MSC Cruises’ industry-leading sustainability program has been recognized at the North American Marine Environment Protection Association’s 2020 Marine Environment Protection Awards.
The program has earned the line the Maritime Industry category award, which praises MSC’s environmental work and acknowledges three milestones that MSC achieved last year: the start of construction of MSC World Europa, which is the first of the line’s latest-generation LNG-powered ships, the restoration of its private island Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, and the steps taken to phase out single-use plastic across the fleet.
This award follows MSC Cruises’ winning of the Porthole Reader’s Choice Award for Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Line this year.
Recently, MSC Cruises published its 2019 Sustainability Report, which highlight’s the line’s vision to become an environmental leader in the maritime industry. Along with the sustainability milestones already mentioned, the line launched MSC Foundation in 2019, which provides humanitarian disaster relief and supports charitable efforts for the communities that its fleet serves.
MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said “We are honored to receive this award, which recognizes our ongoing efforts to embrace a zero-impact future. As a company, we are unequivocally committed to protecting the environment, the coastal communities that we reach and all our employees.”
He continued, “Our long-term vision is to become an environmental leader within the overall maritime sector. We are doing this by constantly taking steps to decrease our fleet’s environmental impact and investing in the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technologies and solutions.”
Before entering service, all MSC Cruises new builds are equipped with many of the latest environmental technologies to minimize their environmental footprint. This includes systems to reduce harmful air emissions, advanced wastewater treatment systems that turn blackwater into nearly tap water quality, and energy efficiency solutions to decrease fuel consumption.
In the first half of 2021, MSC Cruises will take delivery of its ships MSC Virtuosa and Seashore. Both vessels will feature the range of environmental solutions mentioned above, and be amongst the company’s most efficient cruise ships yet.
In 2022, the line will take delivery of MSC World Europa, the first of up to nine latest-generation LNG-powered cruise ships that are set to join the fleet in the next decade. LNG (liquefied natural gas) is the cleanest fuel currently available to the shipping industry.
In addition, MSC announced in July of this year that it would be investing in the Palumbo Shipyard Malta to potentially furnish it with state-of-the-art technology to allow it to service LNG powered ships in the Mediterranean.
Vago concluded, “At MSC Cruises, our priority is the sea and the oceans. And as a family company, we always prioritized the long term over short term considerations. Despite the challenges that our industry currently faces, our eyes remain fixed on our long-term environmental ambitions.”
MSC Cruises is currently planning to resume sailing in the United States in January 2021.