Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The world's fourth largest cruise company announced plans on Friday to become the first carbon-neutral cruise line on Earth within the next eight weeks.
The Swiss-based company said it will buy credits to offset carbon emissions from its 17 ships by Jan. 1. The carrier made the announcement as its MSC Grandiosa, billed as its most environmentally-advanced cruise ship, entered service in Germany.
Carbon offsetting is a process in which certain volumes of greenhouse gas emissions are neutralized by funding projects that create an equivalent reduction. MSC has not specified which projects it will fund, but said it favors "blue credits," or projects in coastal cities worldwide.
"Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing," said Executive Director Pierfrancesco Vago. "Thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2024 versus 2008, well on our way to meet the 40 percent reduction target set for 2030."
The company's U.S. operation is headquartered in Miami, where it plans to build a $300 million office and terminal by 2022.