Friends of the Earth 2014 Cruise Report Card – Disney Cruise Line Rank Most Environmentally Responsible Cruise Line

Friends of the Earth released their 2014 Cruise Report Card which compares the environmental footprint of 16 major cruise lines and 167 cruise ships. The Friends of the Earth report card grades cruise lines on four criteria: sewage treatment technology; whether ships can plug into shore-based power and if they use cleaner fuel than required by U.S. and international law; compliance with Alaska’s water quality regulations to protect the state’s coast; and transparency which is a new criteria this year.

A new transparency grade was introduced this year to grade the cruise lines responses to request from Friends of the Earth for more information on each lines’s pollution-reduction technologies. Friends of the Earth sent letters in June to each cruise line to inquire about the steps each cruise line has taken to mitigate the environmental impact of your cruise ships. However, CLIA responded in writing with a refusal to respond to the requests for information on behalf of all 16 cruise lines a in an appeared united front. As a result, all 16 cruise lines received an F in the transparency category. Thus, reducing all 16 cruise line’s final grade.

It should be noted, that Disney Cruise Line did respond the Friends of the Earth inquiry in 2013, based on the wording in the copy of the 2014 information request we were provided to review.

Disney Cruise Line was ranked as the most environmentally responsible cruise line, earning an A for sewage treatment. Its overall grade would have remained an A if it would have responded to the information request from FOE. The F in transparency dropped DCL’s overall grade to a C+. Disney Cruise Line does have an Environmental Fact Sheet available for download. The PDF was last updated in late July 2014. Below are the sections referencing Disney Cruise Line’s water purification measures including their onboard wastewater purification system as well as a snippet regarding fuel efficiency and shore power..

Since water is a precious natural resource, Disney Cruise Line has invested in technology to ensure water purity and taken steps to select earth-friendly cleaners.

  • Advanced Wastewater Purification Systems: All Disney Cruise Line ships feature Advanced Wastewater Purification Systems (AWPS) that utilize natural processes to treat and purify onboard wastewater to levels far exceeding international shipping standards.
  • Organic Cleaning Products: Crew members use biodegradable and organic cleaning products wherever possible, avoiding potentially harmful phosphates and other chemicals associated with traditional cleaners.

Fuel Efficiency & Energy Conservation

  • Shore Power: Three Disney Cruise Line ships (Dream, Fantasy, Wonder) are equipped to plug into shore power, when available.
  • Additional Efforts: Disney Cruise Line increases fuel and energy efficiency by automating onboard air conditioning systems for optimum use in both guest and backstage areas, turning off lights when they are not needed and encouraging guests and crew to reuse bath towels, conserving both energy and water. Furthermore, Disney Cruise Line is in the process of converting all four ships to energy-efficient lighting.

FOE Cruise Ship Report Card 2014

Disney Cruise Line | Friends of the Earth Annual Grades
Year Sewage
Treatment
Air Pollution
Reduction
Water Quality
Compliance
Transparency Final Grade
2009 F F N/A F
2010 A F N/A C-
2011 FOE.org did not issue a Cruise Report Card
2012 A B- N/A A-
2013 A B A A
2014 A B- A F C+
Click on the year to view complete FOE.org Cruise Report card.
N/A – No discharge in Alaskan waters

The following are the grades for each of the Disney Cruise Line ships.  The grades for 2014 were the same as last year’s grades. According to a representative from Friends of the Earth the grades for each ship were the same as last year because Friends of the Earth assumed that the ships still have the technology installed under the Sewage Treatment and Air Pollution Reduction parameters. The transparency grade is not a factor in the individual ship grades.

FOE DCL Cruise Ship Grades 2014

Disney Cruise Line | Friends of the Earth Annual Grades per Ship
Year Sewage
Treatment
Air Pollution
Reduction
Water Quality
Compliance
Final Grade
M W D F M W D F M W D F M W D F
2009 F F F F N/A N/A F F
2010 A A F F N/A N/A C- C-
2011 FOE.org did not issue a Cruise Report Card
2012 A A A A F A C C N/A N/A N/A N/A C- B+ B+ B+
2013 A A A A F A C C N/A A N/A N/A C- A B+ B+
2014 A A A A F A C C N/A A N/A N/A C- A B+ B+
Click on the year to view complete FOE.org Cruise Report card.
M-Disney Magic, W-Disney Wonder, D-Disney Dream, F-Disney Fantasy
N/A – No discharge in Alaskan waters

The Grading Scale

According to the Friends of the Earth, the Cruise Ship Report Card ranks the cruise lines and each ship in the respective fleet according to three environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, and Water Quality Compliance.

  • To determine a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, FOE compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.
  • To determine the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, only ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law.
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used 2010, 2011 and 2012 notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Ships were given an ‘N/A’ if they traveled to Alaska but avoided Alaska’s strong water quality standards by discharging outside of those protected waters.
  • To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line FOE graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2014 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.
  • The grades for each of the criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.

To read more about how the other cruise lines measured up and your other favorite cruise ships, click over to the full 2014 Friends of the Earth Cruise Ship report card.

2 thoughts on “Friends of the Earth 2014 Cruise Report Card – Disney Cruise Line Rank Most Environmentally Responsible Cruise Line

  1. Drew

    While I am proud of DCL for being environmentally responsible, this group reporting loses all credibility when they grade everyone “F” in “transparency”. It just feels like some sort of inferiority complex. “*WE* have the right to know EVERYTHING about your ships. Tell us now or you get an ‘F’.”

    Reply
  2. Pingback: In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors - 12/12/14 | TouringPlans.com Blog

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