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Costa Cruises Issues Third Sustainability ReportApril 2, 2009 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor
Costa released the third edition of its Sustainability Report, which highlights corporate activity in relation to the environment and social accountability from the period of December 2006 through November 2007. It was created in accordance with guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and certified by RINA (the Italian Shipping Register).
“2007 was an excellent year in terms of financial performance, with operating results that strengthened the leadership in Italy and across Europe for Costa Cruises, which also became the first operator in Europe to set the record of 1,100,000 guest bookings in 12 months,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A. “The Sustainability Report confirms that Costa’s economic and market excellence is matched by its excellence in the fields of environmental protection and social accountability.”
The Sustainability Report, which is available online at www.costacruises.com is a purely voluntary form of reporting designed to provide comprehensive and transparent information on the effects of corporate activity in regards to the environment and the community. In addition to its social, environmental and economic performance, the report also conveys the basic operating principles of the company.
Costa Cruises obtained significant results in the area of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION in the period highlighted in the report:
¬ 15 percent reduction in the consumption of water supplied on board the ships. Most of the water (73 percent in 2007) used on the ships in the Costa fleet is produced directly on board by means of reverse desalination plants.
¬ 10 percent reduction in the amount of garbage generated: Sorting for recycling is applied to 100 percent of solid waste on board, which is treated separately for each category using compactors, incinerators and glass crushers. There is also a company ban on the overboard discharge of any solid waste.
¬ 18 percent increase in the quantity of waste recycled: Approximately 400 m3 of aluminum was sent for recycling in 2007, under an agreement with CIAL (National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminum). In addition, nearly 2100 m3 of glass was sent for recycling. Contractors were also chosen for recycling of cooking oil and batteries. In recognition of its commitment to recycling, Costa Cruises won the CIAL “Comune Riciclone” award in 2007.
¬ The commissioning of feasibility studies designed to reduce fuel consumption and air emissions of the ships, which thereby limit the environmental impact of the fleet. Currently, a campaign of sampling and analysis is being carried out on board Costa’s ships with measurement of engine and diesel generator emissions, and monitoring of levels of electromagnetic emissions from the generation and supply of electrical power.
¬ The endorsement of the Venice Blue Flag agreement designed to safeguard the environment and heritage of Venice. Under the terms of this initiative, which is promulgated by the local Municipality, Harbor Master’s Office and Port Authority, Costa Cruises adopts standards for all its ships calling in Venice that are actually stricter than the environmental compliance provisions currently enforced.
The Report also describes the many initiatives undertaken in the field of social ReSPONSIBILITY:
¬ Additional Employee Training Activities. One key example was the opening of a new campus in Manila at the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts (MIHCA), one of the most prestigious hotel training academies in the Asia-Pacific region. The new facility is dedicated to the education of personnel on Costa's ships employed in the restaurant, housekeeping, galley and bar areas.
¬ The level of safety also improved in several ways, a highlight of which was an updating of the risk assessment for each work area and increasing the efficiency of the abandon ship systems.
¬ In 2007 Costa also sponsored and took part in many community and cultural initiatives, promoting various events both in partnerships and in its own right.
Costa Cruises’ commitment to safeguarding the environment and sustainable tourism is also reflected in the assignment of RINA’s Green Star notation – in 2005 Costa became the first company in the world to achieve this form of recognition of voluntary compliance certifying that all its ships comply with environmental standards for the prevention of pollution of the marine environment. This is also highlighted via Costa’s partnerships with WWF Italy, which the company is supporting in the efforts to safeguard three of the most precious marine ecoregions on the planet (the Mediterranean Sea, the Greater Antilles, and the Northeast coast of Brazil), and with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission for monitoring climate change in the Mediterranean.
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, 1999) and social accountability (SA 8000, 2001), guaranteeing the measurement of company performance and continuous improvement. Costa obtained the B.E.S.T. 4 from RINA in 2004, becoming the first company in the world to do so.
Costa Cruises’ “B.E.S.T. 4” project was among the winners at the recent “Fiera Sicurezza e Sicurtech Expo” (Security & Safety Exhibition), which this year set up a special “Social Corporate Responsibility Prize” for enterprises that not only comply with all the relevant occupational and preventive safety requirements, but stand out on account of the results they have obtained thanks to the introduction of special preventive measures.