Norwegian Cruise Line Commits to Carbon Neutrality and Alternative Fuels

Sail & Sustain
Sail & Sustain

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is committed to offsetting three million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next three years. In addition, the cruise line will implement a carbon offset program and a program to explore alternative fuels and investing in new technology.

NCL already has a global sustainability program called Sail & Sustain to combat climate change previously signed by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in reducing carbon emissions by 40% within the next nine years. 

“We take climate change very seriously and have proactively developed a long-term strategy with an ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality through three action areas including reducing carbon intensity, identifying and investing in technology, and implementing a carbon offset program. 

Our commitment to purchase three million metric tons of carbon credits is a measurable step in near-term emissions reductions which allows us to take action today and helps bridge the gap in our decarbonization efforts as we prepare for a lower-carbon future,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

Del Rio said its Sail & Sustain program is centered around its commitment to positively impacting society and the environment. The pledge also aligns with the vision of the Paris Agreement to achieve a “climate neutral world.”

Long-Term Climate Action Strategy

  1. Reduce Carbon Intensity. Norwegian Cruise Line continually seeks opportunities to reduce its overall footprint by minimizing fuel consumption and increasing energy efficiency. Ongoing investments in systems and technologies have resulted in a reduction of fuel consumption per capacity day of approximately 17% from 2008 to 2019 for the entire 28-ship fleet. In addition, NCL achieved an estimated approximately 14% reduction in CO2 emissions per capacity day across its fleet between 2015 and 2019. As nine new and more fuel-efficient vessels are introduced to the fleet through 2027, this rate is expected to decrease further.
  2. Invest in Technology & Explore Alternative Fuels. The cruise line has partnered with CLIA and other maritime organizations to propose the establishment of a collaborative shipping research and development fund dedicated to the ultimate goal of eliminating CO2 emissions from international shipping. If approved, funding would come from a contribution per tonne of marine fuel purchased for consumption and is expected to amount to $5 billion over a 10-year period. These funds will be used to finance the development of zero and near-zero GHG fuels and propulsion technologies. In addition, as new alternative fuel sources become available at a sufficient scale in the future, NCL will evaluate how these can accelerate its long-term carbon reduction strategy.
  3. Implement Voluntary Carbon Offset Program. Today, NCL announced its commitment to purchase carbon credits to offset three million MTCO2e over a three-year period to help bridge the gap in decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available. Offset purchases are expected to ramp up in future years to reach the goal of carbon neutrality.

Voluntary Carbon Offset Program

NCL has launched a voluntary carbon offset program in collaboration with World Kinect Energy Services, the sustainability division of World Fuel Services. 

The company has committed to offsetting at least three million MTCO2e through 2023 voluntarily. This is the equivalent of 7,539,593,613 miles driven by an average passenger car or the amount of carbon sequestered in 3,675,533 acres of forests in one year. 

The cruise line plans to gradually increase voluntary offset purchases in future years to reach its goal of carbon neutrality based on Scope 1 emissions, which typically account for ~95% of its footprint. This initiative allows NCL to take action immediately and further demonstrates its commitment to addressing climate change even while facing the unprecedented impact on profitability due to the COVID-19 related global voyage suspension.

A carbon offset represents one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions that has been avoided or reduced in the atmosphere. Purchasing carbon offsets allows companies to compensate for their residual carbon footprint by supporting projects worldwide that reduce carbon emissions.

Through World Kinect, the NCL cruise line is investing in high-quality, trusted carbon offsets that have been independently verified and meet the highest international standards, such as the Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The offsets are from a mixed project portfolio that includes renewable energy, forestry, energy efficiency, and waste-to-energy projects.

“Each organization has a unique journey to sustainability, but it starts with vision combined with action. We applaud Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ thoughtful approach and leadership,” said Michael Kasbar, chairman and chief executive officer, World Fuel Services.

 “Our experts at World Kinect developed a tailored carbon offset solution that enables Norwegian to make immediate progress towards their long-term sustainability goals,” Kasbar added.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up living on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, he moved back to Florida and settled in Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.