What EHS Pros can learn from Princess Cruise Lines (and save $40 million)

In 2013, a Princess cruise ship illegally dumped oily water from a “magic pipe” into the coastal waters of Britain. An engineer reported it and after an extensive investigation, a plea deal was arranged, along with a $40 million fine and 5-years of environmental oversight.

What went wrong?

Princess has 6 core values, including respect, accountability, and “We do it right.”

Isn’t that enough?

Just like “Safety First“, having the right core values is less important than resolving the disconnect between operations and intent. Call it normalized deviance, call it what you will, it happens to nearly every organization at one time or another.

As an EHS leader (and you are), how do you avoid this disconnect?

1. Be vigilant and be ready to act: Don’t wait, don’t condone by walking away, don’t accept it.

2. Talk about it: speak with your staff about the dangers of the disconnect. Encourage them to also be vigilant.

On a positive note, for a well done corporate apology and public affairs campaign on the issue, check out the Princess page linked here.


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