The leading global cruise company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), a leading global cruise company, has launched its revamped climate action strategy along with short- and near-term greenhouse gas (GHG) targets to support its pursuit of net zero by 2050.
With these actions, the company, which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, underscores its robust commitment to decarbonisation as part of its global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain.
Key components of the company’s new interim GHG reduction targets include reduction of GHG intensity by 10 percent by 2026 and 25 percent by 2030, compared to a 2019 baseline with intensity measured on a per Capacity Day1 basis.
The targets also cover the company’s emissions from its fleet of ships, islands and facilities as well as upstream fuel- and energy-related activities, including well-to-tank emissions. As such, the targets will capture the full well-to-wake emissions impact of the Company’s fuel consumption.
Interim targets provide a roadmap to support the company’s existing net zero by 2050 ambition. The scope of this commitment expands to the Company’s entire greenhouse gas footprint, including its vast network of suppliers and partners across its value chain.
“We are proud to further refine and strengthen our climate action strategy and commitments including by setting milestone GHG intensity reduction targets which will guide us on our ambitious pursuit of net zero by 2050,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer-elect of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“Every aspect of our business from shoreside to shipboard is responsible for doing their part to design, deliver and demonstrate results for decarbonisation and our Board of Directors has reinforced this expectation by establishing shared accountability and tying incentives for our entire management team to this critical effort. We also recently took an important step forward on our pursuit of net zero by announcing the modification of two of our future Prima Class newbuilds to accommodate the use of green methanol in the future.”
“We are also activating and mobilising our full network of team members, ports and destinations, suppliers and partners, and guests to act now and join us on this transformative journey, further amplifying the efforts we could achieve on our own,” Sommer continued.
Additionally, the company’s revamped climate action strategy is centered around three pillars: Efficiency, Innovation and Collaboration.
The company said that it is focused on optimising efficiency for its existing fleet which can have an immediate impact on onboard power consumption and GHG emissions as well as generate fuel savings.
This includes both ongoing investments in systems and technologies, such as HVAC system upgrades and waste heat recovery systems, as well as operational enhancements, such as smart itinerary and voyage planning and optimisation of hotel operations. The Company is also building and investing in internal systems and processes to enable its team members, and even guests, to operate its ships with optimal efficiency.
The cruise company is also innovating for long-term solutions and technologies, including those that support the ability to operate on green fuels. Since 2022, the Company has successfully completed tests of biofuel blends on multiple ships, in which a blend of approximately 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent marine gas oil has been used. The company believes biodiesel is a viable transition fuel that can support the decarbonisation journey as long-term solutions are tested and scaled.
The Company sees green methanol as a promising solution for the long term and has announced the modification of the final two Prima Class ships to accommodate its use as an alternative fuel source. This move reinforces the Company’s commitment to decarbonisation and would result in a significant reduction in emissions, including up to 95 percent reduction in CO2. The use of green methanol would also require fewer modifications compared to other emerging fuels in the market.
Moving ahead, the pathway to net zero will be complex and will require significant collaboration across the Company’s network of stakeholders including suppliers, communities, governments and NGOs to collectively partner and find solutions to combat climate change. The Company is also exploring partnerships to champion efforts surrounding the development of green fuels along with the global infrastructure to produce, store and distribute these fuels.
In addition, the company continues to actively partner with key ports to accelerate the use of shore power technology which allows cruise ships to connect to onshore electrical power grids to supply much of the power needed while docked. While the land-based infrastructure expansion is underway, the Company is also equipping its ships with the technology needed to plug-in, targeting to have approximately 70 percent of its fleet equipped by 2025.
Jessica John, Vice President of ESG, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., acknowledged the progress made across sectors towards decarbonisation but stated that the cruise industry still faces significant challenges in achieving full decarbonisation by 2050.
Rather than waiting for these challenges to resolve, the company’s strategy involves taking immediate action to implement efficient solutions, innovate for future solutions and collaborate with stakeholders, she added. Good governance and effective risk management support this strategy as the company works towards advancing climate action efforts and building resilience.