Royal Caribbean Group and World Wildlife Fund Recommit to Partnership | Travel Research Online

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Royal Caribbean Group and World Wildlife Fund Recommit to Partnership

New five-year partnership to establish ambitious, measurable sustainability goals for groundbreaking progress across ship, sea and shore.

Royal Caribbean Group has announced its new commitment to the next phase of its ongoing partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for guidance and counsel in establishing environmental goals and sustainable business practices.

“Healthy, sustainable oceans are paramount to our mission of delivering the best vacations responsibly,” said Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty. “Our partnership with WWF encapsulates our belief in continuous improvement and our commitment to advancing our environmental, social and governance (ESG) work. The support and assistance of WWF will be invaluable to realizing this mission as we work to set and achieve our sustainability goals.”

Royal Caribbean Group first partnered with WWF in 2016. Since then, WWF has advised Royal Caribbean Group to embed sustainability into the core of the company’s business and across the industry, promote responsible tourism in priority coastal destinations and help protect the oceans by investing in conservation programs globally. This included establishing bold 2020 sustainability goals that the company has met or exceeded, with the exception of the sustainable seafood sourcing target, which was impacted by global suspension of service from the pandemic.

The cruise industry has seen repeated calls for more progress on sustainable travel, particularly in relation to the use of fuel and waste disposal.

The next five years of the partnership will focus on setting ambitious, measurable sustainability targets around the reduction of carbon emissions, the sustainable growth and development of the business, sustainable commodity sourcing and tourism, the elimination of single-use plastics and waste management, among other areas.

“Scale matters, particularly in the face of global challenges like climate change and ocean conservation. We’re grateful for the progress Royal Caribbean Group has made toward achieving its sustainability goals since 2016, and we’re energized by an ambition for even greater things to come,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US. “Our work together is grounded in the reality that people everywhere – from local communities and Indigenous peoples to urban residents and tourists – rely on the ocean for food, livelihoods, and enrichment. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep ocean ecosystems thriving for the benefit of all people, as well as the many other creatures for whom the ocean is their home.

Royal Caribbean sets forth its sustainability mission and goals on its website. There, the cruise line stipulates its endorsement of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards, focused on making destinations and shore excursions more sustainable by working with tour operators and local governments, and offering GSTC-certified tours to our guests.

This year, WWF and Royal Caribbean Group will work together to establish sustainability goals across three key areas of Ship, Sea and Shore:

  • Ship — Continuous improvement of operational sustainability, including emissions, marine mammal protection, seafood sourcing, plastics reduction, and food waste.
  • Sea — Investing in ocean health through targeted philanthropy; engaging with a global science-driven agenda and consumer-facing education and fundraising campaigns.
  • Shore — Embedding principles of sustainable development in projects and increasing sustainability and certification of tour operators.

Royal Caribbean Group will also continue to provide financial support to WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution and collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among Royal Caribbean Group’s millions of guests.

The renewal of the partnership with WWF builds on Royal Caribbean Group’s broader decarbonization strategy, focused on establishing Science-Based Targets (SBT).

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