MSC Cruises’ sustainability report highlights progress in practices

The cruise line has taken steps to reduce emissions and invest in sustainable tourism

MSC Cruises’ sustainability report highlights progress in practices

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises aims to achieve zero-impact operations by 2050

By Alex Smith |

MSC Cruises’ 2021 Sustainability Report has been published, highlighting the progress it has made in its sustainability practices over the past year.

The cruise line’s Sustainability Action Plan establishes six key workstreams across the business: transitioning to net-zero emissions; scrutinising resource use and waste; supporting people; investing in sustainable tourism; building green terminals; and procuring sustainability. Where possible, these align with relevant industry-approved metrics.

The Sustainability Advisory Board for the cruise division of MSC Group, which includes the MSC Cruises brand and is chaired by executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, is responsible for ensuring the continued relevance of the sustainability strategy and for reviewing progress.

“While navigating our way through the extraordinary turbulence of the past two years, we have kept focused on sustainable business practices and on protecting our guests, employees and the communities in which we operate,” said Vago. “Today more than ever, we recognise the vital importance of our environment, and a healthy and viable planet. We are firmly committed to achieving our long-term goal of zero-impact cruise operations by 2050 and we are well advanced on this journey.”

Highlights of the report include advanced trials of energy efficiency measures on MSC Grandiosa which cut emissions by eight per cent compared to design performance. MSC also brought the number of its ships fitted with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems to 14, while a total of seven of its ships have been fitted with shore power capability. It has also carried out a review of its itineraries, resulting in an average speed reduction of over two knots compared to 2019.

MSC has also launched ‘Protectours’ shore excursions specifically designed to educate guests. Around 70 per cent of the tours feature low impact transportation, including walking, cycling or kayaking, and many make a contribution to the environment through supporting species or habitat protection.

The cruise line has also invested in the construction of new sustainable terminal facilities, including the Durban Cruise Terminal in South Africa, the new MSC Cruises terminal in Miami, USA, and a third new terminal in Barcelona, Spain.

The cruise company has also created a new internal committee dedicated to ensuring its approach to procurement has a positive impact on society and minimises damage to the environment. The committee is is comprised of heads of procurement, logistics and sustainability, and meets every two months to review operational standards across our supply chain and to identify specific opportunities for positive change.

“The appropriateness and relevance of our Sustainability Strategy and action plans have been confirmed through a materiality assessment requiring engagement with employees, guests and other key external stakeholders, and helping us to prioritise our sustainability topics,” said Linden Coppell, sustainability director at MSC Cruises.  “For each one of them, we have established clear metrics against which to measure progress. Through our future annual Sustainability Reports we will be held to account in achieving our targets.”

Read the full report via MSC Cruises website

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