Home Publisher's Point of View Carnival Paradise—a Floating Hotel with Many Sustainability Challenges

Carnival Paradise—a Floating Hotel with Many Sustainability Challenges

Glenn Hasek

The floor kept moving throughout the journey yet I never required Dramamine. That was an accomplishment for me. I took my first cruise a couple of weeks ago on Carnival Paradise. It was for five nights and included departure from Tampa, Fla. and visits to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. I really enjoyed the trip. No offense to my five-year-old, but it was a treat to drop him off at Camp Carnival and go read a book or see a show with my wife. We all got to do what we really wanted to do.

I have often wondered about the cruise industry and its attention to environmental responsibility. In my room on the Paradise there were soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower and of course a note about how to not have your towels washed. There were recycling containers throughout the ship.

To learn more I visited the Carnival Corporation & plc website where the company has its six most recent sustainability reports posted. (Ironically, just a week ago, Carnival announced it has been recognized for producing the year’s most engaging and informative sustainability report in the 10th annual Corporate Register Reporting Awards, the only annual global awards program honoring excellence in corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting.)

In its most recent report (2015), Carnival addresses advances in fuel technology—a transition to liquefied natural gas (LNG). By the end of 2018, Carnival will be the first cruise company to use LNG to power its ships when they are both in port and on the open sea.

2020 Sustainability Goals

Like many hotel companies, Carnival has 2020 sustainability goals: to reduce the intensity of CO2e (equivalent carbon dioxide) emissions from operations by 25 percent by 2020 relative to its 2005 baseline; continue to reduce waste generated by its shipboard operations by 5 percent by 2020 relative to its 2010 baseline; and continue to improve water use efficiency of its shipboard operations by 5 percent by 2020 relative to its 2010 baseline.

One thing I noticed immediately about the Paradise was the number of employees from all over the world—folks sacrificing a lot, including family, to work on a ship for six months. In 2015, Carnival launched a multicultural diversity and inclusion campaign. It also sponsored a leadership forum for women, developed a supplier evaluation questionnaire, donated $5 million to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and continued its partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

One of the best things, or worst things, about being on a cruise ship, is being able to eat how much you want and when you want it. While on board I often wondered what happened to the food waste from the approximately 2,000 guests.

According to Carnival, all of its ships have a waste management plan that specifies how it manage each type of waste on board. The waste management strategy consist of a multi-level approach that includes eliminating and minimizing waste, disposing waste ashore, incinerating waste on board and discharging liquid waste and food waste, all performed in accordance with regulatory requirements and in some instances exceeding regulations.

Some Ports Offer Little Recycling Help

Carnival’s strategy is to minimize its waste streams by working with its supply chain to minimize packaging as well as increasing the volume and types of recycled materials landed ashore. A challenge that limits the volume of recycling material that can be recycled is the lack of recycling infrastructure at certain ports of call visited worldwide.

“Our approach is to hold the recycling materials on board when possible until a port that offers recycling services is reached within the itinerary,” Carnival says. “Our crew is trained on waste management practices as part of their environmental training program. In addition, comprehensive training is provided to all personnel directly involved in waste management operations. We also continually monitor new regulations that are being proposed and engage with regulators and interested stakeholders either directly or through industry trade organizations like the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to address their concerns and to discuss feasible solutions whenever such regulatory issues arise.”

Each ship in Carnival’s fleet has a full-time Environmental Officer (EO), who oversees environmental compliance and implementation of procedures.

Community Involvement is Part of Carnival’s Approach

Carnival has significant involvement in the communities in which it does business.

“We embrace the culture of the communities in which we operate, including our headquarters locations, home ports and ports of call,” Carnival says. “We understand that there may be an impact on the sustainability of a community when we engage with, operate in, or cease operating there. We continually strive to contribute to our communities in a positive social, environmental and economic manner, working in conjunction with local governments, trade associations, tourism organizations and other community stakeholders.

Carnival is certainly not the only cruise company with successful sustainability initiatives. I chose to write about them because I just so happened to book a cruise on one of their ships.

Like the hotel industry, the cruise business is huge and having a massive impact on our environment. According to Cruise Industry News, by 2022 the four largest cruise ship companies will have 212 ships, 539,883 berths, and capacity for 26.7 million passengers. That will be a lot of energy and water consumed and waste generated.

The cruise and lodging industries would do well do learn from one another when it comes to sustainability. I have yet to see a green conference that includes both. Have you?

Green Lodging Trends Report Survey has Closed

The second annual Green Lodging Trends Report Survey has closed. In the coming months, Greenview and Green Lodging News will be compiling this year’s Green Lodging Trends Report. Be sure to watch for it.

Green Lodging News Adds Cass Information Systems, Inc. as Survey Sponsor

Green Lodging News welcomes Cass Information Systems, Inc. as a Green Lodging Survey sponsor at the Bronze level. Cass Information Systems helps businesses manage expenses and supplier payments—accurately, efficiently and on time—no matter how complex the business process, the pricing model, the contract, the discount schedule or the invoice. Some of the largest companies in the world trust Cass to deliver accurate insights into their costs for freight, utilities, telecom, mobility, waste, recycling and other expenses. Founded in 1906, Cass Commercial Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary and a Federal Reserve member bank that provides Cass and its clients with secure payment controls. Call (314) 506-5976, e-mail Jengel@cassinfo.com, or visit www.cassinfo.com for more information.

How to Search on Our Website

Similar to other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2017?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2017. Many excellent spots are available on our new website, in the weekly e-mail newsletter, and Green Lodging Survey. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2017 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 9,487. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,748 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 850 Facebook followers.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.