“Glass of wine?”
Lily turned and smiled at the uniformed server walking toward her in the cruise ship’s sky lounge patio. “No, thanks,” she said. “I’m working.”
He nodded and walked off. Lily leaned against the ship’s railing and watched the blue water scroll by. It was a gorgeous day, and the massive ship was filled with happy people on vacation.
“Excuse me? Did you say you work for the ship?”
Lily turned to find an elderly woman dressed in bright leisurewear approaching her, drink in hand. She smiled. “Not the ship—I’m not part of the crew. I work for the cruise line itself. I’m a sustainability expert. The cruise line is trying to make their ships as environmentally friendly as possible.”
“Oh! Sounds impressive. The ship seems to be a pretty progressive one if you ask me. They got rid of all the single-use plastics, which is actually a little irritating!”
Lily laughed. “True—but they still have a lot of work to do to reduce their footprint. They got rid of most plastics—but they’re still handing out plastic utensils that you throw away!”
The woman smiled. “Ah yes, I see—you do have your work cut out for you!”
The cruise industry has long been the subject of criticism for its impact on the environment, especially the world’s oceans. But in recent years the industry as a whole has undertaken a large number of environmentally-conscious initiatives to reduce that impact by investing billions of dollars in new technologies. These initiatives include identifying cleaner fuels, reducing carbon emissions, reducing or eliminating single-use plastics, and reducing food waste as well as particulate plastic pollution.
To develop these programs into effective strategies, the industry may need to hire a large number of sustainability experts and environmental engineers. This might lead to a spike in career opportunities in this segment of the cruise industry.
Footnote: Business Reporter, “Sustainability Above The Ocean Waves,” Forbes, October 19, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/businessreporter/2020/10/19/sustainability-above-the-ocean-waves/#65b6788474a2