Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) this month celebrates 30 years of Save the Waves, the company’s first environmental initiative. Save the Waves has evolved into a global commitment to engrain sustainability practices into every aspect of Royal Caribbean Group’s business and culture. It serves as the foundation for the cruise company’s decarbonization strategy — Destination Net Zero.
“Save the Waves has served as the strong foundation for what we have accomplished and the ambitious sustainability efforts we are committed to at Royal Caribbean Group,” said Jason Liberty, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “The program, for decades, has helped us create a culture dedicated to environmental performance and our commitment to protecting our oceans.”
Established in 1992, Save the Waves grew from the company’s values to put people first, lead with integrity, grow with purpose and drive excellence and be a force for good. Initially focused on waste management and reduction, the initiative progressed to a companywide undertaking, bolstered by a range of policies, trainings, activities, and technological innovations that have allowed Royal Caribbean Group to achieve key milestones over the past three decades, including:
- Introducing the industry’s first dedicated onboard Environmental Officers — to ensure waste standards are met with daily monitoring, testing, and compliance controls.
- Becoming the first cruise company to be ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Certified.
- Diverting 87% of its waste from landfills through its “Green Hub” waste vendor program that ensures waste is recycled, repurposed, or sent to a waste to energy facility.
- Equipping 100% of its global fleet with state-of-the-art waste management facilities, systems and processes established to divert waste streams from local landfills.
- Installing advanced wastewater purification systems across 88% of its fleet that treats wastewater to standards twice as stringent as U.S. federal regulations.
- Training every crewmember with in-depth Save the Waves training upon joining and is expected to follow proper waste management protocols.
Decades ago, when we introduced Save the Waves, we made a commitment to continuous improvement that we live by today,” said Nick Rose, Associate Vice President, Environmental Programs at Royal Caribbean Group. “Throughout my 15-year career at Royal Caribbean Group, including four years as an Environmental Officer, I have been proud to be part of our continual progress in this area, which wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of thousands of crewmembers and millions of guests.”
Save the Waves has also served as a catalyst to develop the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework, unveiled in this year’s Seastainability Report. The ESG framework focuses on five distinct ways to deliver great vacation experiences responsibly: Champion communities and the environment; provide unforgettable cruise experiences; foster human rights and be an employer of choice; advance net zero innovation; and govern responsibly.