Royal Caribbean Group has introduced new next-generation technology to its industry-leading waste management practices.
These tools include waste-to-energy systems, food waste applications and an expanded network of green hubs.
Debuting this year on two of the cruise company’s newest ships, the technology will be the cruise industry’s first system to turn solid waste directly into energy on board.
Jason Liberty, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group said: “I am proud of Royal Caribbean Group’s drive to SEA the Future and be better tomorrow than we are today.
“Pioneering the first waste-to-energy system on a cruise ship builds on our track record of waste management and furthers our commitment to remove waste from local landfills and deliver great vacation experiences responsibly.”
Solid Waste to Energy at Sea
The systems – Microwave-Assisted Pyrolysis (MAP) and Micro Auto Gasification (MAG) – are debuting on Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova,
Waste on board will be converted into synthesis gas (syngas) that the ship can directly use as energy.
Much like land-based waste-to-energy facilities, the result is repurposing waste in an efficient and sustainable way. An additional bioproduct of the system, biochar, can also be used as a soil nutrient.
Reducing Food Waste
Royal Caribbean Group is also looking at waste management from start to finish, including its plans to reduce food waste across the fleet by 50% by 2025.
To do so, the cruise company is implementing initiatives across its brands including:
- Developing a proprietary platform to monitor food supply and accurately estimate how much food should be produced, prepped and ordered on a given day.
- Using artificial intelligence (AI) to adjust food production in real time.
- Introducing a dedicated onboard food waste role to monitor and train crew members.
- Tracking guest demand for specific menu items and adjusting menu preparation and ordering accordingly.
- Partnering with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to introduce a food waste awareness campaign in the crew dining areas fleetwide.
To date, Royal Caribbean Group has achieved a 24% reduction in food waste by focusing on the front end of the food system.
The company states that this will prevent and address many of the main causes of food waste, including inventory management and over-preparing.
Expanding Green Hubs
Royal Caribbean has also developed Green Hub, a capacity-building program to identify waste vendors in strategic destinations that has helped divert 92% of its waste from landfills.
Since its start in 2014, the program has grown to 33 ports worldwide.
Now joining the Green Hub program is the Galapagos Islands, where Silversea became the first operator to gain certification in environmental management by diverting all waste from landfills.
Initiatives like this allow Royal Caribbean Group to continue to safeguard the delicate ecosystem of the Galapagos for future generations.
To learn more about Royal Caribbean Group’s waste management practices, visit www.royalcaribbeangroup.com/SEAtheFuture.
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