Costa Cruises, Europe’s number one cruise company, says it has announced impressive environmental and community-focused results in the sixth edition of its Sustainability Report.
Costa Cruises has also launched the Sustainable Cruise project, the world’s first shipboard experimental project for the recovery of organic waste, which is funded by the European Union and aims to prove the viability of recycling food waste, paper and packaging on board ships.
Key achievements from the latest report include a year on year increase of 26% on rubbish recycled in ports, a 34% reduction over three years in emissions of ozone-depleting substances, an 11% reduction over three years in CO2 emissions and the extension of community-focused projects in Brazil.
The latest results come as further proof that Costa Cruises operates not merely in accordance with the established environmental compliance laws, but continuously strives to achieve wider objectives. Through a dedicated management and control system that goes beyond the scope of mandatory requirements laid down by local, national and international regulations, Costa Cruises aims to deliver pre-emptive solutions for improving environmental standards.
The main results obtained in 2010 were as follows:
· An increase of 26% year on year in the proportion of rubbish recycled in port: One hundred per cent of rubbish (solid waste including paper, plastic, glass and metal) on board Costa ships is sorted for recycling and landed in different containers, so that the rubbish can be processed accordingly by those ports where suitable onshore facilities are available. In 2010, Costa Cruises entered into new agreements to this effect, bringing about a significant increase in onshore recycling.
· Costa Cruises’ commitment to the recovery and recycling of waste reinforced with a global first experimental project: Costa Cruises is the Project Manager of the Sustainable Cruise EU project, which was launched in September 2011. For the first time, a ship, Costa Pacifica, will aim to demonstrate the viability of treating organic food waste so that it can be used as compost or fuel. The activities on board will also include the recycling of packaging and paper. The Sustainable Cruise project, which will end in June 2014, is funded by the “LIFE” Programme, the EU’s funding instrument for innovative or trial environmental projects.
· A reduction of approximately 11% in fuel consumption and consequently in CO2 emissions (2007-2010): This reduction was achieved thanks to the implementation of various energy-saving measures on board, such as the use of ecological silicone-based coatings for the ship’s hull which enhances hydrodynamic performance and reduces the growth of microorganisms on the hull surface without any toxic effects. Other measures include the use of low power consumption LED light bulbs, installation of an automatic lighting control system designed to adjust the external lighting in accordance with the current sunlight intensity, energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) technology, optimising output with automated temperature control in the staterooms and public spaces based on effective need and the use of inverters to optimise the performance of fans and blowers in the engine room.
Costa Cruises’ efforts in this area achieved recognition on 25 November this year, when the Company received the ABB Energy Efficiency Award 2011. ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that improve performance while lowering environmental impact.
· A reduction of 34.2% in the production of ozone-depleting substances from refrigerating and air conditioning systems (2007-2010): Steps taken on board included the continuous maintenance and monitoring of systems and the introduction of HFCs (hydro fluorocarbons) as substitutes for HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerants.
· Costa Cruises became the first cruise line to take part in REPCET: In July 2010, Costa Cruises, through its partnership with WWF Italia, became the first and only cruise line in the world to take part in the pilot REPCET project, a reporting system aimed at reducing collisions between ships and whales while tracking their movements. Costa Cruises has been an official partner of WWF Italia for the protection of the sea since July 2005. In 2009, the partnership was extended with the objective of setting up a network of new marine protected areas in the Mediterranean. Testimony to Costa Cruises’ engagement in this area is its policy banning overboard discharge of bilge water (even when suitably treated) within the Whale Sanctuary, an area of the Ligurian Sea covering approximately 100,000km² with a particularly high concentration of Mediterranean marine mammals. Meanwhile, since 2005, Costa Cruises has been collaborating with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission to find a new way of monitoring climate change in the Mediterranean, the company said.
· Environmentally friendly cleaning products introduced: The ships in the Costa fleet use products supplied by Ecolab, the global leader in cleaning, sanitising and food safety products and services, in order to guarantee the best results with the lowest possible environmental impact.
The report also describes initiatives undertaken in the field of social responsibility. In 2009, Costa Cruises began a series of on-going waste recycling programmes on board its liners calling in Brazil, with the aim of financing local social development and environmental sustainability projects. In particular, the activities launched in Salvador de Bahia and Santos involve the recycling of certain types of waste produced on the ships (used cooking oil, glass, aluminium and, since 2010, PET plastic in Salvador De Bahia). The earnings from the waste recycled are used to fund community support programmes such as the renovation of the kitchen and canteen in the Cantinho Alegre School in Santos, which caters for about 160 pupils.