Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Strategy to Reach Carbon Neutrality

Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced the creation of its long-term climate action strategy and goal to reach carbon neutrality through reducing carbon intensity, identifying and investing in technology including exploring alternative fuels and implementing a voluntary carbon offset program, according to a press release. 

The company said it has committed to offset three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) over a three-year period beginning in 2021 to help bridge the gap in its decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available. 

“We take climate change very seriously and have proactively developed a long-term strategy with an ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality through three action areas including reducing carbon intensity, identifying and investing in technology and implementing a carbon offset program. Our commitment to purchase three million metric tons of carbon credits is a measurable step in near-term emissions reductions which allows us to take action today and helps bridge the gap in our decarbonization efforts as we prepare for a lower-carbon future,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

“Our global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain, is centered around our commitment to drive a positive impact on society and the environment and our long-term climate action strategy reinforces this commitment and aligns with the vision of the Paris Agreement to achieve a climate neutral world.”

Norwegian said it is looking to reduce overall footprint by minimizing fuel consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

Ongoing investments in systems and technologies have resulted in a reduction of fuel consumption per capacity day of approximately 17% from 2008 to 2019 for the entire 28-ship fleet, the company said, in a press release. 

In addition, the company achieved an estimated approximately 14% reduction in CO2 emissions per capacity day across its fleet between 2015 and 2019. As nine new and more fuel-efficient vessels are introduced to the fleet through 2027, this rate is expected to further decrease.

Norwegian said it has partnered CLIA and other maritime organizations to propose the establishment of a collaborative shipping research and development fund dedicated to the ultimate goal of eliminating CO2 emissions from international shipping. If approved, funding would come from a contribution per ton of marine fuel purchased for consumption and is expected to amount to $5 billion over a 10-year period. These funds will be used to finance the development of zero and near-zero GHG fuels and propulsion technologies. As new alternative fuel sources become available at sufficient scale in the future, the company will evaluate how these can accelerate its long-term carbon reduction strategy.

In addition, the company announced its commitment to purchase carbon credits to offset three million MTCO2e over a three-year period to help bridge the gap in decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available. Offset purchases are expected to ramp up in future years to reach the goal of carbon neutrality.

As part of its long-term climate action strategy, the company has launched a voluntary carbon offset program in collaboration with World Kinect Energy Services, the sustainability division of World Fuel Services. Norwegian said it has committed to voluntarily offset at least three million MTCO2e through 2023. The company plans to gradually increase voluntary offset purchases in future years to reach its goal of carbon neutrality based on Scope 1 emissions, which typically account for ~95% of its footprint. 

“Each organization has a unique journey to sustainability, but it starts with vision combined with action. We applaud Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ thoughtful approach and leadership,” said Michael Kasbar, chairman and chief executive officer, World Fuel Services. “Our experts at World Kinect developed a tailored carbon offset solution that enables Norwegian to make immediate progress towards their long-term sustainability goals.”

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