Carnival Sails Towards Its Sustainability Targets

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Carnival, the leading cruise company, is aiming at a target of 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the company’s shipboard operations, part of a broader effort to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

Recent figures show progress on the environmental front. In 2013, fuel consumption decreased by more than five percent since 2007. There has been an 18 percent increase in non-hazardous waste recycled from ships from 2011 to 2012. Besides, all of Carnival's Operating Lines and ships are certified in accordance with ISO 14001, one of the world's leading environmental management system certifications.

In order to meet the new carbon reduction goals, the company is putting in place energy reduction and conservation measures, which in some cases, exceed current laws and regulations. "Carnival has made the amount of GHG emissions released an indicator of our environmental improvement, and we are focused every day on finding innovative ways to cut down on these emissions," said Jim Van Langen, vice president of management systems for Carnival Corporation.

Since the September announcement to reduce emissions, Carnival has pioneered the development of a ground-breaking exhaust gas cleaning technology that removes pollutants from the exhaust gases at any operating condition of a ship, be it at sea, during maneuvering and in port. Carnival is currently installing the systems in its fleet to reduce emissions.

To decrease power consumption, Carnival’s AIDA Cruises will feature Mitsubishi Air Lubrication Systems (MALS), which reduces drag and saves propulsion power. This system enables ships to glide on an air-bubble carpet, which is projected to save seven percent of the operating power.

AIDA also recently teamed with Becker Marine Systems to develop a Liquid Nitrogen Gas (LNG) hybrid barge, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. The concept is set to be put into operation in Hamburg this year.

Another weapon in the fight against emissions is a method called ‘cold ironing’, a vessel shore power system that has been installed on 20 percent of the company’s fleet to connect a port’s electric grid, which helps reduce emissions at ports with shore power capabilities. Besides, several of Carnival’s ships have partial plug-in installations which can be retrofitted to full installation if they are deployed on an itinerary where the port has infrastructure and capacity for shore power connection.

The company is also implementing measures to improve waste water treatment by installing Advanced Waste Water Treatment Systems. It is also working on the research and development for potential installations on new and existing ships. 48 of the company’s 101 ships have installed such systems.

Besides its efforts, Carnival is a member of several organizations focused on sustainability, including the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) and the Marine Conservation Institute's (MCI) sustainable seafood program (in coordination with Holland America Line). It is also a partner of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council to launch an instrument on board Queen Mary 2 that monitors Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line also have partnered with the University of Miami in a project with the International SeaKeepers Society.

Image credit: Carnival