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Adam Goldstein (photo: Cruise Lines International Association)

Global cruise maps course for sustainability

CLIA pledges that member cruise lines will cut the rate of carbon emissions across the industry by 40% by 2030.

The Cruise Lines International Association has stressed the global cruise industry’s commitment to sustainability in speeches delivered at two events by its chairman Adam Goldstein.

In his remarks at both the Economist’s 2019 World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi and in Berlin at ITB, he highlighted the importance of marrying sustainability with growth opportunities.

“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,” he said.

“With opportunity comes responsibility, and we are working as an industry to meet those responsibilities.”

While saying that the cruise sector “represents 2% of the overall travel industry” and “we are a small part of the 1.5 billion individual trips made per year”, he emphasised that “we need to play a leadership role in sustainable tourism”.

Three ‘ships’
Outlining cruise’s sustainability work, Goldstein highlighted three strategies – leadership, stewardship and partnership.

For leadership, CLIA member cruise lines are making a first-ever industry-wide emissions commitment at the end of 2018 to cut the rate of carbon emissions across the industry’s fleet by 40% by 2030.

“We want to play our part in working towards an emission-free maritime sector, and this is an important first step,” he said.

As for ‘stewardship’, examples of how CLIA cruise lines are taking a role include onboard wastewater and sulphur treatment plants, and pioneering hull coatings, hull design and air lubrication systems.

Due to advanced waste management and recycling systems, there is zero waste-to-landfill from some of the biggest cruise ships in the world, Goldstein said.

Forging meaningful partnerships is also a key step towards sustainability, and CLIA says it is working with leading NGOs such as WWF and GSTC and with destinations including sensitive ports of call such as Dubrovnik, Santorini and Barcelona, “to ensure that cruise tourism is working for resident communities, destinations and visitors”.

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