MSC Group’s Cruise Division is to join the Green Marine Europe Label, thus becoming the first major global cruise company to do so.
Green Marine Europe is a voluntary environmental certification programme for the maritime industry.
Following the success of its North American environmental certification programme, the European initiative was launched in 2020 to create a mechanism that supports shipowners in demonstrating their environmental performance on a European scale.
This will support the MSC Group’s Cruise Division’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the company said.
To ensure success, MSC Cruises’ two brands, MSC Cruises and its newly launched luxury offering Explora Journeys, have committed to measuring their environmental performance as per the programme’s guidelines annually, tracking progress across eight key performance indicators – aquatic invasive species, pollutant air emissions (SOx and PM), pollutant air emissions (NOx), greenhouse gas emissions, oily discharge, waste management, underwater noise and responsible ship recycling.
In recent years, MSC said that it had made considerable advances across all areas of its cruise operations thanks to the deployment of some of the latest environmental technologies, fuels and solutions.
These include emissions control systems, ballast water treatment systems and advanced wastewater treatment systems, plus others.
Explora Journey’s first two vessels, which are currently under construction, will feature these and other environmental solutions.
The two brands have equally committed to submitting their annual environmental performance results to an external accredited verification party and then to publishing them.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC’s Cruise Division (pictured), said: “Even while we tackled the many challenges of the past two years, we never lost sight of our responsibilities in the long term.
“In line with our commitment to sustainability and our pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the Green Marine Europe Label will help us demonstrate our progress and share this with our guests, the communities that we serve and all other stakeholders. All of this while we continue our work on several projects studying the development of green fuels and technology solutions and we look forward to bringing them to life soonest,” he said.
Green Marine Europe Label is the result of a partnerships of North American environmental certification programme, Green Marine, which has been operating for 10 years and the Surfrider Foundation, an European Union NGO involved in ocean and maritime protection. The partnership was established in 2019, and the programme was launched in the spring of 2020.
Minas Myrtidis, MSC Cruise Management’s Vice President Environmental Operations and Compliance added: “Certification to the Green Marine Europe Label across our entire fleet will further demonstrate our commitment to environmental sustainability as it also reflects our desire to continually improve our performance in that space.’’