Last updated: 11:23 AM ET, Tue January 26 2016

Royal Caribbean Going Green With WWF Partnership

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. | John Roberts | January 26, 2016

Royal Caribbean Going Green With WWF Partnership

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

It’s always an enviable goal to push yourself to do even better.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is ramping up its efforts to become a better steward of the environment and is especially targeting the oceans in a new partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. The announcement of this new venture occurred on Jan. 25 at an event in Donsol, a fishing village in the Philippines.

Royal Caribbean’s initiative was inspired by an employee survey, which overwhelmingly showed that crew wanted their company to do more to protect oceans.

READ MORE: Major Makeover Planned for Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas

Royal Caribbean and WWF will collaborate to target specific areas of improvement in a bid to reduce the cruise company’s environmental footprint as well as boost awareness among passengers of the need for ocean protection.

During the five-year partnership, Royal Caribbean will donate $5 million to WWF and work with the conservation group to:

• By 2020, cut cruise ship greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent.

• Responsibly source 90 percent of its wild-caught seafood and 75 percent of its farmed seafood from North America and Europe operations.

• Strengthen its destination stewardship, with new targets announced by June 30.

• Work toward better destination sustainability and selection process for these locations.

Royal Caribbean and the WWF made the announcement in the small village of Donsol, because the location represents a success story for when stakeholders work together to develop an eco-tourism site. Donsol attracts visitors who long to interact with the population of whale sharks in the bay, and the village and WWF worked together to create an attraction that doesn’t endanger the natural habitat of the world’s largest fish.

Residents of the village embraced a 1998 law that prohibits whale shark hunting, and Donsol has since thrived as a destination for snorkelers and divers who want to interact with these gentle creatures.

The Philippines also plays a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s business, because more than 11,000 crew work on the company’s ships, which include the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara lines.

“We are dramatically better than we were five years ago,” CEO Richard Fain said. “And we will be better five years from now. For us, this is just a no-brainer.”

The company and WWF also think it’s crucial to get Royal Caribbean’s five million annual passengers involved in the effort to keep the oceans healthy.

WWF will provide content, in the form of its magazine available immediately in cabins on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara ships as well as programming on stateroom TV channels.

READ MORE: Say Cheese! Endangered Turtle Pulls Off Ultimate Photobomb in Philippines

We want to “give passengers tools to use to help them think about the environment,” WWF CEO Carter Roberts said. “The threats that are facing the ocean are greater than ever.”

Working with an expert organization will help the cruise company make itself accountable to do even better, as well as raise the bar for the industry as whole, Fain explained.

“This new partnership aligns all of us at Royal Caribbean with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s oceans,” Fain said. “Together, we are setting aggressive goals, and together, we will start implementing them right away.”


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