A five-year global partnership has been forged between Royal Caribbean Cruises and the World Wildlife Fund to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans.
They are to set “measurable and achievable” sustainability targets that will reduce the cruise giant’s environmental footprint, while raising awareness about ocean conservation among the company's more than five million passengers, and support WWF's global oceans conservation work.
The targets focus on supply chain sustainability and emissions reductions through to 2020. The aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% in the timeframe.
In addition to other measures covering the sourcing of seafood from sustainable fisheries, Royal Caribbean also will support WWF's global ocean conservation work with a $5 million “philanthropic contribution” during the partnership.
The company pledged to collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.
The two organisations made their announcement at an event in the Philippines that is home to a model community-based eco-tourism program.
Royal Caribbean made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines to support conservation schemes in the Donsol area.
Chairman and chief executive, Richard Fain, said: "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.
"This new partnership aligns all of us at Royal Caribbean 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."
WWF US president and chief executive, Carter Roberts, said: "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%. If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans.
"This initiative centres 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 travellers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it."
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