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Royal Caribbean Group announces pledge to get to net zero emissions by 2050

In:
28 Oct 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Group announced on Wednesday a new initiative to make its cruise ships as eco-friendly as possible by reducing net zero emissions by 2050.

What was added to each Royal Caribbean ship during its Royal Amplified refurbishment | Royal Caribbean Blog

"Destination Net Zero" is the name of the new program that the company is calling its collective effort.

There are two primary objectives in its pledge to pursue science-based targets:

  • Delivery of a net zero emissions cruise ship
  • A path to net zero emissions by 2050

A comprehensive decarbonization strategy is behind how Royal Caribbean Group will get there, and executives feel now is the time to get moving on that goal.

"Decades ago, we set out on a course to advance sustainability; our vision now is to realize carbon-free cruising over the next two decades," said Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

"Today we are announcing the most important destination of all in our company's history – Destination Net Zero – an ambitious strategy to cut emissions, protect our oceans, and ensure the viability of the hundreds of destinations that our guests and crew members care deeply about."

How they will get there

Over 18 to 24 months, Royal Caribbean Group will develop goals to be validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The work will begin following the publication of SBTi's marine transport methodology. Science-based targets show companies how much, and how quickly, they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to help limit global warming.

The company will set key milestones to ensure they are making progress, one of which will be the delivery of a net zero cruise ship by 2035.

Thanks to optimized hull design and system upgrades such as AC chillers utilizing 30-40% less energy, Royal Caribbean Group has consistently delivered a new generation of ships 20-25% more efficient than their predecessors. 

To reach their goal of net zero emissions, Royal Caribbean Group will pull a lot of levers, including a few already announced. SilverSea Cruises will launch the first hybrid-powered ship set to debut summer 2023, and a wind farm in Kansas will offset up to 12% of the company's scope 1 and 2 emissions per year.

Destination Net Zero's four-pronged approach includes:

  1. Modernization of the cruise company's global brands fleet through the introduction of 13 new energy-efficient and alternatively fueled vessels.
     
  2. Continued investment in energy efficiency programs for its fleet, including energy saving technologies, enhanced data systems and digitalization.
     
  3. Development of alternative fuel and alternative power solutions.
     
  4. Optimized deployment and integration of strategic shore-based supply chains.