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Carnival sustainability report includes updated baseline for carbon intensity reduction

Carnival Corp. & plc revised its carbon intensity reduction goals for 2030 to measure from a 2019 baseline, instead of 2008.

This and other initiatives are detailed in the company's 12th annual sustainability report that tracks 2021 progress toward 2030 goals and the aspiration to achieve net carbon neutral ship operations by 2050.

2019 baseline

Carnival's new baseline for carbon intensity reduction is 2019, measured in both grams of CO2e per available lower berth-km and kilograms of CO2e per available lower berth day. Both now require a 20% improvement from 2019. With the updated baseline year, the company strengthened its goal measured in kilograms of CO2e per ALBD since the initial 2030 goal would only have required a further 15% reduction. The goal measured in grams of CO2e per ALB-km remains the same.

Carnival said this new baseline year will help it better communicate recent progress to investors and stakeholders and align with developing best practice and reporting standards.

Six focus areas

The company has six focus areas that align with key United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. These include climate action; circular economy; sustainable tourism; health and well-being; diversity, equity and inclusion; and biodiversity and conservation.

'We continue to make strong progress in advancing our sustainability program across our six focus areas,' said Arnold Donald, president, CEO and chief climate officer for Carnival Corp., crediting the efforts of shipboard and shoreside teams. He cited momentum toward achieving carbon reduction goals for 2030, while 'working to be part of the solution to establish a path to net carbon-neutral cruising over time.'

Climate action

At the end of 2021, 46% of the fleet was equipped for shore power, while LNG-powered ships numbered six. Ninety percent of the fleet (excluding LNG ships) was equipped with advanced air quality systems (scrubbers) capable of removing nearly all sulfur from exhaust.

Carnival is investing in a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery storage system, installing hull air lubrication systems, testing fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol and exploring carbon capture and storage.

Circular economy

By end 2021, Carnival achieved its goal of reducing single-use plastic items by 50%, despite the pandemic and the need to continue using many of these type of items for public health and sanitation purposes.

Advanced wastewater treatment/food waste

The company remains on track to achieve its goal of increasing advanced wastewater treatment systems to more than 75% of its fleet capacity, with 59% coverage as of the end of 2021.

Carnival reduced food waste by 24% per person, progressing toward its 2022 goal of a 30% food waste reduction per person and its 2030 goal of 50% food waste reduction per person.

More than 500 biodigesters were installed throughout the Carnival fleet, supporting ongoing food waste management efforts. (The number recently climbed to nearly 600 biodigesters.)

Sustainable tourism

2021 highlights in Carnival's sustainable tourism focus area include support for disaster relief efforts related to victims of La Soufrière volcano's eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados communities impacted by volcanic ash.

Costa Cruises kicked off its 'Traditions in the Future' project, which supports the preservation of traditional arts and crafts for a new generation of Italian artisans.

P&O Cruises and Cunard partnered with Travelife, a leading certification initiative supporting tour operations and travel agencies' sustainable tourism efforts.

Additionally, in 2021 Carnival's European brands donated more than 20 tons of food items to needy communities in partnership with the European Foodbank, UK Harvest and Banco Alimentare.


The company continued efforts to support biodiversity and conservation, including creating a new mangrove nursery, planting trees and ornamental plants and collecting waste through coastal cleanup initiatives in the ports it owns and operates.

In first quarter 2022, Carnival joined the Ocean 100 Dialogues, an initiative supported by the World Economic Forum that accelerates ocean stewardship with a focus on climate change, biodiversity and equity.

Health and well-being

Health and well-being efforts in 2021 included an increased focus on employee outreach and wellness, shoreside and shipboard.

Shipboard jobs were created as the returned to passenger service, and Carnival opened a 'significant' number of shoreside positions.

To establish measurable company culture metrics and set annual improvement targets, Carnival continued an employee survey program. It also introduced training sessions and internal communications to promote its 'Culture Essentials' program focused on strengthening corporate culture.

During 2021, the CSMART Academy continued to provide online and onboard training to the fleet while also advancing preparations for the restart of onsite training in 2022. The CSMART team made advances in developing and delivering online curriculum through courses, tailored events such as remote 'newbuild training' and through ongoing webinars.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Carnival continued to work with US nonprofit Catalyst to expand opportunities for women in leadership.

The company received recognition for efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion from listings including Forbes' World's Best Employers and World's Top Female-Friendly Companies, Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award and Newsweek's America's Most Responsible Companies.

Carnival also earned a fifth consecutive perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, designating the company as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.

The full sustainability report is available here.

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