Royal Caribbean Cruises and the World Wildlife Fund announced a five-year global partnership to help with the long-term health of the ocean.
RCL’s CEO and Chariman Richard Fain made the announcement in Donsol in the Philippines, a whale shark sanctuary which is one of the WWF’s conservation areas.
“Our mantra at Royal Caribbean is ‘Continuous Improvement’, and this partnership with WWF represents a great opportunity to make a big step forward in meeting our special responsibility to protect the oceans,” he said.
“It is also gratifying to see that our determination to make a meaningful difference is shared by our employees and our guests. This new partnership aligns all of us at RCL with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s ocean. Together we are setting aggressive goals and together we will start implementing them the right ways.
Mr Fain also spoke to ASEAN Cruise News about the plans for extending and increasing the capacity of RCL’s training facilities in the Philippines.
“So far, a large number of our staff, as well as our guests, are from the Philippines. We are hoping to grow our current staff number of 11,000 Filipinos to around 30,000 by 2020. And this will be rolled out throughout our ships,” he said.
Mr Fain also visited RCL’s training facility in Tianjin, China, which will be soon catering to the Chinese market onboard the Ovation of the Seas.
“There is a surge in the Chinese cruise market and naturally, we will be putting many Chinese background speaking staff on the Ovation of the Seas. We are lucky to have a training facility where the staff can learn and get experience in a hotel which then translates to our ships.”
On environmental protection, the partners will set measurable and achievable sustainability targets that will reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the company’s more than five million guests, and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work.
“The threats that are facing the ocean are greater than ever – in the last 30 years, some ocean wildlife populations have declined by nearly 50 percent. If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans,” said Carter Roberts, WWF-US President and CEO.
“This initiative centers on two core concepts: first, committing to specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainable sourcing and build destination stewardship; and second, comprehensively engaging their millions of travelers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises and WWF jointly developed new 2020 environmental sustainability targets for the company that include:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020.
- Responsibly source 90% of its wild-caught seafood by volume from MSC certified sustainable fisheries, fisheries in full assessment for MSC certification, comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and/or sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) member companies.
- In North America and Europe operations, responsibly source 75% of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC certified responsible farms, farms in full assessment for ASC certification, and/or comprehensive aquaculture improvement projects.
Royal Caribbean also will financially support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution during the partnership, and will collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.
RCL also made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines in support of conservation programs in the Donsol area.