MSC to become first fully carbon neutral major cruise line
November 12, 2019

On the occasion of the celebrations held in Hamburg, Germany for the coming into service of the new flagship MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises announces its commitment to become the world’s first fully carbon neutral major global cruise line.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, well on our way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030.

As we recognise that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020.

Fleet emissions reduction

Currently, 12 ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 ships are equipped for cleaner emissions with hybrid (closed-loop) EGCS. The line’s five other ships will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2023 and until then will rely on the use of low sulphur fuels to always fully comply with the strictest existing as well as new maritime regulations.

In addition 5 of new build scheduled to enter in service in the next years, 4 World Class and the 3rd Meraviglia-Plus Class ship, will be LNG-powered. In particular MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have unveiled a ground-breaking R&D project named PACBOAT that focuses on the integration of a new fuel cell technology demonstrator onboard the LNG-powered MSC Cruises ship MSC Europa. This demonstrator will produce electricity and heat using LNG. The announcement was marked by the signing of the consortium agreement between the various partners involved.

Another feature with the aim of emission reduction that has come as standard across all MSC Cruises new builds since 2017 is the shore-to-ship system. This system connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to further reduce the ship’s air emissions while in port to zero. More environmental technologies are the advanced waste management and wastewater treatment systems; ballast water treatment systems; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various state-of-the-art energy-efficiency improvements, from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

Blue Carbon Credit

MSC Cruises will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the Company.

The carbon offset portfolio incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.

As part of this portfolio we can include Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve restoration project, partnership with Elbe Habitat Foundation with the aim to enhancing the ecological status of the Tidal Elbe and working with Marevivo for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and the enhancement and promotion of marine protected areas, combating pollution and illegal fishing while promoting environmental education.

All these efforts coordinated by the MSC Foundation, born to utilise MSC’s global reach and unique knowledge of the sea to take immediate action that contributes to protecting and nurturing the blue planet and all its people.

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