Skip to content

Royal Caribbean SEA the future project

Royal Caribbean Group is to convert waste into energy on board its ships as part of an expansion of its Green Hubs programme, which uses technology to reduce food waste. Its new ships already feature waste-to-energy systems, food waste apps and an expanded network of green hubs in an effort to offer the best environmentally responsible holiday experiences. Debuting this year, the Group’s two new ships will use the cruise industry’s first systems to turn solid waste directly into energy on board. Royal Caribbean International’s new Icon of the Seas and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova ships will debut Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis (MAP) and Micro Auto Gasification (MAG) systems, using onboard waste to convert into synthesis gas (syngas), which the ships can use directly as energy. Like land-based waste-to-energy facilities, the result is the efficient and sustainable reuse of waste. An additional bioproduct of the system, biochar, can also be used as a soil nutrient. Royal Caribbean Group is also committed to reducing food waste on board and has a plan to reduce it across its fleet by 50 per cent by 2025, implementing several initiatives across its brands. These include the creation of a proprietary platform to monitor food supply and accurately estimate how much food should be produced, prepared and ordered on a given day; the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to adjust food production in real time; and the introduction of a dedicated onboard food waste function to monitor and train its crew members. These initiatives also include tracking guest demand for specific menu options and adjusting menu preparation and ordering accordingly, as well as introducing a food waste awareness campaign in crew dining rooms across its fleet. To date, Royal Caribbean Group has achieved a 24 per cent reduction in food waste by focusing on the frontline food system, which prevents and addresses many of the main causes of food waste, including excessive stock management and preparation. Since the company’s first environmental initiative, the Save the Waves programme, aimed at ensuring that no solid waste goes to sea, it has been working “diligently to increase accountability and strengthen responsible waste management practices. To this end, it has developed Green Hubs, a capacity-building programme to identify waste suppliers in strategic destinations that has helped divert 92% of its waste from landfill.