February 22, 2001
Royal Caribbean, which has embraced environmentalism with enthusiasm (this in light of the line's agreement, in 1999, to pay some $27 million in penalties for egregious environmental etiquette) has announced the latest winners of its in-house awards.
Nordic Empress won the line’s “environmental ship of the year” award. The ship, one of the fleet’s older models (launched in 1990), which sailed to Bermuda last year, was recognized for handling challenges, particularly in waste management, that were involved with being in port for nearly three days. “Nordic Empress had to figure out how to minimize their use of resources and maximize ability to manage waste,” says RCI senior vice president Nancy Wheatley. The ship reduced gray water by cutting water consumption by 47 percent. To do this, showerheads were installed that reduced flow and water pressure was slightly cut back. Crewmembers even examined galley operations to see how they could minimize use -- eliminating dishwasher running for just a few pots and pans and careless slopping of water when cleaning floors.
Monarch of the Seas was noted for its “environmental innovation,” reducing chemicals used in the laundry, among other things.
As winner of the annual awards -- now in their second year -- Nordic Empress’ prize was a $10,000 cash award to the crew welfare fund and $25,000 to be donated to environmental-charity-of-choice. Monarch of the Seas received $10,000 to be designated to an environmental charity.
“There really has been a culture change here,” Wheatley says, praising not only this year’s winners but ships across the fleet. “There is a very deep commitment to environmental performance that is pervasive.”