13 Jul 2021
The shipping industry is the foundation of global commerce, with more than 80 per cent of world trade being carried by sea. However, the industry has a massive negative impact on the environment and is considered one of the biggest carbon emitters, producing more than 2% of global emissions.
As consumers become more conscious of how their daily activities affect the environment, they are now focused on mitigating the effects of climate change and are increasingly questioning the environmental price tag of their purchases.
This global outcry has seen the International Maritime Organization (IMO) respond by implementing a strategy on greenhouse gases that aims to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry by 40% by the year 2030. To meet this target, shippers are now having to develop potential strategies that increase energy efficiency while decreasing their carbon emissions.
A tall order for those looking at the short-term benefits of eco-friendly solutions such as regular underwater hull cleaning and investing in cleaner sources of fuel, but the long-term benefits ensure that "green ships" reap the rewards of a world moving towards a more eco-conscious way of thinking.
What is "green shipping"?
Carbon emissions are caused by the burning of fuels, such as oil and gas in the environment. Therefore, the concept of "green shipping" can be defined as a vessel that attempts to leave the least amount of carbon emissions and aims to contribute to mitigating the climate crisis and improving the current environmental situation.
Aside from the obvious reason as to why ships should go green, which is protecting the planet we live and conduct business on, here are a few other reasons why you should be investing in "going green":
1. Consumer Confidence
One of the biggest advantages to businesses going green is a signal to consumers that you are committed to doing good. These days, more individuals are looking to align themselves with sustainable companies, with consumers more than willing to pay the added costs associated with their green values.
As a result, research has shown that customers are not only building brand trust with companies that are committed to sustainability but are offering them their loyalty and buying preference too. It's no surprise then that creating a sustainable business model will ensure customer confidence while bolstering your reputation.
2. Ahead of the curve
Not everyone has jumped at the opportunity to implement sustainable practices, but it does help to stay ahead of the curve. Having an advantage over the competition by investing in green shipping practices will ensure that companies have a profitable future. Vessels that meet IMO standards are increasingly in demand, with "green ships" not only providing a means to decrease operational costs but also becoming attractive investments.
3. Cheaper in the long run
As the maritime industry adapts to the looming environmental crisis, various eco-friendly technologies have made their way into the industry. While attempting to achieve carbon neutrality comes with a hefty price tag, in the long run, decreasing wasteful power consumption and implementing eco-friendly shipping practices can help businesses save money.
Not sure how you can go green? Here are two ways:
Investing in cleaner fuel sources
With vessels easily consuming around 63 000 gallons a day while travelling across ocean waters, bunker fuels low quality and high sulphur content have resulted in it being a larger contributor to carbon emissions and is much worse for the environment. As such, investing in cleaner fuel sources such as green hydrogen or adhering to the IMO's bunker fuel cap of 0.50% m/m will help to reduce carbon emissions.
Investing in green technology
Over time, technologies have become more sophisticated and efficient and have slowly adapted to the global demand for sustainability. One such demand has been the need to eliminate the growth of invasive aquatic species (IAS) on vessels. Biofouling continues to pose a challenge for ships due to its interference with operations and increases in vessel drag, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, which further contributes to the global environmental crisis.
Marine biofouling refers to the buildup of microorganisms, plants, small creatures and algae that attach themselves onto submerged surfaces. HullWiper's Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a trusted and eco-friendly underwater hull cleaning system that removes fouling from hulls without polluting local port water and risking the spread of these invasive species.
With its unmatched green hull cleaning capabilities, vessels are able to ensure bunker efficiency while reducing a fleet's carbon footprint. With so many reasons to go green, there's no question that HullWiper's environmentally-friendly approach can help you achieve this.
With operations bases in Dubai including key locations across the Middle East, as well as ports in Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Gibraltar, South Korea, Mauritius, Namibia, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Sweden, ship owners and operators can proactively manage the effects of hull fouling on vessel hulls and reduce costs.