Safeguarding the environment


Through our commitment to reduce our environmental impact, we’re firmly on track to reduce our on board operational waste by 5% before 2020. Together with our waste vendors and ports, we aim to minimise waste being sent for un-necessary disposal, examples include turning waste fuel sludge into a useable fuel supporting local  businesses or providing items for charitable re-use. 

We evaluate shoreside waste facilities in advance and aim to manage any lack of recycling infrastructure by retaining waste materials on board until we reach a port offering the services we require. We seek new opportunities to reuse materials and equipment on board or find others who can use items that are in a good condition. If this is not possible, we ensure conscientious disposal including the use of certified recovery units for items such as refrigerators to reduce any Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) releases.

We provide opportunities for our guests to assist our recycling efforts with segregated waste disposal and through our FATHOM - TRAVELdeep™ programme; to date, over 2,500 guests have supported paper recycling and craft entrepreneurship schemes in the Dominican Republic. Our crew - in particular those directly involved in waste management operations – are rigorously trained as part of their environmental awareness and we aim to roll out standardised reporting across our fleet and ports of call to increase transparency, aid trend analysis and to continue to meet or exceed all industry regulations.

Energy efficiency

Fuel provides the energy – crucial to our guests’ enjoyment of on board amenities – for our fleet’s propulsion and on board hotel power requirements. Responsible for over 97% of our emissions, fuel usage is the main contributor to our carbon footprint. As a result, we’ve implemented multiple energy-saving and conservation initiatives, successfully reducing emissions by 24.8% to date.

Our BSI ISO 50001 certification provides a framework for energy management and our Corporate Energy Conservation Group has effectively reduced overall consumption and identified fuel saving opportunities. Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) use technology to remove up to 99% of sulphur oxides and well over 50% of particulate matter from engine exhaust

We’ve expanded our unique Wärtsilä engine maintenance and monitoring partnership to drive further gains in engine efficiency, safety and reliability. Our Fleet Operation Centres’ advanced data capture systems also inform us of the optimisation and efficiency of engine conditions, emissions, fuel consumption and energy use. Ship shore power capacity is available on over 40% of our corporate fleet. Carnival is also working to secure increased availability on our fleet and within the ports we visit. We are pleased to be building two LNG powered vessels. The first enters the fleet in 2020 with the second joining the fleet in 2022. The development and investment in these new ships aids our commitment to exceed environmental compliance requirements.


The oceans and communities we visit boast spectacular biodiversity for guests to explore. We’re committed to protecting the marine environment, minimising our impact and ensuring we use resources efficiently and sustainably.

Our ethos is captured within the recently launched “Operation Oceans Alive” campaign.

We continue to invest in Reverse Osmosis plants onboard our fleet allowing potable water to be created from desalinated sea water. The use of RO plants significantly increases the ships abilities to create their own water, reducing the need to load water from shore supplies – especially in areas where fresh water may be scarce.

Emissions continue to decrease thanks to strategies such as our Wärtsilä partnership driving fuel efficiency. We provide donations, volunteer initiatives - including coastal clean-up projects - and philanthropic programmes. Our Fathom TRAVELdeep™ programme has supported ventures including reforestation and food cooperatives. Other conservation partners have developed protection programmes such as the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance’s campaign to reduce illegal wildlife product demand, The Nature Conservancy’s habitat mapping programme, and UNESCO’s ongoing mission to safeguard world heritage sites.

Clean water

P&O Cruises fleet exceed international requirements for the discharge of sewerage as all waste is treated prior to discharge either via Marine Sanitary Devices or our Advanced Waste Water Treatment Systems. Our discharge policies reflect those of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to whom we are a signatory member, these policies are significantly more stringent than those required by international law. With careful planning and strict adherence to the discharge requirements, we aim to minimise our impact on the ports we visit and within the areas we sail.

P&O Cruises has invested in Ballast water treatments systems and have been a market leader in installing IMO and US Coastguard approved systems manufactured by Alfa Laval. The technology uses filtration and UV treatment in a specially designed reactor to carry out biological disinfection. Our ballast systems are tested on an annual basis by an independent company – the Ballast Water Centre, testing is carried out to the full IMO D2 standard, ensuring that the systems are truly doing what they are designed to do. Carnival Corporation is proud to facilitate projects such as our annual Honduras coastal clean-ups, removing waste and debris from the marine environment. 

Single use plastics

Single use plastics pose significant environmental concerns. They are not biodegradable. Instead, they break down into tiny particles and release toxic chemicals. These end up in our rivers and our oceans, where they have a serious impact. This is why P&O Cruises has stated an intention to remove single use plastics from hotel operations on our ships by the end of 2022. This is an important part of our overall environmental compliance plan.To achieve this, we are working with our suppliers to address items containing single use plastics, such as straws, water bottles and food packaging.