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Companies share initiatives on World Ocean Day (updated)

June 8 is World Ocean Day
Among a bevy of announcements tied to World Ocean Day, and on the heels of World Environment Day (June 5), companies are sharing their environmental efforts.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings published its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board index. This is part of the company's Sail & Sustain program which covers five pillars, including reducing environmental impact.

NCLH is among the cruise operators committed to pursue net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of that path, it joined the Methanol Institute in 2022 and is assessing the feasibility of retrofitting engines to operate with dual fuels – diesel and methanol – with the goal to test the use of methanol by 2025.

The company also committed to offset 3m metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) over a three-year period from 2021-2023 to help bridge the gap in its decarbonization efforts. Further, NCLH aims for approximately 70% of the its fleet to be equipped for shore power by 2025.

Last year the first passengers embarked from NCLH's LEED Gold PortMiami terminal.

The company's ships self-produced approximately 80% of water used onboard in 2021. A 4% decrease in bunkered water by 2025 (compared to 2019) is targeted.

The full report is here.

Aurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions, a 100% carbon neutral company, released 10 staterooms for its Antarctic Climate Expedition on Feb. 13, 2023. The voyage will be led by renowned oceanographer, marine biologist, explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle.

The purpose of this 12-day expedition aboard the newly christened vessel Sylvia Earle, hosted in partnership with Ocean Geographic, is to drive awareness of the Antarctic and climate change. One hundred expeditionists, including conservationists, environmentalists, celebrities and ocean luminarie have been invited to help formulate 23 resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emissions by 2050. A feature documentary, book and exhibitions will also result.

Applications for the 10 additional spots are open to all through June 30, with the company particularly welcoming interest from thought leaders in science, art, education and economics, alongside inquisitive teenagers and corporate executives.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages includes 'securing a healthy future for our ocean' in its environmental, social and governance goals. Research indicates more than 70% of past passengers acknowledge the line takes its commitment to social and environmental responsibility seriously and 50% say their Virgin voyage inspired them to live more sustainably, an encouraging statistic, according to Jill Stoneberg, senior director of sustainability and social impact. 

'From ethically sourced F&B ingredients to reusable items and reef-safe sunscreens, our team has worked hard to integrate sustainable practices into the offering onboard,' Stoneberg said. The line has eliminated nonessential single-use plastics and uses items such as Yellow Leaf hammocks hand-woven in Thailand to curb deforestation, sustainably sourced coffee beans from Intelligentsia and Coral Eyewear sunglasses made from recycled plastic. More than 25% of the line's retail partners have made a commitment to driving positive social or environmental impact.

'We’ve invested in cutting-edge technologies like Climeon, and we are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We have more work to do, but we’re incredibly proud of our progress,' said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, who recently discussed shore power at the Aspen Idea’s Climate Summit in the line's LEED Gold Terminal V at PortMiami.

Further information is here, and the line's first impact report can be downloaded here


Uniworld Boutique River Cruises' inaugural Impact Report details progress toward 11 sustainability goals set forth in tandem with parent company The Travel Corportation’s five-year sustainability strategy.

'Our mission with Uniworld’s sustainability goals is to create a positive change through action with science-based targets, tackling everything from food waste reduction, supporting developing destinations and utilizing local suppliers,' said Julie Higgins, sustainability officer for Uniworld.

Examples of progress include the rollout of Leanpath, a food waste management system, to half the fleet by year's end in an effort to reduce food waste by 50% across all vessels by 2025. Currently Uniworld sources 57% of food from local suppliers and 36% from organic suppliers, with the actionable goal to increase that percentage for 2022.

The Travel Corporation's 'How We Tread Right' sustainability strategy is here, and the inaugural impact report can be downloaded here

Internova Travel Group

Internova Travel Group, one of the world's largest travel services companies, entered into a partnership with Sustainable Travel International to share expertise in sustainability education, carbon calculation and reporting. Clients will have access to target-setting consultation, tools and certified carbon offset options for highly vetted climate-protection projects.

'Together, we will take the necessary steps to reduce our travel emissions while helping advisors, as well as corporate and leisure clients, do the same,' Internova President Gabe Rizzi said. '... Partnering with Sustainable Travel International will allow us to equip our clients with information to make responsible travel choices.'

Internova Travel Group’s latest corporate social responsibility report is here.  

This story has been updated throughout the day as initiatives came in. See also 'MSC Cruises' sustainability report shows investment in greener terminals, tech'