ATHENS – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, 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. In addition to ongoing initiatives to reduce its emissions rate, the Company has committed to offset three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO 2 e) over a three-year period beginning in 2021 to help bridge the gap in its decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available. As part of the Company’s global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain, combating climate change is a material focus and the company previously signed the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) historic commitment to reduce the carbon emissions rate industry-wide by 40% by 2030 from a 2008 baseline.
“We have developed a long-term strategy with the 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 Ltd. “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.”
Long-Term Climate Action Strategy
The three focus areas of the Company’s long-term climate action strategy include:
1) Reduce Carbon Intensity. The Company continually seeks opportunities to reduce its 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. In addition, the Company
achieved an estimated approximately 14% reduction in CO 2 emissions per capacity day across its fleet between 2015 and 2019.
2) Invest in Technology & Explore Alternative Fuels. The Company has partnered with CLIA and other maritime organizations to propose the establishment of a collaborative shipping research and development fund dedicated to the ultimate goal of eliminating CO 2 emissions from international shipping. If approved, funding would come from a contribution per tonne 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.
3) Implement Carbon Offset Program. Today, the Company announced its commitment to purchase carbon credits to offset three million MTCO 2 e 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.
The company partners with CLIA, domestic and international governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to contribute to global efforts to combat climate change. Key initiatives include the Company’s participation in CLIA’s commitment to reduce the carbon emissions rate industry-wide by 40% by 2030, which was created as the first step to contribute to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) vision of a carbon-free shipping industry. The Company also complies with applicable regulations, quantifies and reports its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and seeks new cost-effective ways to reduce or minimize its footprint.
Carbon Offset Program
As part of its long-term climate action strategy, the Company has launched a carbon offset program in collaboration with World Kinect Energy Services, the sustainability division of World Fuel Services. The Company has committed to voluntarily offset at least three million MTCO 2 e 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. This initiative allows the company to take action immediately and to help bridge the gap in decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available A carbon offset represents one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions that has been avoided or reduced in the atmosphere. Purchasing carbon offsets allows companies to compensate for their residual carbon footprint by supporting projects worldwide that reduce carbon emissions.
Through World Kinect, the Company is investing in high-quality, trusted carbon offsets that have been independently verified and meet the highest international standards such as the Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The offsets are from a mixed project portfolio that includes renewable energy, forestry, energy efficiency, and waste to energy projects.