Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has made environmental improvements over the past year. The company has reduced fuel consumption by 4 percent, NOx emissions by three percent, refrigerant loss by 33 percent and onboard water consumption by six percent, according to the company’s 2008 Stewardship Report. The company also has cut its solid waste generation by 32 percent.

Here are several environmental highlights from the report.

Continuing to improve efficiencies onboard its ships, Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Solstice is the first cruise ship equipped with solar panels, a “green roof” and a dedicated environmental education venue, and its newest ship, Oasis of the Seas, showcases the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.

As an example, the ship sports a new hull design that includes environmentally safe coatings to improve performance, thus reducing energy use and air emissions. Royal Caribbean estimates that these smoother hull coatings could save as much as five percent of its fuel usage for propulsion.

Other efficiencies include smokeless gas-turbine engines, and solar window films to keep the ships cooler, which reduces fuel consumption and associated emissions.

In 2008, Royal Caribbean’s ships consumed approximately 10,000 metric tons less fuel, which was nearly 4 percent less per available passenger cruise day (APCD) than what was used in 2007, according to the report. The company’s goal is to save an additional 2 percent per APCD in 2009, setting more aggressive targets as it develops new technologies.

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

In 2008, Royal Caribbean’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions totaled 79,305 metric tons, which equals 0.0029 metric tons per APCD. This represented an approximately 3 percent reduction over 2007. Sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions totaled 0.0017 metric tons per APCD, and particulate matter emissions totaled 0.0002 metric tons per APCD.

The company also reduced its refrigerant loss â?? which can have environmental impacts on ozone depletion and greenhouse gases â?? on its Royal Caribbean International ships by approximately 33 percent from 2007 levels.

In 2008, Royal Caribbean’s 2008 greenhouse gas footprint â?? including CO2 emissions and total refrigerant losses â?? was 0.14466 metric tons of CO2 per APCD. Total CO2 emissions in 2008 were 3,679,578 metric tons, or 0.13904 metric tons per APCD. The company’s goal is to reduce its overall greenhouse gas footprint by one-third per APCD by 2015, as compared to 2008 levels.

The company is also implementing water-saving technologies and procedures including reduced-flow dishwashers, low-flow shower heads and sink taps, and low-consumption laundry equipment. These measures reduced the total water consumed onboard from all sources per APCD by 6 percent from 2007 levels.

In 2008, the company recycled and reused more than 12 million pounds of solid waste materials. The company is working with its suppliers to green its supply chain, reduce packaging materials and use more sustainable resources.

In 2008, the amount of waste landed ashore was reduced to 1.5 pounds per APCD, representing a 32 percent reduction in solid waste. The company recycles approximately 25 percent of all waste in U.S. ports. The company’s goal is to decrease waste incinerated and/or moved to landfills by 50 percent by 2015 and to recycle 50 percent of all its waste landed ashore.

Source: Environmental Leader

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