Virgin Voyages Filling Up With Sustainable Fuel

Virgin Voyages has partnered with independent sustainability experts, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), along with three leading waste-based sustainable fuel providers to deliver low carbon fuels to the marine industry. Argent Energy, GoodFuels and Twelve are collaborating with the cruise line to further advance Virgin Voyages’ commitment of reaching net zero by 2050.

Following months of detailed research, Virgin Voyages has taken an important step to advancing a low-carbon future by establishing key partnerships and building a portfolio approach to sustainable marine fuel (SMF) supply. Recognizing there is currently no one-size-fits-all, low-carbon fuel solution, Virgin Voyages will enter into long-term agreements for sustainable marine fuels with these providers, which includes plans to add others over time.

Adopting drop-in sustainable fuels, such as those made from abundant, problematic waste or direct air capture of CO2, is paramount for reducing emissions and reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Virgin Voyages estimates that by switching to sustainable marine fuels, the line will reduce its life-cycle carbon emissions from fuel by 75% or more.

This action includes championing key partnerships across the industry and advocating for supportive policies and incentives that will enable these solutions to reach a greater scale. Virgin Voyages is prepared to rise to the occasion by working collectively with other leading stakeholders to drive demand and increase access to supply. This is an important first step in developing the appropriate infrastructure and creating supportive policies for routine commercial use.

Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said: “In order to significantly reduce our carbon footprint further, we must transition to lower-carbon fuel sources as soon as possible.  We could do this today with our existing engines if more sustainable ‘drop-in’ fuels were available in our ports of call. Unfortunately, these fuels are not yet widely available, and in most cases, are not cost competitive. We want to work with partners to pioneer for the essential change.”

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, said that: “Virgin will always aim to be a leader in the industries we operate in. We aspire to make the cruise industry better in many ways including through climate action. I’m proud that Virgin Voyages will be working with industry partners and others to shape the future of more sustainable cruise travel and to bring about a real sea change for all.”

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