Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) has announced that it will make its cruise ships as eco-friendly as possible by reducing net zero emissions by 2050.
‘Destination Net Zero’ as the new programme is being called is a collective effort, according to the company’s blog.
There are two primary objectives in pursuing science-based targets:
- delivery of a net zero emissions cruise ship
- a path to net zero emissions by 2050.
To reach its target, a comprehensive de-carbonisation strategy is planned.
“Decades ago, we set out on a course to advance sustainability; our vision now is to realise carbon-free cruising over the next two decades,” said outgoing RCI Chairman and CEO, Richard Fain.
“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,” he said.
During the next 18 to 24 months, RCI 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.
RCI said it 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 optimised hull design and system upgrades, such as AC chillers utilising 30-40% less energy, RCI claimed that it had consistently delivered a new generation of ships 20-25% more efficient than their predecessors.
To reach the net zero emissions goal, RCI will introduce new initiatives, some of which have already been announced.
For example, SilverSea Cruises will launch the first hybrid-powered ship in the summer of 2023, while 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:
- modernisation of the cruise company’s global brands fleet through the introduction of 13 new energy-efficient and alternatively fuelled vessels
- continued investment in energy efficiency programmes for its fleet, including energy saving technologies, enhanced data systems and digitalisation
- development of alternative fuel and alternative power solutions
- optimised deployment and integration of strategic shore-based supply chains.