Royal Caribbean, WWF announce ocean conservation partnership

www.popularcruising.comwp-contentuploads201601Logo-World-Wildlife-Fund-6ad23d10491b4225af5015c3a406246e6bf22c86Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced on Jan. 25 a five-year global partnership to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans.

The partners will set measurable and achievable sustainability targets that will reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the company’s more than five million guests, and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work.

The targets announced focus on supply chain sustainability and emissions reductions through 2020. Royal Caribbean and WWF also are working together to develop targets aimed at strengthening the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy and its destination stewardship and sustainable tour operations platforms.

“Our mantra at Royal Caribbean is ‘Continuous Improvement,’ and this partnership with WWF represents a great opportunity to make a big step forward in meeting our special responsibility to protect the oceans,” said Richard D. Fain, chair and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

“It is also gratifying to see that our determination to make a meaningful difference is shared by our employees and our guests. This new partnership aligns all of us at RCL with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s oceans. Together we are setting aggressive goals and together we will start implementing them right away,” Fain added.

“The threats that are facing the ocean are greater than ever — in the last 30 years, some ocean wildlife populations have declined by nearly 50 percent,” said Carter Roberts, WWF-US president and CEO. “If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans.

“This initiative centers on two core concepts: first, committing to specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainable sourcing and build destination stewardship, and, second, comprehensively engaging their millions of travelers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises and WWF jointly developed new 2020 environmental sustainability targets for the company that includes:
Carbon Emissions 2020 Target: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020;

Sustainable Seafood 2020 Target: Responsibly source 90 percent of its wildcaught seafood by volume from MSC certified sustainable fisheries, fisheries in full assessment for MSC certification, comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and/or sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) member companies. In North America and Europe operations, responsibly source 75 percent of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC certified responsible farms, farms in full assessment for ASC certification, and/or comprehensive aquaculture improvement projects.

By June 30, RCL will set specific traceability goals with targets for obtaining MSC and ASC chain of custody.

In addition, Royal Caribbean and WWF have agreed to develop and announce new targets by June 30 that will address destination stewardship. As part of this, WWF and RCL will collaborate to strengthen RCL’s destination sustainability assessment and selection process.

Royal Caribbean also will financially support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution during the partnership, and will collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.

The organizations made their announcement at an event in Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines that is home to a model community- based ecotourism program. At the event, RCL also made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines in support of conservation programs in the Donsol area.

For more information about the Royal Caribbean’s efforts and the WWF partnership, visit online at www.rclcorporate.com/community.


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