Royal Caribbean Group is to reduce its emissions by another 25% by 2025 from 2019 levels.
This comes after RCI achieved its carbon reduction target of 35%, compared to a 2005 baseline, the company said in its 13th annual sustainability report.
“In 2018, we achieved our 35% emissions reduction target ahead of schedule. Then from 2019/2020 our emissions intensity increased, due to changes in our organisational structure, full year of the Silversea Cruises acquisition, the addition of 12 ships, as well as our suspension of operations due to COVID-19,” the group said in the report.
The report also claimed that RCI had met or exceeded nearly all of its 2020 sustainability targets with the exception of the sustainable seafood sourcing target, which was impacted by global suspension of service, due to the pandemic.
“We believe that what gets measured gets better. Sustainability is a core area for our business, and this report reflects our successes and challenges over the past year,” Richard Fain, RCI Chairman and CEO, commented.
“While I’m proud of the progress we have achieved, the importance of this area has grown exponentially. Consistent with our mantra of continuous improvement, we have significantly expanded our aspirations in this critical area and are setting even more aggressive goals for the coming years,” Fain said writing in the report.
RCI revealed that it was developing a new set of targets centred around the reduction of carbon emissions, the sustainable growth and development of its business, sustainable commodity sourcing and tourism, the elimination of single-use plastics, and waste management.
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants was said to be a critical part of RCI’s environmental stewardship strategy.
“We are actively researching and assessing progress on technologies such as solar and wind power, biofuels, natural gas, fuel cells, biomass and shore power to determine their efficiencies and viability for the future,” the report said.
A holistic approach is taken to reduce its environmental impacts. Four key areas are being focused upon – air, sea, land and natural resources. This strategy is connected to the international environmental management standard ISO 14001.
To achieve further emission reduction targets, RCI’s ‘Icon’ class to be delivered in 2023 (pictured), will use cleaner-burning LNG and fuel cell technology, to reduce emissions.
RCI has also started to retrofit its fleet to be able to make use of shore power where provided. The ‘Celebrity Apex’ was the first newbuilding to be fitted with a system.
The company also said that it is important to evaluate and invest in alternative abatement technologies for fossil fuel exhaust emissions.
To date, around 70% of its vessels are fitted with advanced emissions purification (AEP) systems.
In addition, the ‘Celebrity Edge’, ‘Celebrity Apex’, ’Odyssey of the Seas’ and all future ships have been designed to include selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce NOx to greater than 90%.
All of Royal Caribbean’s AEP systems are hybrids, meaning they have the ability to operate in open and closed loop mode, the company explained.