MSC Cruises announced Friday that the company will be carbon neutral by January 2020 as it prepares to launch its new ship, MSC Grandiosa, billed as the cruise line’s most environmentally advanced ship yet.
MSC claims it will be the first global cruise line with carbon neutral marine operations.
“The goal is that one day to arrive at zero emissions altogether (from the source),” Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman, told USA TODAY.
However, the technology to produce zero carbon emissions, at source, does not yet exist, so MSC is finding another way to give back to the planet.
“We will work with leading providers in carbon offsets able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals,” said Vago in a release.
The cruise line wants to reduce emissions to the point of producing none using new technology, which the company is investing in, but in the meantime, it will finance projects that offset carbon emissions — for example, programs that protect forests or reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through algae. The line is also buying blue carbon credits, which support coastal habitats.
Through these, MSC says it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.
“The whole idea of the journey that a company like ours is on is diminishing and bringing down our carbon footprint through technology, and the journey to technology will take us to reduction by 40% in 2030,” Luca Biondolillo, chief communications officer for MSC Cruises, told USA TODAY. “Parallel to this is the immediate action of the [credits and financial investments] as of Jan. 1.”
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Since 2017, MSC said in a release, all new ships have come equipped with “ship-to-shore” power facilities that allow ships to shift to “zero emissions” by connecting to the local power grid in any port prepared for that technology.
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The MSC Grandiosa was delivered to the company last week and will be launched officially in Hamburg on Saturday.
According to the MSC website, the new ship will reduce fuel used per passenger and per cruise by 28% as compared to the line’s earlier Fantasia class ships.
At the same time the Grandiosa was delivered to the cruise line, work began on another ship: MSC Europa, which is the first of a class of five ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas.
The two ships together represent “significant additional progress” in MSC Cruises’ goals to lower its environmental footprint, MSC said in a release.
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