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Report outlines key milestones and steps taken toward Company’s sustainability commitments

  • Progress achieved across four key pillars, including targeting net zero operations by 2050, supporting sustainable tourism, and developing a more diverse workforce
  • 5% drop in fleetwide carbon intensity since 2008
  • Milestone reduction in emissions from launch of MSC World Europa, world’s largest LNG-powered cruise ship featuring first solid oxide fuel cell technology system onboard a large cruise vessel

Geneva, Switzerland – July 20, 2023 MSC Cruises published its 2022 Sustainability Report on Thursday, detailing progress on the company’s environmental and social practices throughout the year. The 64-page report lays out accomplishments including a substantial reduction in fleetwide carbon intensity, the introduction of new technology in the march toward net zero operations by 2050, growth in sustainable tourism efforts, and the development of a more diverse workforce.

Progress under MSC Cruises’ Sustainability Action Plan is divided into four key pillars, which are subdivided into six workstreams to which the company has publicly pledged to remain accountable. Below is a summary of progress toward each: 


  • Workstream: Transitioning to Net Zero Emissions
    • 5% reduction in fleetwide carbon emissions intensity since 2008
    • First LNG ship introduced to the fleet (MSC World Europa)
    • First solid oxide fuel cell system installed on a large cruise vessel
    • Development of new itinerary optimization software to reduce emissions of existing fleet
  • Workstream: Local Air Quality
    • Two ships delivered with shore power capability (MSC World Europa and MSC Seascape)
    • Two existing ships retrofitted with shore power capability (MSC Poesia and MSC Preziosa)
  • Workstream: Scrutinizing Resource Use and Waste
    • 9% reduction in water consumption per guest compared to 2021
    • Two ships delivered fully compliant with the most stringent water treatment and discharge standards (MSC World Europa and MSC Seascape)
    • 5% increase in waste segregated for recycling (now over 25% of total onboard waste)


  • Workstream: Supporting Our People
    • New recruitment strategy expanding diversity of workforce
    • Average of 26 hours of training performed per person


  • Workstream: Supporting Sustainable Destinations
    • Miami and Barcelona terminals on track to receive LEED certification upon completion
    • Provided workshops on sustainable operations for tour operators
    • Began using new tool to assess biodiversity impact of shore excursions and other activities


  • Workstream: Procuring Sustainably
    • Renewed focus on removal of single-use plastic by 2024
    • Substantial increase in positive environmental credentials for onboard retail products 

Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG, MSC Cruises, said: “To ensure the appropriateness and continued relevance of our Sustainability Strategy and our Sustainability Action Plan, we are in ongoing dialogue with our employees, guests, and key external stakeholders. Through this listening exercise, we can ensure that our current focus areas are appropriate and identify any new areas as they arise – while we closely monitor the progress on the six key pillars of our action plan.”

MSC Cruises’ sustainability strategy is informed by a materiality assessment carried out in 2019 and revisited in 2021. The assessment ensures attention is focused on the issues most important to external and internal stakeholders, and where the company’s impact on the world means it has a responsibility to act. The Sustainability Advisory Board oversees these efforts for the entirety of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, which includes the MSC Cruises brand, and is chaired by Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.

Additional details of MSC Cruises’ progress within its Sustainability Action Plan include:

PLANET - Transitioning to net zero emissions, improving local air quality and scrutinizing resource use and waste

MSC Cruises is fully committed to playing its part in addressing climate change and promoting ocean biodiversity, and the company is accelerating efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Through close collaboration with technology companies, shipyards and fuel providers, the cruise line strives to push the limits of innovation and explore new possibilities. A momentous step in this crucial journey was the delivery of its first LNG-powered ship in 2022, marking a significant milestone on the path to a more sustainable future. MSC Cruises remains steadfast in its commitment to creating a more environmentally responsible cruise industry.

PLACE - Supporting sustainable destinations, developing terminals

MSC Cruises allows guests to visit some of the most beautiful and exciting destinations the world has to offer, and the company strives to deliver positive social and economic outcomes in the places it serves. Investments in sustainable cruise terminals are creating jobs and encouraging more visitors. MSC Cruises is also an active supporter of destination stewardship and continues to work collaboratively with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and other cruise lines to manage visitor numbers and support sustainable tourism. The line is a member of the CEO-led Sustainability Committee and the Sustainability Task Force of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), working closely with travel industry partners to develop and implement sustainable solutions for the industry.

PEOPLE - Supporting our people and enhancing crew well-being

MSC Cruises’ number one priority is keeping guests and crew safe and well. The company takes pride in the healthcare options aboard MSC Cruises ships and continues to maintain strict sanitation practices in the wake of COVID-19. MSC Cruises also has a comprehensive safety management system in place to identify risks before incidents occur. The crew onboard plays an important role in making the guest experience a success, and the cruise line knows how important it is to support their well-being. The company provides crewmembers with the training required to do a good job and supports those with high potential who want to grow their careers from within.

PROCUREMENTProcuring with a responsibility to the environment

Every year, MSC Cruises procures thousands of different items to support its ships and guests, ranging from engine parts to hand soap, and from crew uniforms to food and drink. Each of those items eventually has to be loaded onto a constantly moving fleet of ships. In 2022, the company’s Sustainable Procurement Committee initiated a comprehensive review of its processes to identify opportunities to find and move those items more sustainably. The cruise line wants to go beyond specific programs – such as eliminating single-use plastics onboard – and shift its mindset so that every purchasing decision is made with the environment and worker wellbeing in mind.

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About the Cruise Division of MSC Group:

The Cruise Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has two distinct brands within its structure—the contemporary and luxury brands. 

MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand, is the world’s third-largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.

Its fleet comprises 22 modern vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels and is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025. 

MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs, and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about contemporary brand’s itineraries and experience on board its ships, click here

The luxury brand, Explora Journeys, is set to start operating in 2023 with a fleet featuring the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available. The first ship in the fleet will have a gross tonnage of 63,900 and feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, all with ocean front terraces. These ships will introduce a broad range of new guest experiences and other activities to the luxury segment, along with generous public space ratios and a highly innovative design. For further information about Explora Journeys, click here

MSC has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment, click here

Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments, click here. 


Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, virtually eliminating local air pollutants and reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly compared to conventional marine fuels. MSC Cruises has invested around $3 billion in LNG-powered cruise ships. The first, MSC World Europa, set sail in December 2022; the second, MSC Euribia, joined the fleet in June 2023; the third, MSC World America, is being built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and will launch in 2025. 

Improving operational efficiency 

MSC Cruises is on track to achieve a 40% carbon intensity reduction well ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 target. The company continues to scrutinize every mile of itineraries, resulting in an average speed of 15.75 knots across the fleet in 2022, down 10% from 17.55 in 2018. The company also finished installing a software package called Oceanly Performance across its fleet in 2022. The platform allows for constant monitoring of thousands of parameters to optimize vessel performance. 

Local air quality 

Connecting to shore power allows the ship’s engines to be shut off and connect to the local electrical grid to run onboard systems, which prevents emissions produced from diesel generators, improves local air quality, and reduces noise and vibration level. This represents a significant benefit to the environment and the surrounding communities. Following significant investments in its fleet capabilities, MSC Cruises is taking concrete steps to adopt and accelerate the use of shore power while collaborating closely with local authorities to ensure compatibility between the fleet’s systems and the shoreside infrastructure design. The company is grateful for forward-thinking support provided by port authorities.

Scrutinizing resource use and waste 

About 70% of the MSC Cruises fleet is equipped with Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS). The systems installed in four of the newest ships go even further and comply fully with IMO MEPC 227 (64) requirements, known as the ‘Baltic Standard.’ This is the most stringent wastewater treatment and discharge standard in the maritime industry. It is equivalent to – and sometimes even more stringent than – many land-based standards. 

The entire fleet has achieved ISO 21070:2017 certification for marine environmental protection, meaning the cruise line manages waste in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. This certification proves that the company is creating less waste than it did previously, and has specific procedures to help manage waste on ships, including handling, collection, separation, marking, treatment, and storage. It also demonstrates that MSC Cruises has an appropriate ship-to-shore interface for the delivery of waste from the ship to port collection facilities.

Terminal development

MSC Cruises is investing in creating new terminal facilities in Miami, Durban and Barcelona. The new terminals will allow the company to deploy its most environmentally advanced vessels in those destinations.

To ensure the construction of the terminals is done with the environment in mind, each will be certified to LEED silver or higher. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a widely used green building rating system. Its rigorous score-based systems ensure high levels of efficiency in both building design and operation.

Sustainable tourism

The tour operators and local authorities who work with MSC Cruises strive to minimize traffic and crowding of city infrastructure, which includes finding new sites to visit and expanding the area of interest beyond city centers.

MSC Cruises is pleased that an increasing number of passengers are engaged in sustainability matters and care deeply about protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Due to that growing interest, the company’s shore excursion offerings for the summer of 2022 featured the strongest ever focus on minimizing environmental impact and supporting nature-positive activities. 

Supporting local communities

The MSC Foundation supports communities in need through various projects and programs, including long-term partnerships with Marevivo, UNICEF and Mercy Ships.

The MSC Foundation continues to advance its global humanitarian efforts by donating goods, spearheading fundraising programs, and working with the MSC Group to provide logistics support. 

During 2022, the Foundation supported eight emergency relief initiatives in nine countries. Its most significant support was for people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine—Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. The Foundation provided around €7 million in relief and assistance, donating thousands of pounds of food items, blankets, sleeping bags and camp beds, and providing free containers, logistics and transportation to organizations working on the ground. It also launched a global fundraising campaign, Joining Hands for Refugees, with every donation matched by MSC Group. By March 2023, the campaign had raised over €150,000, which was doubled through the fund-matching to achieve a total of €300,000. 

Business Partners’ Code of Conduct

MSC Cruises has a Business Partners’ Code of Conduct which outlines expectations for suppliers and sets out a commitment to do business in a fair, ethical, and responsible manner. The Supplier Compliance Program then ensures that specific clauses on ethical business conduct and sustainability are incorporated into supplier contracts and agreements.

Auditing our suppliers 

MSC Cruises has a team that  tracks and monitors supply chains for compliance with standards set by the company. The successful auditing program has been in place for several years and allows the company to put a remediation plan in place or terminate an agreement to work with a supplier that is found to have breached its Code of Conduct, depending on the severity of the issue. 

Food safety

MSC Cruises adheres to the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management standard, which outlines best practices to avoid contamination or accidents. The cruise line conducts more than 4,000 food safety analyses each year, testing dishes or the surfaces and equipment used to prepare and serve food. Likewise, all food and beverage suppliers are evaluated for food safety compliance. 

More sustainable retail products 

During 2022, the procurement team for onboard retail products conducted a review to see if the company could lower the impact of items created or bought for resale in its onboard shopping venues.

Many products created for the MSC Cruises or Ocean Cay brands are made from natural materials like cotton, bamboo and paper. The company continues to encourage the suppliers of all other items to choose and promote sustainable options from their portfolio. 

Additionally, MSC Cruises has considered how products reach the ships and has removed 90% of airfreight from the supply chain through better planning and a new predictive logistics forecasting model that allows for more accurately anticipating onboard demand. 



Media Relations - MSC Cruises USA