Carnival Corporation & plc, one of the world's largest leisure travel companies, announced it is a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), a new global community of retailers, brands, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and alliances committed to sharing best practices, developing scientific breakthroughs and new business models and working to develop new approaches, innovations and solutions-based projects to address the impacts of plastic waste.
As part of the company's implementation of broader environmental initiatives, Carnival Corporation recently announced a series of actions being undertaken by each of its nine cruise line brands, including significantly reducing its purchase and consumption of nonessential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence. Carnival Corporation and its brands already have plans underway, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms. Through the ongoing efforts, the company's brands reduced the procurement of single-use plastics by 80 million items in 2019 while also reducing 95 million other single-use items, as compared to 2018.
OPLN recently launched with the introduction of its online community and leadership network available at OceanPlasticsLeadershipNetwork.com, an online repository of industry news, tools and research to promote and advance innovative solutions, projects and ideas from experts and advocates that will lead to collectively working to reduce plastic waste. The online network currently includes 50 members committed to collaborative solutions for plastic waste, including organizations representing elements of the development, distribution, purchase and retail use of plastic products.
"Our most important priorities are to operate safely, protect the environment and to be compliant everywhere we operate in the world," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation, in a statement. "Becoming a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network is another important step in the many environmental compliance efforts that are underway across the company."
Organized by SoulBuffalo, which curates and produces summits and expeditions for corporate leaders, NGOs and innovators to develop solutions for environmental challenges, OPLN builds upon the company's first annual Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit held in May 2019, which convened leading organizations in the plastics supply chain in one of the five oceanic gyres—which are large systems of rotating ocean currents—to experience plastic waste firsthand and to develop ideas and collaborations to accelerate solutions.
"The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network will provide an amazing platform for knowledge sharing, creating amazing firsthand experiences and working together to achieve real change," said Dave Ford, CEO of SoulBuffalo and founder of OPLN, in a statement. "Companies like Carnival Corporation coming onboard will be such an integral step to having this organization be relevant and effective."
In addition to being a charter member of OPLN, Carnival Corporation recently joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of organizations across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the international shipping industry. The global coalition will work toward the maritime industry's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping through innovation and advancement, aspiring to having commercially viable zero emission deep sea vessels entering the global shipping fleet as early as 2030. The alliance's ambition also includes scalable infrastructure for zero-carbon energy sources, including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.
Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands are committed to developing solutions that support sustainability and environmentally friendly operations, as part of a broader corporate strategy that includes its commitment to further improve environmental compliance and performance. To date, the company achieved its 25 percent carbon rate reduction goal and is planning to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 percent by 2030.