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Cruise Industry Commits to Sustainable Practices for Cleaner Seas

Growth and sustainability go hand in hand, said Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) Chair Adam Goldstein, stressing the importance of protecting the marine environment and the global cruise industry’s commitment to sustainable tourism efforts.

Speaking at both The Economist’s 2019 World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi, and at ITB Berlin earlier this month, Goldstein highlighted the importance of marrying growth opportunities with sustainability.

“With opportunity comes responsibility, and we are working as an industry to meet those responsibilities,” said Goldstein, adding that “the water around and below us, the air above us, the communities around us, the people who work for us; all are critical factors when it comes to planning sustainable growth strategy for the cruise industry”.

Representing 2 percent of the overall travel industry, the cruise sector, Goldstein said, can play a leading role in awareness and sustainable practices, outlining a three-pronged strategy based on leadership, stewardship and partnership to achieve positive results.

CLIA cruise lines were the first in the industry in 2018 to commit to emissions targets, to advance sustainability on the seas, pledging to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 percent by 2030.

In terms of stewardship, the sector’s sustainability practices include onboard wastewater and sulphur treatment plants, pioneering hull coatings, hull design and air lubrication systems, advanced waste management and recycling systems.

Photo Source: @CLIA

Photo Source: @CLIA

Finally, with regards to partnership, CLIA cruise lines are cooperating with NGOs, such as WWF and GSTC, global destinations with sensitive ports of call such as Dubrovnik, Santorini and Barcelona, to ensure that cruise tourism is not impacting local communities, destinations and visitors.

Speaking at a panel discussion at ITB Berlin 2019 in Germany, CLIA Public Affairs Representative Eastern Mediterranean, Maria Deligianni, said “CLIA is taking a leadership role in seeking to collaborating with local stakeholders in Santorini to develop solutions that enhance the island’s sustainability. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to destination sustainability. That’s why we developed a Santorini destination sustainability plan. Santorini must be good for its residents to create great experiences for our customers and sustainably grow our business”.

Other sustainability efforts include actions to reduce the environmental impact of ships through innovation, the introduction of up to 25 liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ships that are scheduled to be in operation by 2030, and the operation of 152 so-called “dual fuel” ships – 70 percent of the cruise fleet – able to use alternative fuels such as methanol and biodiesel as well as traditional fossil fuels.

“No industry has a stronger interest in protecting oceans and destinations. Each day, across the cruise industry, individual cruise lines are working to improve on this record through strategic partnerships, new technologies, and bold sustainability commitments,” said Goldstein.

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