Project for the reduction of food waste on the high seas convinces the jury

The winner of this year’s EcoTrophea of the German Travel Association (DRV) is TUI Cruises. The cruise company has convinced the jury of six with its initiative to reduce food waste on cruise liners and won the contest of a total of 21 environmental projects. The Travel Industry Association is presenting this established award already for the 31st time. The goal is to draw attention to initiatives and projects in the travel industry which make an effective contribution towards environmental and nature protection and defend social goals on site. The jury stressed as positive that the guests and employees are directly included and sensitised for the issue, so that a conscientious dealing with existing resources is improved. In particular on cruise liners where guests are able to select from a particularly large culinary offering 24 hours a day, the preparation of food is a major challenge. Due to the highest hygiene demands on board a cruise liner it is not always possible to reuse all foodstuffs. Food residues are hence unavoidable. However, with first measures it was, for instance, possible in a buffet restaurant on one of the cruises to reduce the waste volume already by around 20% during the past months.

How is this achieved? First of all, the food waste is collected in the storage area, production, at the buffet and from the residues of the plates and is then weighed, measured and exactly documented. The waste analysis tool is then used to make an evaluation and identify the potentials for avoidance. These results are compiled in a catalogue of measures. The amounts of food are in this way only produced according to needs and consumption and not on suspicion. The results of the initiative will be made available to the entire cruise industry so that TUI Cruises will also set an impulsion for other companies,” the Chairman of the DRV Sustainability Committee, Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss, emphasises.

DRV has presented the award for environmental protection and social responsibility already since 1987 and hence underlines the significance of sustainability as an unavoidable basis for worldwide tourism. Apart from TUI Cruises, Hotel Schani Vienna and La Tigra Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica made it to the finals for the EcoTrophea 2017. The award was presented in the form of the EcoTrophea sculpture on Saturday 9 December 2017 at the DRV Annual Meeting in Ras Al Khaimah to the environmental manager of TUI Cruises, Lucienne Damm.

The award winner and his project

The reduction of food waste on cruises and the sensitisation of guests and the crew are centre stage in this project launched in autumn 2016. TUI Cruises acts together with the sustainability initiative Futouris e.V. and with the support of United Against Waste e.V., an initiative against food waste. For the first time all food wastes arising on a cruise liner are recorded and analysed systematically within the framework of this pilot project – with the goal of identifying potentials to avoid and / or reduce and develop measures which can then be implemented for the entire fleet. The challenge consists in upholding the ongoing and at all times high-quality catering for the up to 2,800 guests and the up to 1,000 crew members on board whilst simultaneously reducing food waste. Furthermore, specific hurdles must be overcome such as strict hygiene provisions. Altogether the environmental strategy of the cruise company includes the areas of air pollution control, resource preservation, climate protection and waste management. More information on:

The jury

The decision about the winner of the EcoTrophea 2017 was made by the jury including the following six industry experts: Angela Bürvenich (Bayerisches Pilgerbüro and member of the DRV Sustainability Committee), Jan-Ole Jacobs (Deutsche Lufthansa and member of the DRV Sustainability Committee), Claudia Mitteneder (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung), Prof. Dr. Julia Peters (University of Kempten), Dr. Stefanie Pfahl (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Reactor Safety), Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss (Harz University and Chairman of the DRV Sustainability Committee).
Further information on the EcoTrophea and the award winners can be found on