Royal Celebrity Tours, the land- based-vacation arm of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, known for wowing travelers with once-in-a-lifetime pre- and post cruise experiences, has also impressed Green Star, an Anchorage, Alaska-based nonprofit organization that promotes pollution prevention in the workplace.

Green Star presented Royal Celebrity Tours with its esteemed Green Star Award during an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce event on February 5.

“Royal Celebrity Tours deeply values the environment and we are committed to protecting and preserving natural resources,” said Royal Celebrity Tours President Craig Milan. “We sought out Green Star as a way to engage our Alaska employees in a concerted effort to make small changes that would result in a big win for the environment.”

To achieve Green Star Award status, Royal Celebrity Tours was required to meet a series of pre-determined “Green Star Standards.” These include outreach and education; efforts to purchase recyclable, recycled-content and energy- efficient products; waste prevention; paper-, energy- and water-use reduction; and a comprehensive recycling program. In most instances, Royal Celebrity Tours exceeded the number of activities required for each Green Star Standard.

“Royal Celebrity Tours provided one of the most complete and detailed achievement reports we have seen, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the Green Star process and goals,” said Green Star Program Director Jeanne Carlson. “By implementing a wide range of innovative initiatives, Royal Celebrity Tours impressed us.”

Royal Celebrity Tours placed particular emphasis on reducing the amount of time its motorcoaches’ engines idle. Determined to reduce the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere and to cut fuel costs, Royal Celebrity Tours instructed all of its motorcoach drivers to turn engines off every time they were waiting for guests. To measure the outcome, Royal Celebrity Tours compared the data tracked by the motorcoaches’ internal computers in 2001 to 2003 to that from 2004 to 2006, when the idle-reduction initiative was being implemented. A sample of 13 motorcoaches showed a result of a nearly 17% reduction in engine-idling time.

Royal Celebrity Tours also extended its internal practices to its guests, asking them to join in recycling beverage containers. After being educated by Royal Celebrity tour guides, guests would place glass, plastic and aluminum containers in separate bags during their time on a motorcoach or a railcar.

“Green Star is thrilled that Royal Celebrity Tours has achieved a Green Star Award,” said Green Star Executive Director Sean Skaling. “Their commitment to the environment and the specific steps they have taken to achieve the Green Star Award will serve them, their customers, and our environment well, as more and more people choose to support environmentally high-performing businesses and products.”

Guests who book Royal Celebrity Tours in Alaska are immersed in the natural beauty of the vast land and its native inhabitants — grizzlies, caribou, bald eagles, and thousands of other species.

“It is our hope that our employees’ continued efforts to work and live by the Green Star Standards will not only have a positive effect on the Alaskan wilderness, but also, through our outreach to guests, help to raise environmental awareness,” Milan said.

Green Star began in 1990 as a collaborative effort of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Alaska Center for the Environment. In 1996, Green Star became its own nonprofit organization and has been adding programs and helping businesses save money ever since. Green Star’s mission is to recognize organizations for their voluntary environmental efforts. This is accomplished through education, outreach, technical assistance, and a nationally recognized award program. By focusing on waste reduction, recycling, pollution prevention, and energy efficiency, Green Star demonstrates cost savings and workplace efficiencies in a wide variety of business sectors, ranging from small, family-owned establishments to large corporations, as well as nonprofits, government agencies, and schools.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Pullmantur. The company has a combined total of 34 ships in service and six under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and Latin America.