November 8, 2019
(2 p.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises says it will become the first carbon-neutral cruise line by January 1, 2020.
MSC will offset all carbon dioxide emissions via a raft of different projects that include tree planting, contributing to and creating marine projects, and supporting communities that rely on the sea.
The line has pledged to bear the cost of this commitment itself, rather than asking passengers to contribute.
Speaking at the launch of its latest ship, MSC Grandiosa, in Hamburg, Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: "We want to do a 'blended' solution so we are engaging with coastal communities around the world.
"We are looking at creating kelp farms and algae, which is an active absorber of CO2, so these farms will help us absorb CO2.
"So we are exceeding expectations and creating jobs which we see as a big achievement with the coastal community.
"We want to make sure each project is of the highest integrity so each project will be certified.
"This supports something that we signed which is the UN sustainable development goal."
In addition, the line is aiming to achieve zero carbon emissions, though it has not set a date for that. However, it has set a goal to reduce carbon emissions across its fleet by 40 percent by 2030 and is on its way to achieving that through a variety of different means, including introducing shoreside power and hybrid technologies on its latest ships.
The line eliminated plastic straws across the fleet last year and will remove all single-use plastic bottles next year. Vago said the line is in the process of eliminating all single-use plastic across the fleet.
The 6,000-plus-passenger MSC Grandiosa, which will be christened tomorrow, is the most environmentally friendly so far, with 11 different green technologies, such as hydrodynamics, wastewater management, hybrid exhaust and a catalytic reduction system.
MSC also has begun construction on the first of five World Class liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships. The first of these, MSC Europa, will enter service in 2022.