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Royal Caribbean

Cruise Lines Give FOE’s Report Card an F

Royal CaribbeanCruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) members — including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival and Disney Cruise Line — will no longer participate in Friends of the Earth’s environmental survey.

In a July 3 letter from CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy, the industry group says while the “cruise industry fully supports the preservation of the oceans,” FOE’s annual Cruise Ship Report Card “does not advance the public’s understanding in a meaningful or objective manner.”

Cruise companies already publish sustainability or environmental reports, the letter says, and while CLIA members have participated in the FOE survey for years, providing the nonprofit with information about their environmental stewardship practices and technologies, cruise lines have also every year voiced concerns about the “highly flawed methodology used to interpret data and the overall presentation of information in the final report.”

Some examples from the letter:

  • To use shore power as a metric is highly misleading because shore power facilities with the capacity to supply cruise vessels are unavailable at the vast majority of ports where cruise ships call.
  • It is inaccurate and misleading to conclude that vessels without advanced wastewater treatment systems are discharging in a manner harmful to the environment.

The 2013 report card said Disney Cruise Line is the most environmentally responsible line, earning an A for sewage treatment and an overall A grade.

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