Costa Cruises, a cruise line and travel company based in Europe, has cut fuel and potable water consumption by five percent during the fiscal year starting in December 2007, according to its fourth Sustainability Report, reports Breaking Travel News.
Fuel consumption per mile traveled was decreased from about 356 kg in 2007 to 339 kg in 2008 with an equivalent reduction in the amount of CO2 produced. The company achieved the reduction through several energy-saving measures including the use of ecological silicone-based coatings on the ship’s hull and by educating the crew and guests about electricity conservation.
The cruise line also cut its consumption of potable water by five percent per person on board the ships through the use of desalination plants that reduced capacity from 240 liters in 2007 to 228 liters in 2008.
Costa Cruises also increased its “special waste” (cooking oil, used batteries, neon lamps, photo developing fluid) recycling to 30 percent in 2008, up from 26 percent in 2007. The recycled waste was used to produce energy or new materials, according to the report. The cruise line was also able to cut the quantity of paper, plastics, glass and metal used per person per day by 8.5 percent to 7.56 liters in 2008, down from 8.2 liters in 2007.
Costa Cruises’ is also working in partnership with WWF to protect the marine environment in four Marine Protected Areas.
The company is also redesigning its headquarters in Genoa, to transform it into one of Italy’s first buildings to produce zero CO2 emissions.
Other cruise lines including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Line have also implemented environmental measures over the past year.
Both Princess Cruises and Holland America, for example, have ships that plug into onshore hydroelectric power while in port, which reduces the air pollution produced by idling ships. Holland America has also installed a special seawater-scrubbing emissions system to reduce air pollution, and uses a hybrid power system in its newer ships.
Royal Caribbean Cruises’ environmental efforts has translated into a four percent reduction in fuel consumption, together with cutting NOx emissions by three percent, refrigerant loss by 33 percent and onboard water consumption by six percent. The company also has cut its solid waste generation by 32 percent.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Alaska cruise industry is pushing to abolish a strict water-pollution rule approved by voters in 2006.