Stay Green While Cruising the High Seas - Page 4

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Green Cruise, sustainable cruising, Holland America
Holland America consistently ranks amongst the best sustainable cruise lines in the world.  (Holland America)

So how does a ship the size of a city block operate in an environmentally responsible manner? The answer: much like a small city of 2,000 to 4,000 does, with strict rules in place. Some companies perform better than others, and consistency says a lot. Holland America, in particular, is known for regularly complying with environmental protocols. It rates as a top environmentally and sustainably responsible "big ship" choice.

In cooperation with NOAA's Fisheries Service and the U.S. National Park Service, Holland America developed "Avoiding Whale Strikes," a whale conservation program required by all deck officers on Holland America vessels. Comprehensive computer-based training teaches crews to assist in the recovery and ensure the safety of all whale species, and it's now being shared with the cruise and maritime community.

William Morani Jr., Holland America's vice president of safety and environmental management systems, believes small steps can add up to big results. He incorporates this philosophy into his daily work regime. "There are a lot of little things that we do very well; taken together, it all tells who we are," he says. "If everybody is successful on the ship, from bottom to top, then we will all be successful."

When he boards one of his ships, he goes straight to the garbage room. He wants employees to know it takes a team effort. "I spend a good 15 to 20 minutes there. I talk to the workers down there. They don't have a sexy job. They are down there sorting through all your garbage to make sure that plastic doesn't go overboard. If someone tossed a can, then it gets pulled aside for recycling ... It all gets dumped on a table and they go through it, sorting it all."

Morani emphasizes the importance of their actions. "I go down and tell them, one, I appreciate what they do, and two, you may not realize this, but you do play an important role in what goes out into the environment."

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