We cannot maintain our quality of life as human beings, the diversity of life on our Earth or our Earth’s ecosystems unless we embrace it. On every scale, there are indications that sustainability is something we must address: We will run out of fossil fuels, thousands of animal species will become extinct, deforestation will go on and many more things nature offers will cease to exist. JCI members are young, active citizens, facing considerable challenges in creating a bright, sustainable future. Thus, it is vital that we make sustainability a central subject of our conference, being fully aware of the debatable “dark side” of the cruise industry on the one hand and the need to earn money for research and development to build cleaner ships on the other hand.
AIDA Cruises takes on responsibility for people and the environment. Sustainability is seen as a process of comprehensive quality which is continuously developed and constantly improved. Its actions are continuously optimized, taking into account the company’s aspirations, new government regulations and technological progress. The basis for this ongoing self-assessment is internal exchange and dialogue with the AIDA stakeholders.
The goal is to ensure safe operation of the ship, to be technologically pioneering, to promote diversity and attractive working conditions and to optimize a recycling system for products and resources. Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises, has set the goal of becoming the world’s first cruise line operator to offer zero emissions travel. They are investing three billion euros in new ships powered by clean liquified natural gas (LNG). By 2021, Warnemünde cruise port will have shore power connections to reduce exhaust emissions by marine engines.
To implement this sustainability strategy, AIDA sets targets for short, medium, and long term goals. Achievements are measured based on key performance indicators. The AIDA sustainability program always takes current ecological, social and economic developments into account. The targets reflect the ambition to continue setting standards in sustainability in the cruise industry. Accordingly, communication between the Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr. Monika Griefahn – one of the founders of Greenpeace and former environmental State Minister of Lower Saxony – with her team and the individual departments of the company is quite extensive.
The AIDA sustainability program is controlled centrally and implemented locally. It is anchored on all levels of the company and is implemented by each department. An integrated management system supports optimization for the benefit of the objectives. All objectives and measures as well as the current status of the AIDA sustainability activities have been compiled in an overview we attached as an appendix to our bid.
Based on the first JCI World Congress to have a carbon-neutral footprint (Leipzig in 2014), we want to install activities to compensate the emission of carbon dioxide carried out by our conference on a cruise ship as well. There are no actions that can be taken in advance to avoid all of the emissions. However, carbon offsetting is to be achieved by means of compensatory mitigation measures. With our conference we want to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 13 “Climate Action”.
The topic of sustainability will also appear during our conference. Together with our innovative partners, we want to show to approximately 2,000 international leaders, experts or even potential investors from all over Europe what is possible today in terms of climate protection and why Germany is a pioneer when it comes to energy and sustainability issues.