Royal Caribbean Group steps up sustainability strategy

Group to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

Royal Caribbean Group has unveiled a vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Under its ‘Destination Net Zero’ decarbonisation roadmap, Royal Caribbean Group plans to “cut emissions, protect our oceans, and ensure the viability of the hundreds of destinations that our guests and crew members care deeply about,” said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Group.

“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 Fain revealed.

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Over 18 to 24 months, the cruise company will develop goals to be validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the first such pledge for the cruise industry. 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.

One of the most ambitious milestones includes the delivery of a net zero cruise ship by 2035. A benchmark that will only be achieved through “strong partnerships with governments, suppliers and shipyards to develop alternative and accessible fuels and technology,” Royal Caribbean Group said.

The company’s focus on achieving these measurable goals builds on its track record of designing and operating some of the most energy-efficient ships on the seas. Thanks to optimised hull design and system upgrades such as AC chillers utilising 30-40% less energy, Royal Caribbean Group has already delivered a new generation of ships 20-25% more efficient than their predecessors.

From Silversea Cruises’ recently announced ‘Project Evolution’ – the cruise industry’s first hybrid-powered ship set to debut summer 2023 – to a wind farm in Kansas that will offset up to 12% of the Group’s scope 1 and 2 emissions per year, Royal Caribbean Group is already executing on its Destination Net Zero strategy to drive the development of emissions-reducing technology and alternative fuel solutions.

“Royal Caribbean Group has a history of innovating in every aspect and level of the company,” said William K. Reilly, Chairman, Royal Caribbean Group’s board of directors’ safety, environment, and health committee. “This is another important step on the serious and ambitious path to preserve the health and allure of the sea and the beauty of the oceans.”

Destination Net Zero’s four-pronged approach includes:

  1. Modernisation of company brands fleet through the introduction of 13 new energy-efficient and alternatively fuelled vessels, including ‘Project Evolution’ — the industry’s first ship to remove all local emissions while at port.
  2. Continued investment in energy efficiency programs for its fleet, including energy-saving technologies, enhanced data systems and digitalisation.
  3. Development of alternative fuel and alternative power solutions.
  4. Optimised deployment and integration of strategic shore-based supply chains.

Lead image courtesy of Appolinary Kalashnikova on Unsplash 

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