Carnival Corp has completed the installation of nearly 600 food waste biodigesters across its fleet.
The installations were made in support of ongoing food waste management and reduction efforts, as part of its overall commitment to environmental compliance.
They were added to ships from the company’s nine cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.
Biodigesters use a natural aerobic digestion process inside each machine to efficiently break down food waste utilising a mix of beneficial micro-organisms, enabling the systems to process anything that can be consumed by a human.
Able to perform automated digestion 24 hours per day, the biodigesters were placed in key areas on board the ship where food is processed, further improving operations by making it easier and more efficient for crew members to manage and control food waste.
In addition, the machines capture non-food items or other materials accidentally mixed with food waste, providing an additional layer of protection for environmental compliance on each ship.
Since first piloting the technology in 2019, Carnival Corp and its nine global cruise line brands have continued to expand the use of these systems across their fleets.
Most recently, the company’s namesake brand, Carnival Cruise Line, announced it was the first major cruise line to employ biodigesters across its entire fleet as it returns the final ship out of 23 to guest operations this month.
As Carnival Corp’s entire fleet returns to operations this year, its full lineup of brands will continue to see benefits from improved food waste management as additional biodigesters come online, further strengthening environmental performance across the company’s global operations, the company claimed.
“The significant investment in this technology goes hand in hand with our highest responsibility and top priority at Carnival Corp, which is compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the people in the communities we visit and serve, and our shipboard and shoreside personnel,” said Bill Burke, Carnival Corp’s Chief Maritime Officer (pictured).
“We have made great strides in our circular economy focus area and the rollout of nearly 600 biodigesters represents another important milestone for our ongoing efforts to further minimise our impact on the oceans we sail and the communities we visit while supporting overall food waste management efforts and environmental compliance on board our ships,” he said.
In addition to food waste management objectives, Carnival’s circular economy focus area includes an ongoing commitment to significantly reduce non-essential single-use plastic items, along with long-term 2030 sustainability goals and 2050 aspirations detailed in its latest sustainability report, including the following:
- Increase fleetwide coverage of advanced waste water treatment systems to over 75% by 2030.
- Send a larger percentage of waste to waste-to-energy facilities where practical by 2030 and aim to send 100% by 2050.
- Partner with primary vendors to reduce upstream packaging volumes and aim to partner with primary vendors to ensure near 100% reuse of packaging materials by 2050.
- Aspire to build ships without the need to discharge to the ocean or air (zero-emission ships) by 2050.
As part of its longer-term sustainability plan and vision, Carnival Corp has committed to significant investments to achieve its 2030 sustainability goals and 2050 aspirations, which incorporate six critical sustainability focus areas overall, including climate action; circular economy; sustainable tourism; good health and well-being; diversity, equity and inclusion; and biodiversity and conservation.
Among these priorities, the company and its brands have committed to reducing carbon emission intensity by 40% by 2030 and have aspirations to achieve net carbon-neutral ship operations, supporting its efforts to establish a path to zero emission cruising by 2050.