Royal Caribbean makes environmental headway

I have to admit when I first read about this, my first take was “what’s the big deal on 4%!” But there’s more “juice” to this than I originally thought.

In their 2008 Stewardship Report, Royal Caribbean Cruises. Ltd. announced they had reduced fuel consumption by four percent, NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions by three percent, and water consumption by six percent. BUT they’ve also reduced refrigerant loss by 33 percent and solid waste generation by 32 percent!  Much more impressive accomplishments, don’t you think?

The Celebrity Solstice - the first cruise ship with solar panels and a "green" roof

The Celebrity Solstice - the first cruise ship with solar panels and a "green" roof

As part of their environmental commitment, Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Solstice is the first cruise ship to sport solar panels, a “green” roof and a dedicated environmental venue. But their newest ship, the Oasis of the Seas, goes even further to reduce its carbon footprint.

These efforts include a new hull design with environmentally safe coatings to improve performance and reduce energy use and air emissions, smokeless gas turbine engines, and solar window films that keep the ship cooler while reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.

The cruise line is also replacing onboard halogen and incandescent light bulbs with LED and compact florescent lights to reduce heat production and energy consumption. These replacements have resulted in up to 80 percent reduced energy, a 50 percent reduction in heat generation and also less maintenance. The new lighting can also be recycled or returned to the vendor to be rebuilt.

Since cruise ships are responsible for emitting three times more CO2 than airplanes, these gains represent a real step forward – one that other cruise lines would do well to emulate.

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