The Costa Luminosa is the first ship in Italy and one of the first in the world to be equipped for "cold ironing", whereby vessels are plugged into shoreside electrical power. The ship conducts 100% waste separation, recycling of aluminum, glass and other waste streams such as production of water from desalination plants.
The Costa Luminosa is also cutting-edge ship in terms of environmental compliance, which has always been one of Costa Cruises’ distinguishing features. The Italian Company stands out on account of its environmental excellence and innovation. The Costa Luminosa is in fact the first ship in Italy and one of the first in the world to be equipped for "cold ironing", namely a system whereby vessels are plugged into shoreside electrical power, enabling generators to be shut down during stopovers in port. This is a way of further reducing the environmental impact of ships when they call at ports.
Like the other 12 members of the Costa fleet, the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica are among the most advanced ships in the world in terms of environmental design, management, compliance and energy saving. Costa Cruises is in fact the only cruise company in Italy that has an Environmental Management System developed in accordance with the requirements of UNI EN ISO 14001/2004. Costa’s is the only cruise fleet flying the Italian flag, and therefore the only line whose cruise ships are subject to often more restrictive environmental, safety and social accountability regulations. In any event, Costa Cruises not only operates in accordance with the prevailing laws but also, where possible, seeks to preempt the legislation, setting itself higher standards and more ambitious objectives by means of internal procedures that go beyond the scope of mandatory requirements laid down by (local, national and international) regulations.
The commitment to safeguarding the environment and to corporate social responsibility in general is reflected in particular in Costa Cruises’ Sustainability Report (consultable online at www.costa.it/azienda/costaelaresponsabilitàsociale), a purely voluntary form of reporting designed to provide comprehensive and transparent information on the effects of corporate activity on the environment and the community. The Sustainability Report has its roots in the application of the "B.E.S.T. 4" (Business Excellence Sustainable Task), an integrated management system that encompasses four types of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards in the areas of quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, issued in 2000), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 2004), safety (OHSAS 18001, 2007) and social accountability (SA 8000, 2008), guaranteeing the measurement of company performance and continuous improvement. Costa obtained the B.E.S.T. 4 from RINA (the Italian Shipping Register) in 2004, thus becoming the first company in the world to do so.
The following are key components of Costa Cruises’ environmental excellence:
- the Green Star notation assigned by RINA;
- 100% waste separation of shipboard solid waste;
- no solid waste is discharged overboard (food waste is processed separately);
- no special waste is ever discharged overboard;
- approximately 400 m3 of aluminum and 2100 m3 of glass from Costa’s ships were sent for recycling in 2007;
- most of the water used on the ships in the Costa fleet is produced directly on board using desalination plants;
- discharge at sea of sewage and gray water only at a distance greater than 12 miles from the nearest land, instead of the 4-mile limit stipulated in the international regulations;
- double bilge (oily water) separator;
- fail-safe "white box" system enabling a further check of the oil content of effluent water;
- sampling and analysis of engine and diesel generator emissions;
- sampling and analysis of incinerator emissions;
- monitoring of electromagnetic emission levels (Guest and crew areas);
- adoption across the fleet of the Ballast Water Management Plan (compulsory only in the US and Brazil);
- regular audits carried out by independent organizations;
In addition, numerous energy- and fuel-saving measures have been introduced or are being piloted on board:
- use of ecological silicone-based coatings for the ship’s hull. These antifouling coatings enhance hydrodynamic performance and reduce the growth of microorganisms on the hull surface without any toxic effects;
- an awareness campaign aimed at Guests and crew and designed to rationalize the consumption of electricity and water on board;
- use of low power consumption LED light bulbs;
- enlargement of reverse osmosis desalination plants to produce potable water on board;
- installation of an automatic lighting control system designed to adjust the ship’s external lighting in accordance with the current sunlight intensity;
- economizer enabling the recycling of hot water produced by the engines for heating in the cabins and public areas;
- optimization of the air conditioning system in the public areas: the airflow adjusts automatically in accordance with the presence of people in the room and the outside temperature.
Costa Cruises believes in and actively promotes responsible tourism: its shoreside excursions are also organized in accordance with this priority. Costa offers various eco-tourism excursions, comprising visits to parks, oases and nature reserves, with programs that minimize the impact on the ecosystem and create economic opportunities for the local communities.
Costa Cruises’ environmental commitment goes beyond its ships. Waste separation is carried out in all the Company’s Italian offices as well as in the Savona Palacrociere, the cruise terminal managed by Costa. Meanwhile, April 17, 2008 marked the official commencement of the innovative "Palazzo Costa" project, an architectural plan to extend and redevelop the Company’s headquarters in Genoa. The new offices will be a perfect blend of creativity, innovation and respect for the environment, with certain features that will be at the cutting edge of Italian architecture. For example it will be one of the country’s first buildings with "zero C02 emissions on site".
Environmental awards and recognition
Throughout its sixty-year history the Company has always paid a great deal of attention to economic, cultural, social and environmental issues, constantly striving in pursuit of the right balance between development and conservation. This is borne out by the many achievements and widespread recognition it has attained in the environmental field.
In 2005 Costa Cruises became the first company in the world to receive the "Green Star" across the fleet from RINA; this prestigious notation certifies that all Costa’s vessels comply with environmental standards for the prevention of pollution of the marine environment and it is actually stricter than the prevailing provisions of the international MARPOL Convention.
Further confirmation comes in the form of the partnership established in 2005 with WWF Italia, which Costa Cruises is supporting in the efforts to safeguard the marine environment. Starting in 2009, this partnership has been devoted to a project protecting the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2007 Costa Cruises endorsed the very first version of the voluntary "Venice Blue Flag" agreement designed to safeguard the environment and heritage of Venice. The initiative, which is promulgated by the local Municipality, Harbor Master’s Office and Port Authority, is designed to reduce air emissions. Under the terms of this major environmental undertaking, Costa Cruises, along with the other signatories to the agreement, adopts standards for all its ships calling in Venice that are actually stricter than the environmental compliance provisions currently in force.
For three editions in a row since 2005, the Swiss branch of the tour operator Kuoni has bestowed on Costa Cruises the Green Planet Award, which is the highest seal of eco-approval in the travel and tourism sector, for the exemplary ecological management and performance of its ships, aimed at minimizing their environmental impact.
Confirming its role as a major player in the field of environmental compliance, in 2007 Costa also entered an agreement with CIAL – the National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminum -for the separate disposal and recycling of aluminum packaging on board its liners, a first for Italian shipping.
Elsewhere, in 2005 Costa launched a project of collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission for monitoring climate change in the Mediterranean.
Last but not least, on April 22 2008 Costa Cruises participated in "International Earth Day", through the promotion SEED (Steiner Evergreen Earth Drive) launched by Steiner Leisure, Costa’s partner in the management of its shipboard spas. For every Guest who experienced a treatment that day at one of the wellness centers on board the 12 Costa liners, Steiner Leisure planted a tree (donation of $1) in support of the "Arbor Day Foundation", which is the world’s largest tree-planting organization.