2020 Goal & Update

We achieved our carbon footprint goal ahead of schedule and continue to make progress on our environmental 2020 sustainability goals. These goals include:

environmental management icon

  • Reducing Emissions – we made more progress on our goal and achieved a 27.6% reduction relative to our 2005 baseline.
  • Installing Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS).
  • Increasing cold ironing capacity.
  • Increasing advanced waste water purification system (AWWPS) capacity.
  • Increasing water efficiency and reducing waste.

FY2018 Environmental Management Performance

Icons iso

ISO 14001: 2015 Corporate Certification

To further support our environmental strategies in 2018, our Environmental Management System was certified at the corporate level vs. at the individual brand level for the first time, confirming our commitment to consistent, best-practice environment management practices across our brands.

Icon - operations oceans alive


In 2018, Carnival launched Operation Oceans Alive. The goal of this initiative is to instill in all employees a sense of personal commitment to protect and care for the marine environment as our business is dependent on healthy oceans.

icon - sustainability award

Carnival Corporation Environmental Excellence Award

In 2018, Carnival started the Environmental Excellence Award to honor the ships within the Carnival fleet with the best environmental performance. One ship from each cruise brand is selected and from those one ship is recognized as the best from the fleet.

Icon world ocean day

World Oceans Day

In 2018, Carnival’s cruise brands celebrated World Oceans Day both onboard and shoreside with events, activities and communications to promote ocean education and conservation.

icon - Single Use Plastics

Removing Single-Use Plastics

In 2018, we started an initiative to evaluate our collective use of single-use plastic items and alternative options available in the market. As part of this initiative, we have identified items we can replace with reusable non-plastic alternatives or biodegradable options available for straws, take away cups and other items. Our goal is to remove single-use plastics within our operations whenever feasible.

Icon new partnerships


We are leading the way to cleaner emissions from cruise ships with the support of and collaboration with key partners:

  • We started a new partnership with the Bellona Foundation in an advisor capacity to support our climate change initiatives.
  • We continue our partnership with Wärtsilä designed to improve the energy efficiency of our fleet of over 400 Wärtsilä engines.
  • We continue our partnership with EcoSpray to develop and install the most advanced air quality systems at sea.
Icon environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance

In 2013, an environmental crime was reported by an engineer on one of our ships. Following an investigation by the Department of Justice, we learned that the misconduct involved multiple ships over several years. We took responsibility and signed a plea agreement in 2016. Our probation includes a five-year Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) that began on April 19, 2017. The ECP requires independent audits as well as oversight by a Court Appointed Monitor. In 2019, the company agreed to revised terms of probation to resolve a petition for revocation of probation. For further details please visit click here.

Environmental Officer Training Program Icon


In 2018, the Environmental Officers (EO) training program was expanded to include a second course for continuous professional development.

IMO Icon

IMO and Climate Change

We remain active and interested in the worldwide strategies and frameworks being designed and developed to address climate change and air emissions. Specific to the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. We participate in IMO meetings and working groups through our trade association, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). In 2018, the IMO established an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships reduction strategy in line with the COP21 (Paris Agreement). The strategy includes likely implementation of further phases of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, reducing international shipping’s average unit CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and by 70% by 2050 (relative to 2008), and reducing absolute international shipping GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 and pursuing efforts to phase them out.

Ballast Water Icon

Ballast Water

In accordance with certain United States Coast Guard and IMO Ballast Water Management Convention requirements, we are outfitting ships with ballast water treatment systems certified to meet one or both standards based on the ship’s area of operation.

icon - sustainability award

2018 British Travel & Hospitality Sustainability Business Award

Carnival was recognized by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame for its sustainability performance. The award honors travel or hospitality businesses that place sustainable business practices at the core of their company ideology.

Our commitment

We are committed to protecting the environment. Through our Business Partner Code of Business Conduct and Ethics we communicate our expectations that our business partners will join us in following the same standards. Our impacts include our use of fuel, electricity, water and food; discharge of wastewater; generation and disposal of solid wastes; emissions from combustion and refrigeration equipment; and our diverse supply chain (see illustration below for more details). In this report we discuss the following aspects of our environmental footprint with respect to our commitment to protect the environment:

  • Energy and Emissions
  • Water Management
  • Waste Management
  • Biodiversity

Our Strategy

Our environmental management strategy is based on the values and objectives set forth in our Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) Policy and our 2020 sustainability goals. We carefully manage environmental activities and address environmental stewardship at every level of our organization.

In 2015, we reached a significant milestone in our sustainability journey by announcing 2020 sustainability goals to further drive, improve and support our strategies. Six of our ten sustainability goals focus on our environmental performance.

There are multiple elements of our strategy, including addressing climate change, investing in port communities, complying with a changing regulatory landscape, evaluating new technologies, addressing stakeholder needs, and expanding partnerships, all of which are designed to protect the environment while supporting our objective to exceed expectations.

We evaluate environmental risks, develop standards and procedures and put high emphasis on our associated environmental leadership and performance.

We have consolidated our brand’s best environmental practices and procedures into a single corporate wide HESS management system to ensure a consistent approach across all our brands.

Our management teams identify and manage environmental aspects and impacts, supervise the environmental performance of our ships and ensure compliance with environmental statutory requirements, best management practices and company environmental procedures. Most importantly, our dedicated ships’ officers and crew carry out our policies and procedures onboard, every day.

To further support our environmental strategies, our Environmental Management System (EMS) is certified in accordance with the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System standard. An independent, third-party organization audits and certifies our EMS in accordance with ISO 14001. We have also developed a greenhouse gas inventory management plan (GHG IMP) in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 14064-1:2006 and The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which enables our third-party GHG verifier to certify our GHG emissions inventory to that standard.

Each ship in our fleet has a full-time Environmental Officer (EO), who oversees environmental compliance and implementation of environmental procedures (for more details see the EO section in the Appendix).

We have invested in a number of environmental initiatives based on our impacts. We are also actively involved in research and development projects for our existing ships and for new ships under development. We have dedicated departments that evaluate technologies and new systems for installation throughout our fleet. These departments evaluate technical, regulatory, safety, environmental and operational aspects associated with maritime environmental systems/technologies. Among the challenges typically encountered when adapting shore-based technologies to maritime use are adjustments for space, weight and access limitations, material standards, operating environment and regulatory approvals. All of these factors increase the complexity of projects to improve environmental technologies in the maritime domain. In order to efficiently evaluate these opportunities, ships within the fleet are regularly selected to test systems/technologies and run pilot programs.

We partner with a variety of environmentally-focused organizations. The goals of these partnerships vary depending on the type of organization. To learn more about our partnerships, visit Our Partners section in the Appendix of this report.

Significant Environmental Aspects and Impacts

Infographic Aspects Impacts