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Royal Caribbean Group outlines sustainability progress

20 Apr 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Royal Caribbean Group is committed to delivering unforgettable vacations responsibly, and 2022 marked a milestone moment in the company's advancement of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. 

Ship sailing

On April 20, Royal Caribbean Group released their 15th annual Seastainability Report, which provides an in-depth update on the the company's corporate responsibility strategy and performance across their three fully owned brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. 

“As we advance on our sustainability journey, our strategic priorities remain rooted in creating business value and uplifting our employees, guests and the communities we visit,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.

“Through collaboration and innovation, we continue to make great strides on our commitment of delivering great vacation experiences responsibly.”  

Highlights from the report


The annual report summarizes the targets and strategies used by Royal Caribbean Group to work towards their progress of reducing emissions, promoting the safety and wellbeing of its guests and employees, including its commitments to sustainable tourism, protecting the oceans it sails, and inspiring and empowering the communities it visits. 

New short-term target for the reduction of carbon intensity

To aid in Royal Caribbean Group's goal of Destination New Zero, or the company's vision for zero net emissions by 2025, they set a short-term target to reduce their carbon intensity by double digits by 2025 compared to 2019. 

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


New partnership

They signed a new partnership agreement with the Mærsk McKinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping in Copenhagen, Denmark to help develop zero carbon technologies and solutions for the maritime industry. 

Diesel pilot

The first renewable diesel pilot in the United States was completed on Navigator of the Seas. 

New Galveston terminal

New net-zero cruise terminal

The world's first-ever net-zero cruise terminal was opened in Galveston, Texas. This extends Royal Caribbean Group's efforts from their ships to their shoreside operations, too.

The $125 million, 161,334-square-foot terminal can accommodate up to 630,000 guests per year!

RelatedWhat you should know about cruising from Galveston instead of Florida

New diversity council

They created a new Executive Diversity Council to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This was completed one year ahead of schedule!  

Navigator of the Seas Renewable Diesel

Gender pay equity

Royal Caribbean Group confirmed the United States shoreside gender pay equity analysis, which shows that 99.98% of women employees are equally compensated compared to their male employees. 

New kickstarter program

They launched the Royal Caribbean Kickstarter Program to support tourism related  entrepreneurs in The Bahamas through trainings and seed-funding. 

Family on Alaska tour

Increased number of sustainable tours

Royal Caribbean Group now offers more than 3,500 sustainable tours certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) around the world. 

Food sourcing

The company is on track to meet their goal of sourcing 90% of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild-caught seafood and 75% Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farm-raised seafood.

Their 2022 progress revealed that 83% of their wild-caught seafood was MSC certified, while 75% of their farm-raised seafood was ASC certified. 


World Wildlife Fund

In 2022, Royal Caribbean Group renewed their partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and committed an additional $5 million to preserve ocean health. This partnership originally began in 2016. 

What are the goals of their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts?

Royal Caribbean Group logo

The twenty-two goals are broken up into eleven different categories and have a status of "early stages," "on track," or "complete." 

Emissions reduction

  • Achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050: early stages
  • Reduce carbon intensity by double digits from 2019 numbers by 2025: on track
  • Net-zero cruise ship by 2035: early stages

Water and wastewater management

  • Increase or maintain 90% potable water production, as well as reduce the potable water bunkering in vulnerable areas by 2025: on track
  • 100% of fleet equipped with Advanced Wastewater Purification systems by 2025: on track
  • 100% of fleet equipped with IMO and USCG Certified Systems for ballast water by 2025: on track 
Aft view sunset

Waste management

  • Reduced the solid waste offloaded to landfill by 90% compared to the 2007 baseline: completed ahead of schedule 

Circular economy

  • Reduce 100% of single-use plastic by 2025: on track

Sustainable sourcing 

  • 100% cage-free eggs for global operations by 2025: on track
  • 100% of chicken for U.S. ship operations from Global Animal Partnership Certified suppliers by 2025: on track 
  • 100% gestation-crate-free pork for global operations by 2025: on track
  • 90% Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild-caught seafood and 75% Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farm-raised seafood by 2025: on track
  • Obtain MSC and ASC chain of custody certification for all ships by 2023: on track 
Food in main dining room

Destination stewardship and community development

  • Advance destination stewardship and community development through partnerships, initiatives, and responsible practices by 2025: early stages

Responsible tourism

  • 60% certification of RCG global tours to GSTC standards by 2026: on track
  • Through the implementation of "Blue Green Promise," support sustainable and resilient ocean communities, employee engagement, and volunteering by 2024: early stages
Crew members in port

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Formed an Executive Diversity Council that is chaired by the CEO in 2022: complete ahead of schedule
  • Annually review gender pay equity for all global employees by 2024: on track
  • Implement program to create an inclusive and diverse supply chain by 2024: early stages

Human rights

  • Publish updated human rights policy and conduct human rights impact assessments by 2025: on track 

Enterprise risk management

  • Integrate ESG risks into enterprise risk management system by 2023: early stages 
Royal Caribbean logo on the side of the ship


  • Increase auditability of ESG data and improve climate-related disclosure by 2026: on track

Awards and recognition

Celebrity Silhouette

The report also outlines various awards and recognition that Royal Caribbean Group received.  

First, they were named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eighth year in a row by the Ethisphere Institute. 

They were also recognized on the 2022 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion list by Disability:In, as well as the American Association of People with Disabilities. 

Third, the company ranked #11 in Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America by Healthiest Employers, and, finally, they were awarded one of the 2022 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor. 

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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