Costa Cruises has announced excellent results in the environmental and social fields, in the seventh edition of its Sustainability Report (available for consultation online at www.costacruise.com/best4).  The details were disclosed in Marseilles at Seatrade Med 2012, the biggest event of the year for cruise operators in the Mediterranean.

Costa Cruises not only operates in accordance with the prevailing environmental compliance laws but sets itself more ambitious objectives by means of a management and control system that have gone beyond the scope of mandatory requirements laid down by (local, national and international) regulations for a long time now and actually pre-empts possible solutions to improve environmental protection. 

The main results obtained in 2011 are as follows:

-    emissions to the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, measured in terms of “specific” emissions – i.e. considering factors such as the total nautical miles sailed during the year and the available lower berth days across the fleet – related to fuel consumption fell by 3.8% compared to the year before, representing a 14.5% decrease since 2007.  This reduction was attained thanks to the further implementation of various measures directed at reducing energy consumption and the consequent atmospheric emissions.  For example, the use of ecological silicone-based coatings for the ship’s hull, the use of low power consumption LED light bulbs; energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) technology, the use of inverters to optimize the performance of fans and blowers in the engine room;

-     50% decrease in emissions of ozone-depleting substances thanks to the replacement of refrigerating and conditioning systems and the gradual conversion of plants containing HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) into systems using HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), which have an ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) of zero.

-      71% of the water used on the ships in the Costa fleet produced directly on board using desalination plants and evaporators.

-      2011 saw the launch of the “Sustainable cruise” project co-funded by the European Commission by means of the  “Life+” Programme, the EU’s funding instrument for innovative or demonstration environmental projects. 

Costa Cruises is Project Manager in this, the world’s first ever shipboard experimental project involving the use of innovative techniques and methods for three specific types of waste – packaging, biodegradable (organic) waste and paper – with very specific objectives regarding reduction at the source and recycling.  The Costa Pacifica (114,500 gross tonnage and 3,780 total Guests) was chosen to pilot this project and the initial activities began earlier this year.  The “Sustainable Cruise” project dovetails with Costa Cruises’ own waste management policy, which has been applied fleetwide for some time now; Costa has a policy of 100% separation of solid waste on board.

This ongoing commitment is demonstrated by the prestigious environmental awards that prestigious stakeholders conferred on Costa Cruises once again in 2011:  8 new international awards certifying Costa Cruises’ vocation for innovation and compliance with the highest environmental protections standards.  

In the social field, internal training was a priority in 2011, regarding both shipboard and shoreside employees. 

Training hours totaled around 780,000, an increase of some 40% compared to the previous year, with tuition covering social accountability, environment and safety, as well as managerial, technical and language refresher courses.  Lastly, Costa Cruises’ community support recycling projects continued in Brazil; various types of waste are recycled with the aim of financing local social development. In 2011 funds were used to support “CAPDEVER” association in Salvador de Bahia, which aids families living in extreme poverty, and to support “Crianca Feliz” NGO in Santos, which organizes sport courses for needy  children and kids.