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*******Judge's June 3rd Decision re Carnival Corp Sanctions*****


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1 hour ago, FiredogCruiser said:

 

Personally, I would like to know a whole lot more of the details before forming an opinion regarding the corporate management. I don't doubt that some dumping occurred. But I highly doubt it was ordered or even condoned by the ship management, let alone the corporate management. Whether it was intentional on the part of an individual employee, or accidental, to me would make a big difference. Understanding that CCL is the largest cruise company in the world, automatically makes them the biggest target in the cruise industry for environmental activism. So, is CCL all that worse than others, or simply a bigger target to go after in establishing an environmental dialog? Far to many industrial mole hills have been turned into mountains by over zealous bureaucrats for me to simply accept that CCL has a criminal management team, without more information. And don't get me started on judges with personal agendas! In the meanwhile I will happily continue booking cruises with CCL brands (three on the books at this point).

If you want the details, here is the report of the Court Appointed Monitor for the first year (2018) of the probation:

 

https://www.stand.earth/sites/default/files/US v. Princess. First Annual Report of the Monitor.pdf

 

In very early pages, you will find where the CAM and third party auditors place the blame for the continued violations that occurred during that year of probation.  I will say that most shipping companies have a similar attitude towards environmental compliance, some better, some worse, and it takes a DOJ probation to turn corporate culture around, as I have seen at two companies that were under DOJ probation.  What is unique here, is that Carnival has apparently "not gotten the message" that compliance needs to be met.  The biggest failure of the corporate culture is the fact, noted in the report, that while the corporation had appointed a compliance officer, with the responsibility to ensure a compliance and training plan were implemented, he was given no authority to carry out the plan.  This decision comes directly from the senior management of Carnival Corp.

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28 minutes ago, FiredogCruiser said:

 

Personally, I would like to know a whole lot more of the details before forming an opinion regarding the corporate management. I don't doubt that some dumping occurred. But I highly doubt it was ordered or even condoned by the ship management, let alone the corporate management. Whether it was intentional on the part of an individual employee, or accidental, to me would make a big difference. Understanding that CCL is the largest cruise company in the world, automatically makes them the biggest target in the cruise industry for environmental activism. So, is CCL all that worse than others, or simply a bigger target to go after in establishing an environmental dialog? Far to many industrial mole hills have been turned into mountains by over zealous bureaucrats for me to simply accept that CCL has a criminal management team, without more information. And don't get me started on judges with personal agendas! In the meanwhile I will happily continue booking cruises with CCL brands (three on the books at this point).

 

The board and corporate culture at HQ has not effected the enjoyment of my cruises in the past, and won't going forward. 

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16 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

If you want the details, here is the report of the Court Appointed Monitor for the first year (2018) of the probation:

 

https://www.stand.earth/sites/default/files/US v. Princess. First Annual Report of the Monitor.pdf

 

In very early pages, you will find where the CAM and third party auditors place the blame for the continued violations that occurred during that year of probation.  I will say that most shipping companies have a similar attitude towards environmental compliance, some better, some worse, and it takes a DOJ probation to turn corporate culture around, as I have seen at two companies that were under DOJ probation.  What is unique here, is that Carnival has apparently "not gotten the message" that compliance needs to be met.  The biggest failure of the corporate culture is the fact, noted in the report, that while the corporation had appointed a compliance officer, with the responsibility to ensure a compliance and training plan were implemented, he was given no authority to carry out the plan.  This decision comes directly from the senior management of Carnival Corp.

So how do they continue to get away with doing this?

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1 hour ago, Micah's Grandad said:

So how do they continue to get away with doing this?

That they got hauled into court and both fined again and told to come up with a new compliance plan or face daily fines means that they are no longer getting away with it. Or, at least hopefully this is true.

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5 hours ago, Micah's Grandad said:

So how do they continue to get away with doing this?

 

3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

That they got hauled into court and both fined again and told to come up with a new compliance plan or face daily fines means that they are no longer getting away with it. Or, at least hopefully this is true.

Yes, the $20 million is a fine for the 6 egregious violations found by the auditor teams.  The daily fines will be for not meeting benchmarks on deadline in working towards a more effective compliance culture.

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3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

That they got hauled into court and both fined again and told to come up with a new compliance plan or face daily fines means that they are no longer getting away with it. Or, at least hopefully this is true.

After agreeing to be environmentally conscious they showed their contempt by continuing to do the same. They tell us of their concern by banning straws.

 

IMHO the senior management of Carnival should be behind bars for contempt of court. A 20 million dollar fine at this point is rather a drop in the bucket to them.

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51 minutes ago, Micah's Grandad said:

After agreeing to be environmentally conscious they showed their contempt by continuing to do the same. They tell us of their concern by banning straws.

 

IMHO the senior management of Carnival should be behind bars for contempt of court. A 20 million dollar fine at this point is rather a drop in the bucket to them.

 

Just FYI that whole 'straw' announcement was sent on the SAME DAY as this court ruling....not coincidence. 

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

 

Yes, the $20 million is a fine for the 6 egregious violations found by the auditor teams.  The daily fines will be for not meeting benchmarks on deadline in working towards a more effective compliance culture.

Basically, the judge seemed to be saying the past is the past, but I am more interested in what happens in the future. 

 

Time will only tell how strict the benchmarks will be and how compliant the various Carnival lines will be.

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7 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

If you want the details, here is the report of the Court Appointed Monitor for the first year (2018) of the probation:

 

https://www.stand.earth/sites/default/files/US v. Princess. First Annual Report of the Monitor.pdf

 

In very early pages, you will find where the CAM and third party auditors place the blame for the continued violations that occurred during that year of probation.  I will say that most shipping companies have a similar attitude towards environmental compliance, some better, some worse, and it takes a DOJ probation to turn corporate culture around, as I have seen at two companies that were under DOJ probation.  What is unique here, is that Carnival has apparently "not gotten the message" that compliance needs to be met.  The biggest failure of the corporate culture is the fact, noted in the report, that while the corporation had appointed a compliance officer, with the responsibility to ensure a compliance and training plan were implemented, he was given no authority to carry out the plan.  This decision comes directly from the senior management of Carnival Corp.

 

 

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I read through the entire report, and I still would need more information before coming to a conclusion. I am very familiar with these types of reports, albeit more from an industrial setting, but it is always the same in so much as a very large amount of emphasis always seems to be placed on 'culture' versus 'blame'. It generally means that holding employees accountable is a negative thing, while the proper thing to do is have a 'culture' that holds the entire organization accountable for the inappropriate actions of an employee. I also see that included in the report, although with little emphasis, is the fact that a number of responsible management employees felt that many of the 'findings' were 'nit-picking' and in some cases entirely wrong, in that equipment found to be inadequate wasn't even on line, and eventually the finding was reversed. I didn't see any accusation of corporate flagrant intention to disregard regulations. To the contrary, what I saw was a lot of evidence of the corporation implementing policies and procedures to address a multitude of issues. I did, as I suspected, notice they pointed out the fact of CCL being the largest cruise industry corporation, and inferring that because of that they are held to a higher standard. Even so within the corporate structure, noting the difference in the number of ships between brands.

 

I am not saying that CCL did not have infractions, or doesn't need to make corrections. But those corrections are going to have to center on holding employees accountable, not some arbitrary culture that says 'we are terrible' every time someone screws up. I am firmly of the opinion that CCL is intentionally being made an example due to their size. (The report acknowledges infractions by every form of shipping there is, yet this is the case being publicized.)

 

I am also convinced that no matter what the cruise industry does, there will be those filing environmental complaints due to a basic dislike of the industry, as we have seen in several areas wanting to utilize any excuse to attack the industry, limit port access, or adopt regulations intended to create infractions to be used to deny port access or services. We have seen that in the NE USA, Italy and to a lessor extent Greece within the past several months. Interesting too, is that no matter how legitimate the concern might be, you always seem to find shore based competition involved in the orchestrated opposition.

 

There is just too much outrage in the world today, in my opinion anyway. Each must come to their own conclusions. Meanwhile I intend to continue to enjoy CCL brand vacations.

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The institution of the "learning culture" rather than the "blame culture" is a basic tenet of the ISM Code (International Safety Management), and is based on the fact that if you "blame" an incident on an individual, you will not get accurate information from that individual, or others who may feel they will get blamed if they tell the truth, and therefore you cannot learn how and why the incident happened, and ways to improve performance, and mediate or eliminate future instances.  In the two decades that the ISM has been in force, I have seen it's merits and companies' attitude towards becoming safer and more compliant with regulations increase greatly.  When a corporation has an attitude of learning from its mistakes, the employees work in that same vein.  Now, employees will still be held accountable if they violate the policies and procedures of the ISM Code, whether they be environmental or whatever, but they also know that if they operate within the ISM Code, there will be no disciplinary action taken, and that if they operate within the Code, yet their supervisors and superiors do not, there is mechanisms in place to report these non-conformities, and that the employees will be sheltered from discipline from their supervisors for adhering to proper practices.

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On 6/11/2019 at 7:53 PM, SwordBlazer Cruising said:

Hey Jimbo5544, people on here were saying that Carnival was doing it for PR and to " cut costs" and '"Nickle and Dime" I really do not recall seeing them say that about NCL....

Understand, I was just making the point that if others are doing it, then it is not just smoke and mirror marketing ploy.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm bumping this because Carnival was back in court yesterday to explain what they've done and what they're going to do.  The Miami Herald has an article on it here:  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article235686347.html , along with the AP:  https://www.apnews.com/989d32ac762c4b5288c94532575c5dbe and Skift:  https://skift.com/2019/10/02/federal-judge-warns-carnival-on-ocean-pollution-promise-less-more-action/ .

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23 minutes ago, Honolulu Blue said:

I'm bumping this because Carnival was back in court yesterday to explain what they've done and what they're going to do.  The Miami Herald has an article on it here:  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article235686347.html , along with the AP:  https://www.apnews.com/989d32ac762c4b5288c94532575c5dbe and Skift:  https://skift.com/2019/10/02/federal-judge-warns-carnival-on-ocean-pollution-promise-less-more-action/ .

Thank you. I know it's very hard to change corporate culture across the fleet. Heck, I just retired from the Navy and we had to take so much training every year on sexual harassment because, even with the risk of punishment, it just keeps happening. 

 

I hope the culture changes and I hope Carnival Corp found those who were guilty of environmental misdeeds and sent them packing.

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2 hours ago, fyree39 said:

Thank you. I know it's very hard to change corporate culture across the fleet. Heck, I just retired from the Navy and we had to take so much training every year on sexual harassment because, even with the risk of punishment, it just keeps happening. 

 

I hope the culture changes and I hope Carnival Corp found those who were guilty of environmental misdeeds and sent them packing.

Having been through a couple of these DOJ probations for pollution violations, I understand that the time window from the last fine/plea agreement is pretty short, it does not sound like Carnival is moving as quickly as the judge would like.  While you are correct that it is difficult to change corporate culture, it is possible if enough money is thrown at the problem.  The two shipping companies I've worked for that were on probation, including NCL, instituted a "no budget limit" on environmental compliance once placed on probation, and tackled the job for the most part within a year.  What Carnival needs to do is to place the most emphasis on training and culture in their own corporate headquarters, as even the court appointed monitor found in the last reports prior to the latest fine, that the shipboard crew are environmentally conscious, and want to do the job right.  Frankly, I think Carnival needs to clean house at the superintendent/fleet manager level, as well as possibly some folks at the top.

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2 hours ago, Honolulu Blue said:

I'm bumping this because Carnival was back in court yesterday to explain what they've done and what they're going to do.  The Miami Herald has an article on it here:  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article235686347.html , along with the AP:  https://www.apnews.com/989d32ac762c4b5288c94532575c5dbe and Skift:  https://skift.com/2019/10/02/federal-judge-warns-carnival-on-ocean-pollution-promise-less-more-action/ .

Thank you for posting that. It certainly sounds like the judge is not at all pleased with the rate of progress. I have a feeling that if things are not very much better by the next hearing in December that she is ready to throw the book at them.

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"But we've eliminated straws, individual butter pats, and plastic stir sticks. What more do you want?"

 

That's how I feel they've treated this. I don't think it's a coincidence that their announcement to eliminate some of the plastic products on Carnival ships came immediately after the judge agreed to the deal made with federal prosecutors back in June. Carnival used it as a PR opportunity to make it appear they were doing it of their own volition based on their caring of the environment, but they're in this position because history has shown they didn't care so much. Even after they got busted for it the first time. I saw the elimination of certain plastics as an excuse for them to not have to mess with it anymore. They were caught dumping food waste without separating plastics, as regulations require, so instead of doing the job right, they just eliminate some plastics to make it easier on themselves. Then tell everyone it's because they love the oceans. Unless the day comes when these plastic products are legally banned outright, I don't care that they're on the ship. Just suck it up and dispose of them properly.

 

The judge and the court appointed monitors recognize that a big part of the problem is on the corporate level, so if you ask me, if Carnival Corp. doesn't have any intentions to fix that, then it's a clear sign they're not taking this seriously.

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1 hour ago, bury me at sea said:

We all read things differently.  I read the problem continues to stem from the top down, not from employees handling waste on the ships.  It's disappointing.

I think Chaos is saying the same thing.  The reason that plastic separation from food waste became a prime topic for Carnival is because the judge mentioned that Princess had been found guilty of dumping plastic 20 years ago, and yet they were back in court over the same issue.  The separation of plastic from food waste is just one of many types of pollution that Carnival was found to have committed while on probation (air emissions, refrigerant emissions, oil pollution, legal record keeping), but these are "back of house" problems, so Carnival doesn't want to bring any more attention to these than they have to, so they keep pushing the single use plastic topic.

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21 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

I think Chaos is saying the same thing.  The reason that plastic separation from food waste became a prime topic for Carnival is because the judge mentioned that Princess had been found guilty of dumping plastic 20 years ago, and yet they were back in court over the same issue.  The separation of plastic from food waste is just one of many types of pollution that Carnival was found to have committed while on probation (air emissions, refrigerant emissions, oil pollution, legal record keeping), but these are "back of house" problems, so Carnival doesn't want to bring any more attention to these than they have to, so they keep pushing the single use plastic topic.

 

I agree Carnival doesn't want to bring more attention to the root of the problem.  PR window dressing doesn't address the real issues.

 

Back in June I stated my opinion that nothing would change significantly until top management and the Board of Directors were held accountable.  It was not a popular opinion then and I don't expect it will be now.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

I think Chaos is saying the same thing.  The reason that plastic separation from food waste became a prime topic for Carnival is because the judge mentioned that Princess had been found guilty of dumping plastic 20 years ago, and yet they were back in court over the same issue.  The separation of plastic from food waste is just one of many types of pollution that Carnival was found to have committed while on probation (air emissions, refrigerant emissions, oil pollution, legal record keeping), but these are "back of house" problems, so Carnival doesn't want to bring any more attention to these than they have to, so they keep pushing the single use plastic topic.

I think you assessed the situation appropriate back the, have no reason to think differently now.  Do you think the latest call to the burning bush will incite them any more now?

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1 hour ago, jimbo5544 said:

I think you assessed the situation appropriate back the, have no reason to think differently now.  Do you think the latest call to the burning bush will incite them any more now?

Nope.  Very interesting how different companies deal with problems like this.  As I said, NCL and the other company I've worked for placed extreme emphasis on meeting the environmental compliance, no matter what the cost, and in fact my present company's compliance plan is what the DOJ uses as their benchmark for all subsequent cases.  Carnival seems to feel that they can dawdle along and do things on their own timeline.  Come December, the potential fines escalate to $1 million/day.

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24 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Nope.  Very interesting how different companies deal with problems like this.  As I said, NCL and the other company I've worked for placed extreme emphasis on meeting the environmental compliance, no matter what the cost, and in fact my present company's compliance plan is what the DOJ uses as their benchmark for all subsequent cases.  Carnival seems to feel that they can dawdle along and do things on their own timeline.  Come December, the potential fines escalate to $1 million/day.

It is so frustrating as an employee of a major corporation when the C Suite won't listen to someone who has 30+ years of experience and can see the circle coming back around. Since you don't have a Business degree from Harvard or Yale,,, you don't have the big picture and "need to stay in your lane". 

3 years later, C Suite personnel rolls over, new leadership comes in after an 80% drop in market share, and only then do things start to change,, maybe.

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5 hours ago, bury me at sea said:

We all read things differently.  I read the problem continues to stem from the top down, not from employees handling waste on the ships.  It's disappointing.

 

If that's directed at me, I too look at this as a top down problem. I don't think any of the major violations, such as all the illegal dumping (oil waste, plastics, etc.), came from rogue employees. Their decisions to continue to violate the law before and during their probation had to have been known by higher-ups. Their decision to eliminate certain single use plastics also came from corporate. They saw it as an opportunity that would benefit them in multiple ways. It makes it easier on themselves by not having to use the manpower to separate the plastics. It more than likely saves them a lot of money, both in use of resources (manpower) and not having to buy certain products. Plus, they used it for good PR. But all I'm hearing in this most recent court appearance is more excuses. "It takes time. We need time." Well the companies that chengkp75 worked for proved that it can be done fairly quickly and done right.

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I found it interesting that the Miami Herald article describes testimony (or at least conversation) that included the Concordia, which the judge brought up as a reference point and Arison openly stated his view on the topic.

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