Sustainability on the seas – Part One – Preserving the environment
We travel to Carnival Corporation’s Miami headquarters to learn how the world’s largest leisure travel company is improving its environmental sustainabilityShow transcript
In 2005, Carnival Corporation set sail on its sustainability journey. Carnival is the world’s largest leisure travel company, and it’s established 10 sustainability goals across three themes: the environment, safety, and labour and social practices. In this first half of our mini-documentary with Carnival Corporation, we focus on the business’s sustainability goals; particularly its exhaust gas cleaning technology, and its use of liquefied natural gas, to improve its emissions profile. Watch the second half of this mini-documentary, which concentrates on the company’s targets around safety, labour, and social practices.
Elaine Heldewier: Sustainability is essential for us, because if we’re not sustainable, we don’t have a business. That’s basically the bottom line.
We operate in a marine environment, and it is important for us that it continues to be healthy. So we have to make sure that we have the infrastructure that supports an operation that is sustainable.
The New Economy: In 2005, Carnival Corporation set sail on its sustainability journey. Carnival is the world’s largest leisure travel company, and it’s established 10 sustainability goals across three themes: the environment, safety, and labour and social practices.
Karina Spiegel: We have six goals focused on the environment. So, the majority are focused on the environment, because that’s where our business is focused: on the seas, and the pristine environment.
The main goal is our carbon goal, which focuses on reducing emissions by 25 percent by 2020 compared to our 2005 baseline. And we’ve actually almost already achieved that.
We have an exhaust gas cleaning goal, which is focused on air quality. Then we have a water and waste goal – a five percent reduction in waste rate and a five percent improvement in water use efficiency as well.
The New Economy: Carnival has been using exhaust gas cleaning technology since 2013. Today more than 70 percent of the fleet has these scrubbers installed.
Mike Kaczmarek: That means a fleet-wide effort to be able to reduce the emissions on our ships, and particularly the sulphur emissions. Both existing ships and new ships are receiving this technology.
It works by using sea water to scrub the exhaust of the diesel engines. And that removes the sulphur and many of the other particulate matter and noxious gases as well. It meets all the new rules and regulations that are in place now and coming up in the next years; but also dramatically lowers our emissions signature.
The New Economy: Carnival is also starting to use cleaner fuels: it was the first cruise company in the world to use LNG to power its ships at the dock, and its first fully LNG-powered ship is due in 2018.
Tom Strang: The whole industry, not just the cruise segment, but the whole industry is looking to use cleaner fuels for use in 2020.
We are the first cruise company to utilise LNG. It’s the cleanest fossil fuel available. It has about a 25-28 percent reduction in direct carbon emissions, so you immediately get a benefit on greenhouse gas emissions. However, probably the most impactful area is on its zero SOx emissions. It doesn’t have very high particulate rates – you’re getting into about an 80 percent reduction in particulates, and around about the same in nitrogen oxide reductions. Really it has a huge, huge benefit on its environmental impact.
Eric Evans: Next generation ships that we’re building will run on liquefied natural gas, whether at sea or at the dock. And they will be the first of that type of ships in the world. Our first NExL – Next Generation new build – will be delivered in the latter part of 2018. And it will trade in northern Europe, followed by a second ship in 2019 in the western Med, and then so on to our last LNG ship of this existing order, which will be delivered in 2022. So 10 ships that will be engaged in some sort of LNG fuelling and power.
Tom Strang: Using LNG as fuel does require more space. It takes about 1.8 times – approximately – the space that you would otherwise take with a conventional liquid fuel. So there are downsides to it. But that being said, we believe that by careful design, and by ensuring that we’ve optimised everything, we can make sure that that is not a negative.
The New Economy: Optimising operations is key. If you can reduce the amount of fuel you’re using, you’re naturally going to reduce your emissions too.
Peter Fetten: You start of course with the speed of the ship. You have over proportional consumption the faster you go. So we reduce the speed. But you are doing that cleverly, by early departure from the port, or late arrival in the port. To maximise your experience for the guests.
Second biggest consumer is the cooling of the air. So we have replaced the chillers, which are responsible for the cooling of the ships with more efficient chillers. And that has drastic reduction in consumption.
We have done a lot of efficiency upgrades in relation to our hydrodynamics, to reduce the friction between the hull and the water, or make the propeller and the propulsion more efficient. And with that, again, reducing the consumption.
So there are multiple facets of initiatives going on on the electrical propulsion, mechanical side, which are quite, quite deep.