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North Sea Ministerial Meeting


									North Sea Ministerial Meeting
on Environmental Impacts of Shipping and Fisheries

Issue Group on Sustainable Shipping
Hamburg, 1-2 March
                                                                     IGSS MARCH 05/3/

                  Global Green Shipping Initiatives: Audit and Overview

                                      Presented by WWF


WWF welcomes the progress made on the issue of the clean ship approach (BD §48) within
IGSS so far.

Reference is made to the background document on the clean ship approach (IGSS 05/3/1)
presented by Norway and the Netherlands.

Emphasis is given to Chapter 3 “Force Field and Actor Analysis” by which constrainers and
drivers are addressed. WWF would like to recall that the IGSS SEPT 04 meeting in
Copenhagen discussed the importance of connecting the Clean Ship Approach with incentives
(see §3.16 Summary Record). In light of the discussion, WWF announced to come up with
global audit and overview report on green shipping initiatives.

The report concludes that a more co-ordinated and inclusive approach is needed if the
potential benefits of green ship initiatives are to be realised.

Action requested:

The IGSS is invited to take note of this report, and include its findings in the discussion about
possible follow-up actions on §48 BD to be considered by Ministers.

Global Green Shipping Initiatives: Audit and Overview

David Johnson (a), Kate Pike (a) and Simon Walmsley (b)

    (a) School of Maritime & Coastal Studies, Southampton Institute, East Park Terrace, Southampton,

         Hampshire, SO14 OYN. Tel: +44 (0)23 80 319752 email:

    (b) WWF-UK, Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1XR . Tel: +44(0)1483 426444



In an age where the environmental performance of shipping is under increasingly intensive scrutiny, green

shipping initiatives can be viewed as a generic term for efforts intended to encourage excellence rather than

punish under-achievement or negligence.        Primary industry drivers are perceived to be public relations,

compliance and cost savings, with environmental protection as an outcome rather than an ambition. Efforts

external to the shipping industry are part of a wider environmental improvement agenda.

An audit of the initiatives suggests that they fall into one of three categories. Firstly, „technofix‟ initiatives,

mostly led by flag states, encourage the design and implementation of improved or cutting-edge environmental

management technology. Secondly, accreditation for high specification equipment and high quality operational

management, led by port states and international shipping bodies, is encouraged through economic rewards and

external recognition. Thirdly, a number of more holistic, proactive initiatives are co-ordinated by NGOs.

Whilst all these initiatives are laudable there is little evidence to confirm that they are making a real difference.

Public perception of the environmental performance of shipping remains sceptical and/or unengaged. Economic

advantages of good environmental performance are difficult to substantiate.             Substantive environmental

improvements have largely been achieved through use of legislative „stick‟ rather than any reward „carrot‟.

The report concludes that a more co-ordinated and inclusive approach is needed if the potential benefits of green

ship initiatives are to be realised. To achieve this it is suggested that WWF should co-ordinate an approach to

the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and/or initiate an accepted universal initiative. Financial support

for educational work to raise seafarers‟ awareness is proposed to achieve lasting change in the long-term.

Finally, further specific research into links between legislation and incentives for ship recycling is


Author Keywords: Green shipping initiatives, Eco ships, Sustainable shipping

1. Introduction

Sustainable transport is recognised as one of the biggest challenges of the 21 st century. This report represents an

audit of green shipping initiatives based primarily on a desk study. The majority of information is drawn from

initiative specific websites but two recent international conferences have also addressed the subject 1.

Interpretation of information gathered has been undertaken with input from a roundtable practitioner discussion

held at Warsash Maritime Centre UK (June 2004) and selected expert interviews.

1.1 Background

It is recognised that whilst shipping is relatively safe and clean, compared to other transport modes, the industry

does have an impact on the environment. The precautionary principle, sustainable development policies and

ideals, greater public concern about global environmental issues and pressure from other sectors all serve to

reinforce the need for the industry to „keep its house in order‟. To a greater extent this has been achieved

through the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO using legislative instruments, codes

and guidance2. Pollution prevention is further effected by national legislation and enforcement, and appropriate

contingency measures. By identifying key pollution pathways (albeit perhaps the most visible rather than

necessarily those having the most impact) legislation has targeted shortcomings in ship design and operation.

The latest stipulations include requirements for oily water separators, the double hull mandate, the MARPOL

Annex V ban on the discharge of plastic and establishment of a growing network of Particularly Sensitive Sea

Areas. Legislation has been supported and enabled by technological advances. In general, therefore, significant

progress has been made in terms of effective environmental management, with the consensus of the wider

shipping industry, but much of it is reactive and based on a command and control philosophy. Furthermore,

shortcomings persist, including inconsistent application of international legislation, flags of convenience whose

  Clean Seas 1999 and Green Ship Technology: Understanding the technological advances for environmentally
friendly shipping, Lloyd‟s List events, April 2004, London

ships are often manned by substandard crews, patchy enforcement of regulations with insufficient penalties and a

legacy of older less seaworthy vessels.

1.2 What are „green‟ shipping initiatives?

Within the last decade a number of proactive efforts to encourage environmental management improvements

within the shipping industry have emerged. These have variously and collectively been referred to as green

shipping initiatives. For the purposes of this report they have been treated as distinct from the structured

environmental management currently being implemented by many individual ports holdings groups, quality

assurance systems (such as ISO 14001) and the rules of vessels‟ classification societies. Arguably they have the

potential to address environmental impacts associated with shipping for which legislation is new and/or

emerging. The initiatives are diverse but can be grouped as follows:

1.        Technological investment - Initiatives aimed at reducing or obviating harmful environmental

emissions, including the development of ships which under normal conditions have no discharges that will harm

the environment and which, under exceptional conditions, incorporate means of environmental protection in the

event of collisions or groundings;

2.        Economic / PR advantage - Initiatives aimed at conferring an economic/PR advantage to ships and/or

companies who conform to preset target-led standards of construction and/or operation; and

3.        Awareness raising - Initiatives aimed at raising awareness and encouraging environmental

management improvements across the sector.

1.3 Drivers

None of the schemes is compulsory. Advantages of voluntary involvement cited by the proponents of the

initiatives echo those advocated for similar environmental management schemes variously being adopted by

business generally. More specifically (in theory) these include:

    Complementary protocols (SOLAS, IMDG, ISM) have also encouraged environmentally sound operations.

1.        Image/PR – leading edge companies will attract ethical business; environmental efficiency is strongly

linked with safety; a relationship with environmental regulators is important and corporate sustainability

reporting relies on good news and continual progress;

2.        Compliance/cost savings – sound environmental management reduces the risk of fines and law suits;

specific liability improvements can be recognised by insurers and other service industries; cost savings are

possible particularly when attention is given to avoiding/minimising waste and operating efficiency; and

3.        Environmental protection – on the basis that the greater public good relies on a healthy environment,

„green credentials‟ are likely to influence subsequent environmental standards.

2. Current Green Shipping Initiatives

Brief details of each of the initiatives identified are given below. These are presented in chronological order

within the categories highlighted earlier. It should be noted that some initiatives have spawned others, and in

some cases they represent the vanguard of what has become appropriate technology and/or accepted practice.

2.1 Technological investment

Green ships research programme (Norway)

This ground-breaking initiative adopted a scientific approach to identifying and tackling ship generated pollutant

sources. In 1991 funding of US$ 22 million, 75% industry and 25% government sourced, was directed at

technological research and development to reduce environmental impacts. For example, to achieve target

reductions in NOx emissions the programme adopted a three strand approach – adapting and modifying engines,

treating exhaust gases, and modifying fuels.

Mair (1995) summarised key achievements of the programme as:

    Reductions of 15-20% for NOx (by engine technology) and 90% for sulphur and 50% for particulate matter

(by seawater washing of exhaust gases);

   Segregation and crushing of glass as part of reductions in waste volumes; and

   Design changes to reduce vapour emission losses from tankers by 30 – 50%.

Ecoship (Sweden)

Another early innovator in green ship design was the Volvo Penta-led Swedish consortium‟s small

„environmentally friendly‟ containership – the Ecoship. Initiated in 1995, and taking a life cycle approach, the

key elements of this project were:

   A new patented hull shape – producing a 10% reduction in hull resistance compared to the then existing

conventional designs, with reduced wake formation and consequently less erosion;

   Low NOx diesel-electric propulsion – low fuel consumption and lower emissions (15% less power

requirement) running on low-sulphur diesel; and

   A complete double-hull and closed sewage system.

This project illustrates the integrated nature of environmental improvements. The ecoship design simplified

construction, reducing costs, as well as conferring better seagoing performance in heavy seas. Power output is

matched to demand by a management system achieving optimum efficiency. Subsequent refinements include

highly developed electrical distribution and selective catalytic exhaust converter systems. The diesel-electric

propulsion system also optimises cargo space (engines and generators are placed in the bows or on deck). The

consortium promoted ecoship as having advantages for the owner, freight purchaser, industry and society as a


TRESHIP (Technologies for Reduced Environmental Impact from Ships) (Norway)

This initiative, co-ordinated by the Norwegian Shipowners Association, was an EC 5 th Framework research

project intended to scope and identify initiatives for future funding. As one of three thematic areas the project

considered ship design and operation, including green ship design to explore the potential for applying fuel cells

to ships and designs to significantly reduce emissions and discharges in the event of grounding or collision. For

the former prototype demonstration vessels were advocated. For the latter the development of energy absorbing

side and bottom structures, „collision friendly‟ bow structures, and further research into the benefits of ship

concepts using lightweight materials.

Super Ecoships (Japan)

Still in the prototype phase this design includes technology that has been in place for some time in the cruise

industry, namely gas turbines and contra-rotating podded propulsors driven by electric motors. Environmental

benefits are energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In effect this project represents an

investment in technology transfer to domestic transport systems and coastal ships.

Evergreen Post-Panamax Ships (Taiwan)

The Taiwanese company, Evergreen Marine Corporation, are setting up a voluntary initiative targeted at the

environmental integrity of large container ships. To that end the Evergreen group have placed an order with

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd in Japan for ten post-Panamax ships, the first of which is due for delivery in

2005. These 6,724 TEU vessels will be known as the S-class. The intention is that they are built under the

GREENSHIP design concept (from the Evergreen group), which involves the use of a double-hull approach for

the oil fuel tanks, perceived as much safer if the ship has a collision or grounding. Rather than at the sides or

bottom of the ship, fuel tanks will be located along the transverse bulkhead. The vessels are due to be in service

by 2007 and will operate between Europe and the Far East.

Green Scrapping Policy (China and The Netherlands)

An agreement, to take effect from 2003, setting new regulations and guidelines for environmentally acceptable

shipbreaking in China. A TradeWinds report [1], identified China as „ the preferred [shipbreaking] choice for

larger high profile tanker and containership owners, which often accept slightly lower prices in exchange for less

pressure from international environmental organisations‟.      Green scrapping requires appropriate tools and

facilities.   Some companies, such as P&O Nedlloyd contribute financial and technical support to ensure

responsible scrapping.

2.2 Economic / PR advantage

Green Shipping Award (Rotterdam)

The Green Award Foundation was set up in 1994 as an initiative of the Rotterdam Municipal Port Authority and

the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water Management.              Independent since 2000, the Foundation has

established market incentives that promote quality shipping and is unique in that cost reductions are made at

contracting ports for vessels that have achieved this award. There is an annual cost to the ship owner covering

application and audit services of approximately 11,000 euros.

The Green Award Initiative is seen as a pioneer in the field of promoting a maritime, environmental and safety

conscious culture and has been the inspiration for later similar initiatives including the Qualship 21 initiative of

the United States Coast Guard. Eligibility is limited to high quality operators, rewarding them for compliance

with international and national legislation, the achievement of specific requirements for the crew and

management, and attainment of requirements for the technical equipment of vessels [3].

Incentives include a percentage discount off port fees at 45 participating ports in The Netherlands, Lithuania,

Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Germany and on the Shetland Islands. Additional discounts are received variously

from pilot organisations, tug boat companies, chandlery services, port reception facilities and line handling. The

awards distinguish the vessels that have achieved them and confer environmental recognition with customers,

service providers and ports. The promoters hope that other ports and related industries will recognise this award.

Currently there are about 165 vessels that are certified, belonging to over 30 ship owners. Inspection and

certification is applicable for crude oil tankers, product tankers and bulk carriers with a minimum deadweight of

20,000 tons (Greenaward, 2004). Increasingly double-hulled vessels are dominating the Green Award fleet. 3

Favourable publicity often accompanies vessel qualification into what is perceived as an „exclusive‟ club [5].

Blue Angel (Germany)

Launched in 2002, this development of an integrated and internationally applicable incentive scheme for quality

shipping represents the German version of the Green Award. The German Federal Environment Agency

adopted a list of quality shipping criteria to give a rating for environmentally friendly ships, promoted as a

Quality Shipping Initiative qualifying vessels are accredited with a Blue Angel „Label‟. Like the Green Award

the criteria include not only ship specification and equipment but also company operation and personnel

management. The project has been a collaborative effort with representative input from „the ship owners

association (VDR), a labour union (ver.di), the German Ship Safety and Accident Prevention Administration

(See-BG Schiffsicherheitsabteilung), the classification society Germanischer Lloyd (GL), the World Wildlife

Fund for Nature (WWF), the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and GAUSS‟ [2].

The scheme is available to seagoing vessels of all types and trades. Currently it stands as a benchmark for

marketing purposes. In future Blue Angel hopes to offer recognition of green construction and financial

incentives in addition to the 7% discount on all GAUSS fees for advanced training courses.

Qualship 21 (USA)

Qualship 21 is the United States Coast Guard initiative to eliminate substandard shipping and to provide

„targeting schemes‟ 4to identify poor quality vessels. Under the initiative it is felt that quality vessels should not

be subject to the same annual inspection as sub-standard vessels have to undergo. A quality vessel is associated

with a well-run company; has been classed with an organisation that has a good track record; is registered with a

Flag state with a superior Port state control record; and has an outstanding Port state control record in US waters.

The initiative applies to non-US (i.e. foreign-flagged vessels) ships, with an aspiration to develop a similar

initiative for the US flagged fleet. Qualship 21 distinguishes between different types of ships – namely freight,

tank and passenger vessels. Approved vessels receive an initial 2-year certificate entitling them to a less

rigorous inspection regime. Benefits can be summarised as:

   Freight ships – limited Port state control oversight (biannual examinations);

 In 2002 – 70% double hulls; 23% single hulls; 2% double side; 5% double bottom
 The US operate an inspection target matrix that attributes scores to vessel condition in order to determine
boarding priorities. Details can be found in the US Marine Safety Manual at

     Tank ships – annual examinations retained but discretion to reduce the scope of mid-period examinations;


     Passenger ships – use as a marketing tool only

Unlike the Green Award, no reduction in fees is currently offered by Qualship 21, although discussions are

ongoing with the American Association of Port Authorities. Transgressions result in revoking of a vessel‟s


Voluntary class notations and certification

Both Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Lloyd‟s Register (LR) have initiated schemes whereby the classification

society will give approval when environmental quality measures (i.e. achievement of zero discharge for a

number of the pollution components) are built into the vessel‟s design .           DNV have two environmental

protection class notations, namely:

1.         Clean Design – prepared for ships trading in coastal waters (in particular cruiseship and ferry new

builds); and

2.         Clean - prepared primarily for ships engaged in deep sea trading

Lloyds Register‟s Environmental Protection notation recognises ships‟ compliance with LR‟s provisional rules

for Environmental Protection (originally published in 1998). It applies to both new builds and operational


Green Star class notation is the scheme promoted by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) who in

2000 recognised the importance of maintenance and on-board responsibilities and extended this in 2004 to

design. The Green Star scheme has both a Clean Sea and a Clean Air element. The Clean Sea notation requires

bunker tanks to be installed over double bottoms, holding tanks for black and grey water, requirements to ensure

garbage is disposed of safely and ships must use TBT-free anti-fouling. The Clean Air notation sets limits on

SOx and NOx emissions, requirements for refrigeration gases, and controls for incineration plants.

Initial take up of these schemes has been by cruise lines whose new ships incorporate low NOx emission gas

turbines, advanced waste management systems, fuel tanks in protected locations and the use of non-TBT anti-

fouling hull coatings. The first Green Star issued to a chemical/product tanker was made in 2002.

Green Passport (MEPC / IMO)

The Green passport consists of a document listing an inventory of all potentially dangerous materials that would

have an adverse effect on human health and/ or the environment. The listed materials include all those used in

the construction of the ship and the passport of this inventory will accompany the ship throughout its entire life

span right through to decommissioning.

The passport is produced at construction stage by the shipyard and is then passed onto the purchaser. The

document is flexible enough to allow for changes to be recorded in the materials used. New owners of the vessel

are obliged to maintain the accuracy of the Green Passport and to incorporate it into any relevant design and

equipment changes. It is the duty of the final owner to deliver the vessel and the passport to the recycling yard

where virtually the entire ship will be broken down and reused.

Steel from the ship is reprocessed for use, for example, in the construction industry. The generators can be re-

used ashore and hydrocarbons from the vessel become reclaimed oil products such as fuel in rolling mills or in

brick kilns.

It is recognised that recycling of vessels makes a significant contribution to the global conservation of energy

and resources. It also has additional benefits such as providing a labour market employing people in the

recycling process.

However, as noted in 2002 at the 48th session of the IMO‟s MEPC (when the voluntary guidelines were

adopted), whilst in principle ship recycling is a beneficial process, often in reality the working practices carried

out in ship yards and their environmental standards, leave a lot to be desired. The responsibility for working

condition standards ultimately rests with the shipyard and the country where it is located. MEPC suggested that

stakeholders in this sector should be encouraged to promote best working practices and good environmental

standards. ( 2002) [7].

The independent tanker owners‟ association Intertanko endorsed the Green Passport concept in 2004, requiring

all new ships to carry the passport.

2.3 Awareness raising

North Sea Foundation (NSF)

NSF is an independent pressure group based in The Netherlands with an affiliation to Friends of the Earth

International (allowing observer status at IMO and OSPAR). NSF take an holistic view towards safe and clean

maritime transport. This includes a solution-orientated approach, looking for different, environmentally friendly

practices rather than merely seeking mitigation for environmentally damaging activities. For example, NSF

argue that the long-term remedy to prevent release of greenhouse gas enhancing emissions is to design

propulsion units that do not require fossil fuels (similar arguments can be applied to TBT and ballast water).

Success has been gauged by political acceptance of NSF clean ship concept ideas. Zero emissions shipping

aspirations are now enshrined within debate at the North Sea Ministerial Conference (also extended to OSPAR),

which has formed a Sustainable Shipping Group to take ideas forward. However, NSF is a small, charitably

funded organisation. Its reach is limited to the North Sea and its influence helped by the Dutch style of

consensual politics. It is unlikely that similar pressure groups could operate for other Regional Seas in different

political circumstances.

2003 Group

Initiated by WWF this initiative was a proactive response to the IMO Convention banning the application of

organotin anti-fouling paints on ships‟ hulls by 2003 and its presence by 2008. Shipping companies involved

with this partnership committed to a fully organotin-free fleet in advance of the Convention entering into force.

The 2003 Group has subsequently widened its agenda with the hope of emulating the Forest Stewardship

Council model to establish a vanguard of responsible industry leaders.

Keep it Blue

„Keep it Blue‟ is a French-led initiative working alongside other European NGOs that has conducted an

awareness campaign focused on reception facilities for ship-generated waste. Compilation of a database for the

250 leading European ports is in hand. The intention is to be able to track waste for each ship operating in

European ports. The initiative is included here because it has the potential in future to identify high quality

operations as well as unlawful discharges.

Clean Cargo: Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

BSR is a global nonprofit organisation of member companies administered from the US. The Clean Cargo

scheme links suppliers and carriers in an effort to promote sustainable transportation and members‟ represent

nearly 60% of global containerised cargo capacity. The scheme‟s Environmental Performance Survey is a

supply chain management tool that includes standard environmental reporting guidelines for carriers together

with emissions calculation methods to measure a shipper‟s GHG impact. BSR aims to have management and

reporting tools available for all modes of freight transport within two years.

3. Analysis and evaluation

3.1 Analysis

On balance most initiatives are in the economic/PR category. Local arrangements in individual ports and

harbours and individual contractual arrangements between companies and their P&I clubs would also fall into

this category.

Notwithstanding the variety of initiatives profiled above, the following commonalities are recognised:

        The initiatives are almost exclusively first world. The exception is the China ship scrapping initiative

(although this too is in partnership with The Netherlands). The Netherlands is a lead player for all three

categories with a strong showing by both Norway and Sweden;

        The initiatives only apply to and represent a small percentage of the world fleet 5.   Therefore there must

be barriers preventing wider take up; and

        The incentives, based on tightly defined eligibility criteria, favour rewarding „expensive‟ high quality

provision rather than providing an opportunity for „cheaper‟ poor quality provision to improve and/or catch up.

PR benefit?

There is broad agreement that public opinion, largely expressed through the media, drives the regulatory agenda.

Recognising the power of positive press is, however, more subtle and elusive. The key question is what has

actually changed for shipping since the green shipping initiatives have been introduced? Take up of green class

notations by cruise companies suggests that they at least are convinced of the marketing value of

environmentally-friendly good and services but public indifference to maritime matters, other than high profile

casualties has been a concern for the industry for some time.

In an editorial commentary in 2002, John Lyras, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners, maintained the

need for a collective stance through the „informed, directed and widespread advocacy of quality shipping‟. He

called for major shipping organisations to work together to present the case for quality shipping to governments

and publicise the benefits associated with quality shipping.

Economic advantages?

The economic advantages cited as both a motivator to become involved with and a result of then adopting green

initiatives are both direct and indirect. Potential direct benefits include reduced port fees, reduced insurance

 It should be noted, however, that Green Award certified tanker numbers are increasing together with the
percentage of seaborne oil carried. In 2000 – 8.5% tankers certified carried 21% of seaborne oil, in 2003 – 12%
certified carried 25%. Similarly, Clean Cargo represent a sizable % of world trade.

premiums, reduced fines and claims, and improved stock values. Indirect benefits include improved productivity

and reliability, reduced health problems and charter preference (i.e. firm loyalty and long-term charter contracts).

The most explicit economic incentives are currently associated with the Green Award but overall the diversity of

schemes, confidentiality of commercial information and the subjective nature of some benefits make a

quantitative economic analysis almost impossible.          Protection and indemnity clubs, whilst apparently

considering the proposition, have yet to offer any concession in the cost of marine liability insurance related to

green credentials. However, there is evidence that green initiatives can and are being used as an economic lever.

For example, in 2003 the Belize international ship register introduced a 15% rebate on its annual tonnage tax for

certain vessels6 with valid Green Award or ISO 14001 certificates [4]7.

However, environmental technology specifications are associated with higher initial costs. Furthermore, the

practicality of implementing operational fiscal models, intended to eliminate any cost advantages enjoyed by

substandard operators, is not straightforward. In this respect GAUSS (2002) pointed out that:

     Port fees and dues are to a large extent charged by private or semi-private services;

     Ports (or parts of ports) are increasingly under private management; and

     Costs for the maritime seaward infrastructure are largely borne by the coastal states.

An alternative is some form of subsidy to encourage the adoption of environmentally beneficial technology. To

this end Tozer [8] has argued that the economies of scale associated with the largest ships make it viable to

install additional and more sophisticated equipment to improve environmental performance.

Contribution to reducing impacts?

Out of a possible 440 points for pollution prevention efforts, the minimum requirement to achieve a Green

Award is only 60 points in the following areas:

 Any vessels of 7,501 gt and above and any self-propelled tankers up to 7,500 gt
 This must be seen as part of a broader objective to reposition the Belize flag as a quality register by removing
older vessels that fail to comply with regulations and attracting newer high standard ships.

   Sulphur content of fuel oil

   Ballast water management

   Shipboard incinerators

   Handling of oily waste in machinery spaces

   Garbage management

Therefore the balance between what is practical and achievable and what is desirable and necessary is

contentious. In addition the following considerations raise complications:

       Knock on effects – for every intervention, other issues may be raised (e.g. alternative hull scrubber

        systems need a mix of chemicals. Is this more environmentally damaging than antifouling?);

       Low-sulphur fuel availability – less sulphur means more expensive and less available fuel, installing

        flue scrubbing equipment is an extra expense if sulphur limits are changed and issues remain

        concerning eventual sulphur disposal with concerns about acidification of marine ecosystems: and

       Documenting high standards of pollution prevention onboard requires further developing procedures for

        proper management of polluting substances and associated crew training.

3.2 Evaluation

The present suite of green initiatives is disparate rather than global. They are promoted by individual companies

or small groups of coastal states. This research has detected an element of competition between initiatives and

something of a „copy cat‟ culture. More specifically:

       There is a need to persuade more/all flag states to adopt. This requires high level commitment. For

        example, Norwegian efforts are based on building expensive ships that will be long lasting – owners

        anticipate recovery of costs over a long timeframe (thus green shipping can be embraced); and

       Carrots only work for the good guys, stick appears to be the only way for problem shipping. In the

        middle are „wannabes‟ for whom more carrot is perhaps appropriate. But much linked to age of the

        ship – 10-15 years of ship‟s life generates profit to pay back capital investment; a subsequent owner has

         low capital costs but higher maintenance costs and more problems as the ship‟s integrity deteriorates.

         This for older ships it is more difficult to qualify for green „advantages‟

There is a clear role for NGOs to act as the catalyst to consider the whole transport process (ie currently there are

several different groups, some of whom are still not accepting any responsibility). For example, people who

want things moved should take some of the pain, not just the movers. Need to take a more holistic look e.g.

manufacturers of containers (what are they coated with?). This requires a better interface between shipping and

ports and work to address questions such as:

        What are the barriers? Foe example, problems with old ships – they haven‟t been designed with the

         space to hold segregated rubbish.

        Are incentives causing dis-incentives for ships that are non-green compliant?

        Is it actually cost-effective to anticipate new legislation?

        What are the overall environmental impacts? For example, larger newer ecoships are more economic

         (due to larger holding capacity, therefore less port calls) – but ports having to further develop to

         accommodate larger vessels at an environmental cost.

4. Conclusions

Clearly a range of green shipping initiatives exists, but few are comparable. It is unreasonable to expect ship

owners to deal with a complex multiplicity of systems. There is also a perception within the industry that any

initiative will only „eat away at the edges‟ unless it is IMO-led. Currently green shipping initiatives are

piecemeal, and there is a need for incentives to be properly articulated and presented as an accessible package.

But it should be noted that any new scheme must come with a „health warning‟. The shipping industry has

become very „paper heavy‟ and is already reacting to „over-regulation‟. For example, practitioners stated that

they are disillusioned with the ISO 9000, which is seen as a marketing tool. In practice, there is a danger of

filling in checklists rather than checking.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the benefits of green shipping initiatives. Success depends on being

able to show ship owners‟ a bottom line benefit (cp. Tonnage tax). The Green Award makes a favourable

business case for the best quality ships. However, whilst cost saving is likely to drive any real change, it is also

already at the root of problems associated with sub-standard ships (weak steel, poor quality crews). P&I club

reduction in insurance costs would be attractive to smaller companies, but there would be no assurance for how

long they would give any financial break. Perhaps a more tangible issue is the indirect costs of adverse PR. An

excellent illustration of this is the recent prosecution of the Singapore-based Tanker Pacific Management vessel

Aral Sea. The Aral Sea qualified for the Qualship 21 programme this year and had earned the Green Award,

however, her chief engineer concealed overboard discharges of oily waste in US waters.               This example

highlights the need for education and awareness raising to support corporate „buy in‟ to green shipping


The environmental management agendas of other sectors increasingly require environmentally friendly transport

for their products. To this end shipping must continue to be proactive.             Issues of concern include both

disturbance from hull and propeller wash and the effects of noise on marine mammals. However, perhaps the

most pressing issue, that would benefit from more industry-led research, is concerned with ship dismantling and

recycling. The Green Passport initiative is excellent but it will apply to the growth in marine transportation

predicted over the next 20 years. With fierce competition between shipbreakers in China, India, Pakistan and

Bangladesh, ship owners can still expect to recover some investment when scrapping, but the potential adverse

environmental consequences have been highlighted by Greenpeace and others. There is a need to identify and

promote yards with the technology to achieve environmentally friendly ship scrapping. At the same time it will

be important to spotlight potential locations where problems are likely to occur.

5. Recommendations

5.1 An IMO-led Green Accreditation

The principal recommendation of this study is the consolidation of green initiatives by some form of IMO-

endorsed accreditation package8. There is no reason why IMO should not welcome a new global initiative. IMO

is industry driven and encourages self-regulation. A problem is that IMO has to date been very traditional (i.e.

command and control) in its methods. The 2003 Group should present IMO with a consolidated package,

incorporating eco-labelling and agreed monetary incentives (e.g. tax breaks and rewards). This could be in

partnership with existing players (e.g. Lloyds Register) and/or offer recognition to established schemes 9.

5.2 Support for Environmental Education

Support is required for a grass roots educational initiative, linked to self-image and aimed at changing custom

and practice. Environmental awareness courses for seafarers now need a wider roll out as part of capacity

building for maritime nations.

5.3 Further specific industry-led research into potential major problem areas

It is recommended that research into where and how future ship scrapping will take place is commissioned. A

UN report in 2003 estimated 24% of the world tanker fleet is over 20 years in age, but double hull legislation

will cut this figure quickly and replacement of the aging tanker fleet will take place over the next 10-15 years.


1. Boonzaier, J. 2002 China cultivates a Green Torch. The International Shipping Gazette 13(51): 18-19

2. GAUSS, 2002, Development of an integrated and internationally applicable incentive System for Quality

Shipping, HG Knoop, GAUSS – Institute for Environmental Protection and Safety in Shipping, January 2002.

  Previous calls for a Green Transport Code and similar have also identified this need
  In reality any scheme is likely to be complementary to the ISM Code, ISO 9000/14001, MARPOL and national
regulatory approaches

3. International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), 2001, The Green Award Foundation – Winner of the

Thor        Heyerdahl         International       Maritime         Environmental          Award      2001,, accessed 20/05/04

4. Lloyds List, December 2002. Belize offers green bonus. Lloyds List, 5 December, 2002

5. Lloyds List, December 2003. Iran and NZ firms join Green Award‟s ranks. Lloyds List, 2 December 2003 p.


6. Mair, H. 1995 „Green‟ Shipping. Marine Pollution Bulletin 30(6): 360

7., October 2002, „Green Passports’ for Ships? Accessed 26/05/04

8. Tozer, D. 2003 Ultra-large container ships: the green ships of the future? Shipping World & Shipbuilder,

October 2003: 13-14

9. Vestby, Sven Erik, R-NO 9/2000, Spatial Planning inRelation to Ports: ESDP in GreenPort Sogn and

Fjordane. Green Port – North Sea (HSF).


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