MSC Cruises has great respect for the world’s oceans and aims to carry its guests across the globe with a minimum effect on the sea itself. This includes working hard to find innovative ways of lowering the environmental impact of its cruise passages through the use of modern technologies and environmentally friendly materials.
Achieving the highest possible fuel efficiency lies at the core of MSC Cruises’ commitment to environmental sustainability. Lower fuel consumption means lower carbon dioxide emissions and the most effective way of saving fuel in cruising is by lowering water resistance. MSC Cruises uses a TBT-free anti-fouling paint on the hulls of all of its ships to prevent hull fouling and substantially reduce drag. This in turn improves fuel consumption without any harmful effect on marine life.
International regulations do not, as yet, require cruise ships to use low sulphur fuel except in some designated Emission Control Areas (ECA) and a number of ports. However MSC Cruises consistently uses the highest quality fuel available on the market and is known to always go beyond compliance with existing legal regulations.
Conservation of fuel is a major priority for the company, but each and every aspect of its ships is also taken into account when it comes to finding ways to achieve more environmentally friendly and sustainable cruise operations.
Each ship in the MSC fleet has an environmental officer responsible for all environmental issues on board. This includes the monitoring of up-to-date recycling and waste disposal procedures to ensure the implementation of the highest possible technological standards for sewage treatment and disposal. The environmental officer ensures the careful, frugal use of resources, such as water and energy and is responsible for the training of crew members dealing with recycling procedures as well as the handling, collection, sorting and disposal of garbage.
MSC Cruises employs a shore based environmental co-ordinator responsible for overseeing all environmental operations throughout the fleet, ensuring that on board conservation and environmental measures are supported ashore when the ships are in port.
The company also constantly seeks and develops more economical and environmentally friendly cruise itineraries to help reduce fuel consumption between destinations. Factors taken into consideration in the planning of these itineraries include distance, speed, average fuel consumption and tourist appeal.
MSC Cruises has the honour of being the first company to receive the prestigious “6 Golden Pearls” notation for its Fantasia class ships from international classification society Bureau Veritas.
The “6 Golden Pearls” notation is a unique integrated voluntary scheme comprising certification for advanced air, water and waste treatment systems for noxious emissions, waste and water as well as certification for environmental management, food safety and occupational health and safety.
The integrated sections that make up the award (the 6 Pearls) are:
ISO 14001- Certification of the highest standards of the Environmental Management System, requiring a complete coherent management system of all environmental aspects and impacts of all activities.
OHSAS 18001 – Certification of the highest standards of the Safety Management System requiring complete management of health and safety of workers on board and in the company’s head office.
ISO 22000 – Certification of the highest standards of Food Safety Management, ensuring complete and validated safety of all food processes, from farm to fork.
CLEANSHIP 2 - targets the Advanced Water Treatment which is unique to the cruise industry. It acknowledges that the ship is fitted with the means to prevent the release of pollutants into the sea, the air and waste matter. This award also:
• validates that the vessel has been designed, built, operated and maintained to achieve appropriate protection for the environment.
• covers annexes I, IV,V and VI of MARPOL, as well as the very strict rules on waste and ballast water management , the anti-fouling system and pollution by ozone-depleting substances.
• validates that the vessel is fully equipped with high incineration capacities, advanced water treatment systems, the newest oil water separators, and vast storage capacities for two days in full operation, allowing the ship to cruise with environment safety and responsibility for longer distances.
MSC Cruises has received many other awards and certificates for its commitment to safeguarding the environment from Bureau Veritas. These include:
• CLEAN-SEA2 and CLEAN-AIR, which recognizes companies that control the funnel emissions of their ships and those that treat these emissions in order to achieve as close to zero impact as possible.
• GREEN PLANET AWARD - launched in 2000 for hotels with eco-friendly facilities, this award has become widely recognised by the industry and subsequently has also been extended to cruise ships.
• CIAL AWARD “COMUNI RICICLONI 2008” – awarded by CIAL (National consortium for the recovery and recycling of aluminum packaging) for an aluminium recycling project started in 2007 on board the MSC fleet.
• VENICE BLUE FLAG - MSC Cruises was the first company to adhere to the agreement, which governs the ships transiting the canal of Venice using diesel oil and reducing their sulphur emissions.
With these efforts, MSC Cruises helps ensure that cruise guests can enjoy the lagoons of Venice, the clear seas of the Caribbean or the crystalline fjords of Northern Europe without worrying about the effects of their holiday on the environment, preserving these beautiful locations for future visitors.