Royal Caribbean Group aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Royal Caribbean Group aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Royal Caribbean Group has launched a new Destination Net Zero decarbonisation strategy to enable it to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“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 Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "Today 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."

Royal Caribbean Group will take a four-pronged approach, which includes modernising its global fleet by introducing 13 new energy-efficient and alternatively fuelled vessels – such as Silversea Cruises’ new hydrogen-powered Project Evolution ships – and a net-zero cruise ship by 2035. The company will also continue to invest in technologies and solutions to improve the energy efficiency of its fleet, develop alternative fuels and power solutions, and optimise the deployment and integration of strategic shore-based supply chains.

Over the next 18 to 24 months, Royal Caribbean Group will develop goals to be validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which will show how much, and how quickly, it needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help limit global warming. This is the first time a cruise company has made such a pledge.

To achieve these ambitions, the company will build strong partnerships with governments, suppliers and shipyards.

"Destination Net Zero will help guide our decision-making in the years to come and builds on Royal Caribbean Group's continuous improvement mantra," said Silvia Garrigo, Royal Caribbean Group’s chief environmental social governance officer. "While we may not have all the answers now, this comprehensive company-wide strategy amplifies our focus on long-term emissions reduction and provides us a roadmap for how to get there."

The new Destination Net Zero strategy builds on almost 30 years of Royal Caribbean Group's efforts to decrease its environmental footprint, which began with a Save the Waves recycling programme. Since then it has consistently delivered new generations of ships 20-25 per cent more efficient than their predecessors, built a wind farm to offset up to 12 per cent of its emissions per year, and more.

In 2021, an annual sustainability report indicated that the group had met or exceeded all but one of the 2020 sustainability goals it established in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2016. Some of these objectives included supporting the WWF’s global ocean conservation work, introducing more than 2,000 Global Sustainable Tourism-certified tours, and raising awareness about the importance of ocean conservation among its more than five million passengers.

"Royal Caribbean Group has a history of innovating in every aspect and level of the company," said William Reilly, chairman of 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."

 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
29 October 2021

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