Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2022

1 1 0 Breaking new carbon footprint ground Royal Caribbean Group is exploring how it can measure and reduce the carbon footprint associated with building new ships. Tor Svensen explains to Susan Parker why he believes there is a need for an industry standard Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) has long been a trendsetter in the cruise industry when it comes to building new ships. The company is in the development stage of a project to ascertain how it can construct ships with a lower carbon footprint. Initially, it planned to follow systems such as US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) framework, which is used to help construct sustainable buildings on land. However, RCG soon realised that what happens on land cannot always be easily transferred to sea. “We started with the idea that the LEED system could be used to build our ships,” says Tor Svensen, RCG’s senior sustainability advisor. “However, we quite quickly found that it simply couldn’t work with the way cruise ships are built and operated. It would have been very challenging to adapt it, so we threw that idea overboard.” The project is a work in progress and RCG is collaborating with both classification society DNV and major shipyard partners to try and develop a suitable system for building more sustainable ships. “We aim to establish a way of measuring the energy and the carbon footprint related to ship construction,” explains Svensen. “As part of that, and as a second phase, we are going to look more closely at the materials we choose too. We want to know what our Scope 3 emissions [those from sources not owned or controlled by RCG] are when we buy a ship, and what the ship’s overall carbon footprint is.” The company is keen to identify the baseline emissions from its different newbuilds, so it can set targets for “ We have to look at the totality of our operation and count emissions from all the components” INTERV IEW