MSC Cruises targets zero-impact ops through six focus areas
MSC Cruises, a part of the Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate MSC Group, has published its 2021 Sustainability Report highlighting the progress and laying the foundations for achieving zero-impact operations.
The company chose 8 June, World Oceans Day, to publish the report claiming it has made significant progress in its sustainability practices despite the challenges brought by the pandemic in the past year.
MSC Cruises developed the Sustainability Action Plan establishing six key work streams across the business.
These include: transitioning to net-zero emissions, scrutinising resource use and waste, supporting people, investing in sustainable tourism, building greener terminals and procuring sustainability.
Actions within the plan are accompanied by goals, with measurable targets and, where possible, align with relevant industry-approved metrics.
In order to support the net-zero journey, the company engages in energy-efficient operations across its fleet.
In 2021, advanced trials of energy efficiency measures were conducted on MSC Grandiosa, cutting emissions by 8% compared to design performance. Looking ahead, MSC Cruises is committed to replicating these measures across the rest of the fleet.
The company also aims to limit SOx, NOx and particulates, particularly in ports and in line with this, by the end of 2021, fourteen vessels were fitted with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, reducing SOx by 98%.
MSC Cruises added that its three newest ships have selective catalytic converters, which convert NOx into harmless nitrogen and water.
Furthermore, seven of the company’s ships, including all new ships, had been fitted with shore power capability last year.
According to the report, in 2021, 100% of ballast water was filtered and UV treated before being discharged at sea, to ensure that it does not contain harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens, which can damage the local environment.
During the last year, the company also invested in new sustainable terminal facilities and the Durban Cruise Terminal in South Africa became operational in December 2021.
Construction of the new MSC Cruises terminal in Miami began in the summer of 2021 with a comprehensive environmental and social management system in place for the construction and subsequent operation of the terminal. The third terminal is under construction in Barcelona and is due to be operational in 2023.
A new internal committee was also created to ensure that the company’s approach to procurement has a positive impact on society and minimises damage to the environment.
It is comprised of heads of procurement, logistics and sustainability, and meets every two months to review operational standards across our supply chain and to identify specific opportunities for positive change.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division, said: “… we are investing heavily in the accelerated development of environmental technologies and solutions that don’t exist just yet to make these objectives achievable. It must be recognised that for this endeavour we also need the full engagement of governments and other public and private entities to ensure, for example, that the right infrastructure exists on land and green fuels become available at scale for our ships around the world. This we cannot do alone.“
This year, MSC Cruises is to welcome its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled vessel, MSC Europa, which will be followed by MSC Euribia, scheduled for delivery in 2023.
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