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Shipowners need to plan early in order to lower shipping emissions

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Shipping is under siege in order to lower its carbon footprint. The recent decision by IMO seeks to offset these pressures and ship owners need to start preparing for a “œgreener” shipping. Towards this direction, Carbon Positive, a leading carbon management

consultancy is looking to help owners. According to an interview with Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide, Helena Athoussaki, CEO of Carbon Positive Services, the company just launched the Carbon Positive Sustainable Shipping Programme is a maritime emissions management strategy that covers three phases: Measure, Reduce and Offset.
“œFirst, we will complete a comprehensive diagnosis of the vessel to record its carbon emissions; gathering data, measuring and monitoring to create a report and Carbon Positive baseline that will be the foundation of your carbon management strategy. Secondly, using data gathered during the Measure phase, which includes a thorough scientific on-board energy audit, we will identify the appropriate technical and operational measures to create your bespoke action plan, setting targets at each step of the way for CO2 reduction from fuel consumption. When you reach the third, Offset phase, we will analyse suitable offset opportunities that best ensure your carbon neutrality status via carbon projects and credits” she said.

First of all, could you give us a profile of Carbon Positive? Which are its main activities?

Carbon Positive is a leading carbon management consultancy that provides maritime carbon emissions management services, supporting the shipping industry to reduce, manage and mitigate its carbon emissions cost-effectively and responsibly, improve fuel efficiency and prepare before future regulation through tailored carbon emissions strategies.
With many years of expertise in carbon strategy and management, augmented by specialist deep maritime knowledge, we are ideally placed to support the shipping industry in addressing environmental social responsibility through voluntary actions. We cover maritime operational practices and procedures, policy, clean technology options, IT, finance, carbon trading and offsetting. We work in partnership with maritime technical consultants, carbon trading brokers, risk management specialists and independent verifiers to ensure that we always provide the most up to date, best practice guidelines. Importantly Carbon Positive’s brand name is firmly positioned on the environmental shipping map; this facilitates synergies with various industry associations and stakeholders for the promotion our services to the benefit of our members.

Carbon Positive just launched two very important services for the maritime community, regarding ships and ports, in terms of their environmental impact. Could you provide us with the details?

The Carbon Positive Sustainable Shipping Programme is a maritime emissions management strategy that covers three phases: Measure, Reduce and Offset. First, we will complete a comprehensive diagnosis of the vessel to record its carbon emissions; gathering data, measuring and monitoring to create a report and Carbon Positive baseline that will be the foundation of your carbon management strategy. Secondly, using data gathered during the Measure phase, which includes a thorough scientific on-board energy audit, we will identify the appropriate technical and operational measures to create your bespoke action plan, setting targets at each step of the way for CO2 reduction from fuel consumption. The programme ensures correct implementation through vigorous training and continuous monitoring. When you reach the third, Offset phase, we will analyse suitable offset opportunities that best ensure your carbon neutrality status via carbon projects and credits. We will develop a carbon offsetting strategy that draws on market- risk and financial analysis of offsetting options as you purchase emissions reduction credits or invest in offsetting projects. Even though we strongly favour and promote the benefits of our complete sustainable shipping programme spanning all phases as mentioned earlier, we will nevertheless extend flexibility to clients wishing to subscribe to one phase only in their option.
The Carbon Positive Sustainable Ports programme targets port operators, large and small, and as done for shipping it aims to lower emissions and improve sustainability standards. It is based on the same concept of Measure, Reduce and Offset. We will provide detailed data and ongoing reporting to assess the actual carbon footprint of each port and facilitate knowledge sharing between our members to encourage best practice.
Every member of the ports and shipping programmes will receive Carbon Positive certificates based on our environmental indicator system, and this and each stage of the process will be standardised and verified.

Why should ship owners/operators subscribe to your programme?

Shipping is the next global industry to be fully regulated for its emissions and in doing so will face major financial, technological and operational challenges, along with commercial benefits and opportunities.Β  This impending regulation might seem far away but in reality this is not the case. History proves that it pays to be prepared, not least because many technological and operational measures currently present an opportunity to reduce fuel burn and increase profitability. Working with experts to develop your own carbon emissions management strategy will not only enable you to get ahead of regulation, but also unlock efficiencies and commercial benefits for your fleet whilst future-proofing your business.
For example, we use in-depth technological research and analysis to make improvements to existing vessels, on existing designs but also enable you to keep informed of new eco ship designs and technologies. Additionally, the benefits of taking a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility will boost your reputation as well as appeal to the likes of charterers, ports banks and insurers who are increasingly looking for companies that can demonstrate sustainability.

Which are the current measures in service towards lowering shipping emissions for contribution to the climate effect? Technical / Operational / Offset

There are plenty of low-lying fruits available to ship owners by way of operational and technical measures that increase energy efficiencies and ultimately reduce fuel consumption. Navigating through them can be complicated and that is one of the areas where our services and methodologies come in. Significant emissions reductions can be achieved with existing technologies and operational measures and for those wishing to reduce further, offsetting is simply the only choice. In addition following the decision taken during IMO’s MEPC 62 last July, EEDI and SEEMP have been mandated but their effect may feel more like a trickle rather than a sweeping change towards shipping emissions. It is nevertheless a great “œglobal” step in the right direction and lays foundations for further actions.

Which of them do you consider to be the most cost-effective?

Our approach is to consider the needs of each individual company and generate a tailored prescription of measures, covering technical, operational and offsetting rather than focus on any one solution. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it is crucial to set your sights on the mid to long-term future and understand that any carbon emissions management strategy is an investment in the sustainability and ultimately bankability of your business.

In terms of Carbon Positive’s new services, could you give us an estimate of the cost for each client?

Carbon Positive’s services are priced in a way that encourages ships to become members of its Programme today. Our aim is for the Programme to be of excellent value for money irrespective of regulation and will not weigh in any noticeable way on ship’s running costs. Importantly the Programme prevents wrong investment decisions the cost of which can potentially far outweigh the cost of Carbon Positive’s services. Finally we continuously maintain market price-watch ensuring we are always most competitive.

Will you be working with other entities for the implementation of these new services?

Indeed, we have established partnerships with technical experts, classification societies, and stakeholders across the maritime sector as well as with carbon project developers. Fundamentally, we are the ideal destination for the shipping industry as we have access to all of these areas through our global network and bridge the gap between shipping and carbon management expertise.

Do you think that the latest IMO initiatives and decisions towards lowering shipping emissions are enough to help the industry deal with unilateral measures from governments and other institutions like the European Union?

To date, IMO has been beset by a gulf in expectations from member states to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), and so the achievement of having EEDI approved in July 2011 should be perceived as a success. However, there is much more to be done ““ EEDI will only produce a net reduction of carbon of around 24 million tones by 2020. Moreover, it appears likely that the EU will go ahead with some form of offsetting to try and achieve its target of 20% reduction from 1990 levels of carbon by 2020.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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