I want to begin with a heartfelt thank you to our guests, to the communities we visit and to all our passionate and dedicated employees from ship to shore. We understand the interconnectedness of us all and this small planet we share. Our desire as travelers to experience as much of the world as we can must be balanced in a way that is sustainable to the natural environment that we need to protect as well as the communities we treasure. The more we learn, the more we must be willing to share responsibility as we move surely and consistently in the direction of zero-impact. From the removal of single use plastic to cleaner and more efficient energy systems, from lessening our food waste, to using water more judiciously, we must constantly be evaluating how our own personal actions and the operation of our business can be made more aware and ultimately more responsible.
Our ships are home to our guests and crew and we become citizens of the waters we sail. We need to care about them like we do our homes ashore and act accordingly. At Carnival Corporation and our nine world-leading cruise brands, we are deeply committed to our sustainability goals. We must never be complacent in our actions or ever believe that we are doing enough. To whom much is given, much is required. We continue to increase our levels of investment in sustainability and in the communities we partner with all over the world.
We are committed to being leaders in environmental stewardship. We are dedicated to protecting and preserving the beauty and majesty of the waters we sail and the communities we visit. And we are committed to continuously improving our operations and through our ever increasing environmental focus. Whether it’s economic development, educational opportunities or environmental stewardship, we want to make every place we visit even better than it was before we went there. And while we are held to a high standard by the public, we hold ourselves to an even higher standard.
Here are some of our sustainability program accomplishments in 2018:
- We welcomed four new, more energy efficient ships to our fleet: Carnival Horizon for Carnival Cruise Line, Nieuw Statendam for Holland America Line, Seabourn Ovation for Seabourn and AIDAnova for AIDA Cruises which made history as the first ship completely powered by environmentally friendly LNG.
- We opened the Helix cruise center at the Port of Barcelona in Spain. The new 12,500 square meter state-of-the-art terminal is capable of accommodating next-generation “green” cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. The Helix terminal plus the existing terminal represent Carnival Corporation’s largest port investment in Europe at a combined 46 million euros.
- We opened a new cruise terminal in Long Beach, California utilizing a historic building that once housed the famous “Spruce Goose” airplane. The restoration preserves an important part of California history and a landmark on the city’s waterfront.
- In 2018 we launched a new company-wide environmental compliance and stewardship program called Operation Oceans Alive. We will continue to expand this program though an increase in funding, staffing and responsibility. Oceans Alive helps ensure all employees receive proper training and oversight while continuing to demonstrate our company-wide commitment to protecting our oceans, seas, and waterways from environmental harm.
- Over the last three years we have spent almost a billion dollars on environmental initiatives, implemented countless new and more effective procedures, and our crewmembers have taken hundreds of thousands of hours of training — not just to meet compliance targets but to be the industry leaders in environmental compliance and environmental stewardship.
- Health, environment, safety and security (HESS) issues are paramount to our business, and our Fleet Operation Centers (FOC) are an essential component of our HESS strategy. In 2018, we opened our third FOC in Miami. The FOCs provide our captains, chief engineers, and deck and engineering officers with support, control and planning of nautical and technical operations. Utilizing state-of-the-art tracking and data analysis tools, our FOCs make cruising even more safe, efficient and sustainable.
- In 2017, we met and surpassed our 2020 goal three years ahead of schedule by achieving a 25% reduction in the intensity of carbon emissions from our operations. In 2018, we made even more progress with a 27.6% reduction relative to our 2005 baseline, and we are on track to meet all of our sustainability goals by 2020.
- In 2018, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) committed to a 40% reduction in the rate of carbon emissions across the cruise industry’s global fleet by 2030. As a CLIA member, we are doing our part to help achieve this goal. We share the International Maritime Organization’s vision of a carbon-free shipping industry by the end of this century.
- We lead the cruise industry in the adoption of LNG and are adding 10 additional new LNG ships to our fleet between 2019 and 2025.
- We are on schedule with the installation and retrofitting of our existing ships with Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS), which reduce sulfur and particulate matter from our engine exhaust with over 70 percent of our fleet already equipped.
- We are expanding cyber security-related processes and procedures for our shipboard Safety Management System. A new Maritime Cyber Security team will continually assess our ships to measure the operational impact and overall effectiveness of our procedures. Several new processes as well as technical systems and equipment have been introduced onboard and are expected to significantly reduce cyber risks.
- During 2018 we made meaningful progress in executing our Environmental Compliance Plan and while there were many improvements cited and the quality and professionalism of our people recognized, there were also a number of mistakes made that were disappointing to us as a company and as individuals. We take these seriously and are addressing each of them.
- Having a good working relationship year-round alongside the communities we visit helps us be more effective and quickly bring aid–food, water, shelter, medical help and expertise, when urgently needed in case of a disaster. In the Caribbean we are partnering with UNICEF and the United Way as well as local government agencies to help rebuild the islands of St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Dominica, and Turks and Caicos after a series of devastating storms, and also help them prepare for better recovery and disaster relief in future storms. We pledged to provide up to $10 million in funding and in-kind support. For communities affected by Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina, Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and Indonesia’s earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2018, we pledged up to $5 million to support the relief and rebuilding efforts.
- Our Carnival Australia brand works in economically-challenged South Pacific Islands on YuMi projects, which translates literally to “you and me.” Working with the Australian government, Carnival Australia finds and develops locally-owned shore tour companies in Vanuatu and helps these small local companies overcome the significant hurdles to becoming part of our global supply chain.
- In Italy, our Costa brand has a unique partnership with the Food Bank Foundation, one of the biggest charitable organizations in Europe with a well-established distribution network. In the 4 Good Food Project, our onboard galley crew packages safe and ready-to-eat food and donates it to the food bank in the local port. This unique project has now been replicated in nine ports in Italy, France (including their Caribbean provinces of Martinique and Guadalupe) and in Spain. The project has become a source of pride for our crew and created a bond between our ships and the local community by giving a second life to healthy food and to the beneficiaries who receive it.
- Building a diverse and inclusive workforce continues to be a priority. We earned a perfect score for the second consecutive year from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, the leading LGBTQ civil rights organization in the U.S. We continue to work with Catalyst, a leading U.S. nonprofit with a mission to expand opportunities for women, and with the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), whose mission is to empower African-American corporate leaders. We were also honored by Forbes as one of America’s best employers for diversity based on our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and named to the Forbes list of America’s best large employers overall.
Our journey to this point has been remarkable. We are honored and humbled by recognitions we have received from environmental groups, port communities, industry publications and associations for protecting and sustaining healthy oceans, seas and communities around the world and for our long-standing commitment to being one of the cruise industry leaders in environmental innovation and best practices.
Yet clearly there is always more that can be done. Ensuring a healthy natural environment is not only essential to the success of our business and exceeding the expectations of our guests and stakeholders, but it is also the right thing to do.
Arnold W. Donald – President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc