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Carnival Cruise Lines Committed To Minimizing Its Environmental Footprint

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 - General Information


As the world’s largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines understands that the company’s future depends upon the health of the world’s oceans.  As such, the line is seeking both high- and low-tech solutions to manage the environmental impact of its fleet and preserve important natural resources.

These comprehensive initiatives, which meet or exceed international and domestic environmental laws and regulations, including those of the International Maritime Organization and the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, include an extensive waste-management plan for collecting, storing, processing and disposing of all waste generated aboard Carnival vessels.

Under Carnival’s wide-ranging waste-management guidelines, solid waste is processed and incinerated on board whenever possible. Otherwise, it is sent to an approved shoreside facility for treatment, recycling or disposal. Materials to be recycled are compacted, crushed or baled, and stored on board until they can be offloaded to an approved vendor for disposal. As a result of these efforts, Carnival’s recycling program consistently achieves a high recycling rate.

Prior to sending waste to a facility, Carnival’s environmental department reviews each vendor to ensure that they are in full compliance with local, state and federal environmental regulations.

The line also involves its guests in the recycling program. Specially marked containers are placed throughout the ships to encourage guests to dispose of different materials in a manner that facilitates sorting and recovery.  Carnival’s recycling program consists of recycling plastic, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, cooking oil, petroleum oil, metal, toner cartridges, electronics, refrigerants and photo processing liquids.  Biomedical waste is incinerated or sent to an approved shoreside facility. Special bins for cans, newspaper, and paper are housed at the company’s Miami headquarters, as well.

Carnival has also established a donation program which consists of donating items such as furniture, refrigerators, bed frames, cribs, pillows, linens, blankets, clothing, shoes, baby care items, non-medicinal medical supplies, toys, bikes and other recreational items, printers, cassette players, televisions, bathrobes, towels, shower curtains, small kitchen appliances, china, utensils, strollers, wheelchairs, and fans.

Essential to Carnival’s environmental initiatives are training and education programs. All shipboard employees attend a familiarization course, which provides instruction on shipboard waste management.  Additionally, specialized environmental training, reinforcing the importance Carnival places on environmental compliance and protection, is provided to all shipboard as well as relevant shoreside employees. Advanced training is also given to certain key positions.

Other environmental initiatives include an advanced three-step engineering process for the separation of oily bilge water. Energy and water conservation inspections also are performed aboard all Carnival ships.

Carnival worked closely with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the City of Long Beach, Calif., and Southern California Edison to facilitate shore power technology in Long Beach. Currently, the Carnival Inspiration, which operates year-round cruises from Long Beach, is using shore power. In addition, Carnival Miracle will be soon shore-power ready in preparation for seasonal deployment from Long Beach in spring 2013.

Carnival Cruise Lines recognizes the importance of climate change and air quality and is taking action to reduce its impact.  The company is committed to increasing fuel efficiency and evaluating cleaner fuels, thereby reducing CO2 and other pollutants that contribute to climate change.

Every Carnival Cruise Lines ship also has an environmental officer who oversees the shipboard environmental management and compliance and conducts all environmental training on board.

Carnival’s 24 cruise ships have also received certification for its ISO14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance, an ISO –accredited organization.

The requirements for certification are established by the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization, an internationally recognized standards organization that promotes the development and implementation of international standards, including those for environmental management issues.

In 2010, Carnival Cruise Lines published a sustainability report which has enabled us to further benchmark our performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Currently, Carnival Cruise Lines’ sustainability performance is included as part of the corporate structure which provides the opportunity to benchmark the collective performance of all corporate brands, share best practices, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop mechanisms for enhancing accountability and data availability.

Carnival has also formed an alliance with the International SeaKeepers Society and has installed a scientific data-gathering device on the Carnival Triumph, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Spirit to monitor ocean water quality.  The device tracks a wide range of data, which is transmitted via satellite to various environmental groups, governmental agencies and universities to aid in assessing ocean pollution and researching global climate changes and cyclic weather patterns.   The National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recognized the Carnival Conquest with the Voluntary Observing Ship Award for its efforts in helping monitor and collect data on Caribbean weather conditions.

The line also supports community-based programs and local environmental initiatives, such as beach clean-ups, often in partnership with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association.