2020 Goal & Update

Waste Reduction

Continue to reduce waste generated by our shipboard operations by 5% by 2020 relative to our 2010 baseline, as measured by kilograms of non-recycled waste per person per day.

waste reduction icon

  • Achieved a 3.7% reduction in waste rate.
  • Revised waste reduction goal baseline to 2016.

AWWPS Technology

Increase Advanced Waste Water Purification System (AWWPS) coverage of our fleet wide capacity by 10 percentage points by 2020 relative to our 2014 baseline.

awwps technology icon

We increased fleet wide capacity coverage of Advanced Waste Water Purification Systems (AWWPS) by 6.2 percentage points compared to our 2014 baseline.

FY2017 Waste Management Performance

waste management accounting practices icon

Waste Management Accounting Practices

Operating on a global scale presents challenges for reporting waste consistently since countries have different reporting requirements. In FY2016, we commenced a comprehensive evaluation of our waste management accounting practices and introduced a new approach for sustainability reporting purposes. With the goal of continuous operational improvement, we refocused our efforts to standardize waste definitions, units of measure and densities across our global brands. This approach allows for consistent trend analysis and reporting. This process was completed in FY2017, accordingly this report includes data for both FY2016 and FY2017 and data disclosed prior to FY2016 is not comparable. Therefore, the baseline for the waste reduction goal has been revised to FY2016. For regulatory reporting purposes, we comply with the requirements of the particular country where waste is landed.

energy generated from waste icon

Energy Generated From Waste

When available and practical food waste and municipal type waste can be managed through a designated landfill or incinerator to capture energy from the waste and generate electricity or collect methane gas. In 2017, 79% of the U.S. food waste and municipal type waste went to a facility that captured the energy from the waste.

Icon food discharge at sea

Food Discharge at Sea

We continually evaluate technologies and operations to minimize the volumes of discharges at sea.

  • In 2017, two of our brands started a pilot program using equipment to digest food waste prior to discharge at sea. This technology significantly reduces food waste volumes.
  • In 2017, one of our brands completed an assessment to promote a more sustainable shipboard food procurement, preparation, consumption and disposal model.
Icon reusing


We continually seek new opportunities to reuse materials and equipment on board or find others who can use items that are in good condition that we no longer need.

icon recycling


We strive to recycle as many items as possible.

Icon disposal ashore

Disposal Ashore

We manage the amount of waste material generated on board and work with disposal companies to promote a circular economy.

Icon incineration on board

Incineration on board

Shipboard incineration reduces the volume of waste on board and waste landed ashore.

icon stakeholder port communities

Port Waste Management

We continue to develop and implement a comprehensive waste management program at the ports we own and operate. These ports include Puerta Maya, Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center, Turks & Caicos Islands; Amber Cove Cruise Center, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, Roatán, Honduras. Our main port waste management accomplishment in 2017 was our Recycling Program. Our Mahogany Bay and Puerta Maya ports improved their recycling programs and are able to recycle the majority of the recyclable materials generated at the port (i.e., cardboard, plastics, aluminum cans).

Icon fathom traveldeep


Fathom’s guests joined local community members on highly impactful sustainability projects in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Some of the projects impacting the local community waste reduction initiatives included recycled paper and crafts entrepreneurship.

For more details on these projects and for overall Fathom projects visit www.fathom.org

Our Commitment

Wastes generated by our operations and activities of our guests and crew mirror the waste generated by hotels and resort complexes worldwide. Our shipboard waste is disposed of in strict accordance with our environmental procedures that are designed to meet or exceed internal, national, regional and local environmental regulatory requirements and industry standards. The quantity of waste (solid and liquid) generated at our shoreside facilities is not material when compared to our ship waste generation as our shipboard waste generation represents the majority of our total waste.

Our Strategy

All of our ships have a waste management plan that specifies how we manage each type of waste on board. Our waste management strategy consists of a multi-level approach that includes eliminating and minimizing waste, disposing waste ashore, incinerating waste on board and discharging liquid waste and food waste, all performed in accordance with regulatory requirements and in some instances exceeding regulations. As part of our strategy we also seek for new opportunities to reuse materials and equipment on board or find others who can use items that are in good condition that we no longer need. We also work to reduce the volume of non-eco friendly waste. In addition, shoreside waste facilities are evaluated prior to offloading the waste from the ships where they are reused, recycled, incinerated or landfilled.

Our strategy to minimize our waste streams consists of working with our supply chain to minimize packaging as well as increasing the volume and types of recycled materials landed ashore. A challenge that limits the volume of recycling material that could be recycled is the lack of recycling infrastructure at certain ports of call we visit worldwide. Our approach is to hold the recycling materials on board when possible until a port that offers recycling services is reached within the itinerary. As part of our strategy we also encourage our guests to assist us in our waste management efforts by making them aware of options available on board to segregate waste for recycling ashore. Our crew is trained on waste management practices as part of their environmental training program. In addition, comprehensive training is provided to all personnel directly involved in waste management operations.

We are committed to increase the fleet wide capacity coverage of Advanced Waste Water Purification Systems (AWWPS) for the treatment of black and gray water. These systems utilize technologies designed to produce a higher treated sewage quality that may meet or surpass standards for secondary and tertiary effluent and reclaimed water. In addition, all the ports we own and operate (i.e. Puerta Maya Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center, Turks & Caicos Islands; Amber Cove Cruise Center, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, Roatán, Honduras) are equipped with AWWPS to treat the sewage generated at each of the port facilities.

We also continually monitor new regulations that are being proposed and engage with regulators and interested stakeholders either directly or through industry trade organizations like the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to address their concerns and to discuss feasible solutions whenever such regulatory issues arise.

Each ship in our fleet has a full-time Environmental Officer (EO), who oversees environmental compliance and implementation of procedures.

4GoodFood Program

In early 2018, our Costa brand unveiled the 4GOODFOOD program, a program it has been developing since 2016. 4GOODFOOD is a far-reaching project that considers every aspect from food preparation and consumption on board to the donation of surplus food. It is an unprecedented program in global shipping. It is focused on addressing food scarcity, which is a key global issue, and is in line with the UN Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goal number 12, Responsible Consumption and Production. With this program, Costa has become one of the Friends of Champions 12.3, a gloabal network of companies and institutions that are active in halving food waste by 2030. Following its success, we are working on expanding this type of program throughout our brands.

Food Preparation and Consumption
In partnership with the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo (University of Gastronomic Sciences), Costa began by revamping its food & wine offerings based on sustainability principles and the rigorous selection of quality products and ingredients while prioritizing the seasonal availability and local sourcing of produce.

Together with Winnow, specialists in optimization of processes in professional kitchens, Costa placed kitchen scales in the galleys and kept a centralized record enabling the mapping, quantification and analysis of wastage at the food processing and preparation level. This system has enabled the gradual implementation of integrated improvement actions on board the ships, and it is already in use on more than half the Costa fleet.


Taste Don’t Waste
The Taste don’t Waste consciousness-raising campaign is designed to directly involve guests by encouraging responsible behaviors and proactive engagement, particularly in the buffet area. In this phase of the project Costa is working alongside the citizen and consumer rights group Cittadinanzattiva, which helped monitor the effectiveness of the “call to action” on the Costa Diadema.

Donating Surplus Food
Following the introduction of the Italian Law no. 166/2016 on food waste, Costa teamed up with the food bank charity Fondazione Banco Alimentare to launch a surplus food donation program. In what is a first for global shipping, Costa can now retrieve and donate “ready to eat” meals prepared on board but not served in the ship’s restaurants. This initiative started operating on the Costa Diadema in Savona in July 2017 and was recently extended to include the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome). In just six months, approximately 16,000 portions were distributed via local associations to people in need.

Costa Cruises is supporting the network of Food Gardens in Africa promoted by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Costa will provide ongoing financial backing for the venture, with the annual amount of its contribution directly linked to the reduction in food waste in the buffet by guests; the intention is to guarantee the future growth of the network by giving food resources back to the community.