Fund to create global partnership to support ocean conservation

In:
Category: 
25Jan2016

Royal Caribbean and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced today a five-year global partnership to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans.

The partners will set measurable and achievable sustainability targets that will reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the company’s more than five million guests, and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work..

The targets announced today focus on supply chain sustainability and emissions reductions through 2020. Royal Caribbean and WWF also are working together to develop targets aimed at strengthening the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy and its destination stewardship and sustainable tour operations platforms.

Royal Caribbean and the WWF have developed a new 2020 environmental sustainability target that includes

  • Carbon Emissions 2020 Target
    • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020.
  • Sustainable Seafood 2020 Target
    • Responsibly source 90% of its wild-caught seafood by volume from MSC certified sustainable fisheries, fisheries in full assessment for MSC certification, comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and/or sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) member companies.
    • In North America and Europe operations, responsibly source 75% of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC certified responsible farms, farms in full assessment for ASC certification, and/or comprehensive aquaculture improvement projects.
    • In addition, by June 30, 2016, RCL will set specific traceability goals with targets for obtaining MSC and ASC chain of custody.

In addition, Royal Caribbean and WWF have agreed to develop and announce new targets by June 30 that will address destination stewardship. As part of this, WWF and RCL will collaborate to strengthen RCL’s destination sustainability assessment and selection process.

Royal Caribbean also will financially support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution during the partnership, and will collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.

The organizations made their announcement at an event in Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines that is home to a model community-based ecotourism program. At the event, RCL also made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines in support of conservation programs in the Donsol area.

Photo by John Roberts

Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain commented on the partnership, "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. It is also gratifying to see that our determination to make a meaningful difference is shared by our employees and our guests. This new partnership aligns all of us at RCL with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s oceans. Together we are setting aggressive goals and together we will start implementing them right away."

Royal Caribbean releases 2014 Sustainability report showing how cruise line leverages innovation for environmental gains

In:
Category: 
24Nov2015

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd released its 2014 Sustainability Report, which documents the Company's commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet.

Royal Caribbean highlighted in its report the delivery of its Quantum-class ships, the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program and its plans to update its Save the Waves goals into the next decade.

Royal Caribbean has looked to emerging tech, such as RCL's air lubrication system, which creates a reduced friction layer of billions of microscopic air bubbles on a ship's hull, have helped Royal Caribbean launch some of the lowest-emission ships in the industry. RCL's new Quantum-class ships, for example, emit about 20 percent less carbon dioxide than previous designs.

One interesting success was Royal Caribbean's Florida-based ships achieved a major milestone of not landing anything to a traditional landfill and a 114 percent increase in waste recycled across the fleet.​

"At Royal Caribbean, we are working to ensure that sustainability remains at the heart of our business," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand the need to act responsibly towards the oceans that we sail and the places we visit. Our mantra is continuous improvement and we constantly strive to find new and better ways to meet those goals."​

For the second year, the Company developed its sustainability report in accordance with the internationally recognized GRI G4 guidelines. Additional highlights from the report include:

  • 2014 greenhouse gas emissions are 21.4 percent lower than the 2005 baseline.
  • Royal Caribbean International became the first cruise line to launch a specialized autism initiative, in collaboration with Autism of the Seas, to make the ships a more welcoming environment for autistic guests and their families.
  • The company increased responsible local sourcing in Europe, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, with a 20 percent increase in Australia and New Zealand.
  • RCL also received a first-ever certification from RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States, recognizing the company's professionalism in preventing and responding to security incidents.

Royal Caribbean announces changes to Safety, Environment and Health Team leadership

In:
25Sep2015

Royal Caribbean announced today changes to its Safety, Environment and Health Team as the head of the department plans for his retirement.

Gary Bald, Senior Vice President, Safety, Security, Environment, Medical/Public Health and Situation Management for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., will transition his duties to top corporate and federal security executiveJennifer Love as he prepares for his retirement in the Spring of 2016.  Love will join Royal Caribbean on September 28, 2015.

Bald has worked for Royal Caribbean since 2006 and in his time, has overseen the company's environmental practices as well as the safety, security and health of the company's 62,000 employees, more than five million guests annually.

Replacing Bald is Jennifer Love, who has spent nearly 25 years at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Most recently, Love was in charge of the enterprise-wide security programs and process for the Cablevision Systems Corporation and served as the company's chief liaison to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

"Gary has been a key figure in the development of Royal Caribbean's approach to safety, environment and health, and an important leader who has made significant contributions to the entire cruise industry," said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  "Gary's leadership has enhanced the safety and security of our guests, crew and employees.  We are privileged to have had Gary at Royal Caribbean"

Goldstein added: "We are very excited to have Jennifer Love join our team.  I am confident Jennifer's skills and expertise will build on our momentum and take our company to even greater advances in our preparedness, procedures and systems."

 

Video: The role of Royal Caribbean's environmental officers

In:
Category: 
22Sep2015

Environmental Officers on each of the ships on Royal Caribbean's fleet are focused everyday on staying above and beyond compliance with environmental standards. Discover what these officers do on a day-to-day basis to further the cruise line's dedication to the environment.

Royal Caribbean moving forward with meeting global emission standards

In:
Category: 
04Aug2015

Royal Caribbean has embarked upon an environmental initiative to reduce its cruise ship emissions by 2017, called Advanced Emissions Purification (AEP).

The program is underway and scheduled for completion in 2017 and will see the installation of so-called exhaust “scrubbers” on 13 Royal Caribbean ships.

Put most simply, AEP works by spraying diesel exhaust with fine mist from a ring of water jets. As the mist combines with sulphur dioxide it creates sulphuric acid. In a happy coincidence, seawater is naturally alkaline so it neutralizes the sulphuric acid to a degree that meets strict water discharge standards after the wastewater is centrifuged to remove toxic particulates.

In some of the areas where RCL ships sail, alkaline levels in the seawater are too low to be effective. So the company opted for hybrid AEP systems allowing ships to switch as necessary between an “open loop” of untreated seawater to a “closed loop” system that boosts alkalinity with the addition of caustic soda.

The work will be done on some ships during scheduled drydocks and on others while the ship is in service.

The AEP systems being installed are manufactured by Wärtsilä of Finland and Alfa Laval of Sweden.

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