Reductions in the key areas of fuel and water consumption as well as increases in waste-recycling were among the environmentally-friendly highlights of Carnival UK’s cruise operations in 2009, according to the first-ever sustainability report to be published, detailing the performances of Cunard Line, Ocean Village Holidays and P&O Cruises.

Chief executive officer, David Dingle said: "As an industry, we recognise the need to balance out the actions required to sustain an ever-increasing economic benefit for the communities affected by our operations with that of fulfilling wider social and environmental needs.

"As a company, we recognise the need to set the agenda for building an industry that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally."

Publishing an annual sustainability report is intended to give transparency to the company's efforts in those areas.

This first report shows a 5% fall in fuel consumption and a resulting reduction in CO2 emissions of about 11% .

The amount of water consumed on board the ships also fell - by nearly 3%* - and there was also a trebling of the amount of waste recycled. This included office paper, every tonne of which recycled saved 17 trees and 32,000 litres of water, reduced air pollutants by 27kg and conserved enough electricity to heat the average home for six months.

Since a programme to recycle used cooking oil from the ships into biodiesel began in 2008, enough has been generated to fuel a family car to travel more than a million miles. The money raised from the sale of this fuel has been donated to marine environmental preservation projects across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Kent.

* About 76% of water consumed on Carnival UK ships is produced on-board through reverse osmosis, evaporation and the use of waste heat from power plants and boilers.