Grieg Star envisions a future where we have no harmful emissions to air, sea and land. The path to this future is long, but we are committed to walk the talk. Shipping – which transports about 90% of global goods – is, statistically, the least environmentally damaging mode of transport, taking its productive value into consideration. Still, the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the shipping industry constitutes about 2,5% of global emissions. The 3rd IMO GHG study states shipping emissions could increase between 50% and 250% by 2050, if we continue operating like today. That would undermine the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
In April 2018, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted a new strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. Their vision is to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. And by the end of this century, GHG emissions from shipping should be zero.
We appreciate the new strategy of IMO. We have for many years worked towards reducing the emissions from our operations significantly. It is important to stress that our vision of no harmful emissions is not a zero emission vision. A zero emission scenario is not technically possible in the foreseeable future. The world will rely on use of hydrocarbons for years to come, but the level of such usage is possible to lower. Our vision is to not harm the environment in any way in the conduct of our business.
Regardless of our strategy and goals, national and international agreements and regulations on environmental issues will be amended and set in force in the years to come. Our goal is to be in accordance with or exceed such regulations before their implementation dates.
Dolpins playing ahead of the bow of Star Lindesnes. Photo: Francesco Sarselli
Emissions to air
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
When a vessel is burning one ton of fuel, approximately three tons of CO2 is released, due to the chemical reaction of burning. For Grieg Star it is important to reduce the fuel usage of our ships. In 2018 we used 147.456 tons of fuel oil, emitting 459,000 tons of CO2. Over the years we have implemented several measures to ensure such reductions, both technical and operational.
Even if the 1997 Kyoto Protocol uses 1990 as a base year for CO2 emissions, we are not able to use the same. Our knowledge of our emissions expressed by EEOI (Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator) for 1990 is simply not available. We do, however, have good data from 2007 onwards, and have so far used this as our base year.
We have valid reasons to assume that our emissions in the years from 1990 to 2007 did not grow. In that period our fleet changed dramatically in size, and engine and propeller technology as well as ship designs in general improved. We therefore assume that our 2007-levels are comparable or better than the world 1990-levels. Our goals should therefore be comparable or better than those of the various national and international governments and organisations.
From 2007 to 2015, we reduced the EEOI by 19%. As the index is based on emissions per transported cargo weight, we saw a worsening of the numbers in 2016 and 2017. The low general market, and the fact that we transported more leigh weight, but volume intense cargo, saw our EEOI return to similar numbers as in 2008.
We have an EEOI of 11,8 in 2018, decreasing from 2017 (12,3), and which is better than in 2007 (14,2) even if we have 10% less filling on DWT. This is a positive development, and 2018 is 16,9% better than 2008.
Improvement in EEOI since 2008
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
The emissions of SOx are not a danger to the climate, but have potentially serious effects on the environment locally or regionally, causing health issues for people, animals and vegetation.
The emissions of SOx from our vessels are directly related to the amount of sulphur in the fuel we burn. Many coastal areas in the world are now implementing Emission Control Areas (ECAs) where fuel burned may not contain more than 0,1% sulphur. Grieg Star welcomes these initiatives, and follows the regulations strictly. Our goal is to always comply with or exceed the ECA regulations.
In 2018 we emitted 3,561 tons of SOx, up from 4,494 in 2017.
To further reduce our emissions of SOx, we work on several measures to reduce the amount of fuel burnt, e.g. a project trying to use battery technology on our cranes to reduce engine usage when at port.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
In small amounts nitrogen oxides (NOx) can act as nutrients for plants. High levels, however, are damaging to plant life. Excessive exposure to NOx may have serious health effects in humans and animals. NOx also contribute to global warming.
International regulations on NOx are progressively more stringent, demanding engines built in 2016 or later to emit no more than 20% of the levels in 2010. Among the measures we have implemented in this regard is installing sliding fuel valves on all our vessels built after 1987. Our goal is to reduce NOx by 35% by this measure alone. The battery project will also reduce such emissions while the ships alongside in port.
In 2018 we emitted 14,319 tons of NOx, down from 13,590 tons in 2017.
Solid or liquid particles from unburnt matter are always emitted from combustion processes. The biggest particles are what humans see as smoke. Some of these particles may have negative health effects, especially in the lungs. Particulate matter has also the potential to modify the climate through the formation of clouds and snow. Particles also contribute to acid deposition and may absorb solar radiation and impair/reduce visibility. Our work on reducing fuel consumption and run our engines in the best possible way, reduces emission of such particles.
Emissions to water
Our vessels travel from one place on the earth to another all the time. This makes it a possibility for us to take with us organisms from one ocean to another. The organisms may be brought there through our ballast water system or attached to our vessels’ hull. Such non-indigenous organisms may have harmful effects on the eco system in which they are brought into. International bodies work hard to reduce such transferral of organisms from one area of the earth to another, and several regulations are or will be set in force.
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) was adopted by consensus at a Diplomatic Conference held at IMO Headquarters in London on 13 February 2004. All our vessels will have Ballast Water Treatment systems in place within October 2019.
Consumed fresh water is generally produced onboard or purchased where required. Estimated grey water per crew is 200 litres per day, approximately 50,000 litres per year.
Grieg Star had no oil spills in 2018.
Emissions to land
As for most businesses our operations create waste. We have, however, good routines for handling such waste in a sustainable manner. All waste onboard our ships is either incinerated in special ovens onboard, or brought to land for proper handling. Dunnage is properly sorted and recycled while in port. We do not use disposable dunnage bags, but repair and reuse the bags to reduce waste.
Our offices all have proper waste handling, making sure we send the waste for recycling whenever this is possible.
Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)
The IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling of 2009 introduced the IHM for ships. It was envisaged that this document, containing an inventory of all materials used in the construction of a ship that are potentially hazardous to human health or the environment, would accompany the ship throughout its working life.
All vessels in our fleet have the IHM/Green Passport. Changes of materials onboard listed on the inventory are registered in our Planned Maintenance System (PMS) system. The IHM has recently been used when recycling ships, whereby hazardous materials have been located and handled as specified in “Appendix 3, part 2, of the IMO Guidelines on ship recycling”.
The Trident Alliance is a coalition of shipping owners and operators who share a common interest in robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulations and are willing to collaborate to help bring it about. The strengths and attributes of the different members and partners will be used to drive the various strategies identified to improve enforcement.
Grieg Star is a member of the Trident alliance.
The threat of weak enforcement of sulphur regulations is escalating. Responsible industry is taking the initiative to mitigate this threat, in interest of the environment and human health, as well as creating a level playing field for business. By speaking with a united voice we have the greatest chance to bring about change.
Grieg Star is ISO 14001:2015 certified. ISO 14001:2004 sets out the criteria for our environmental management system and maps out a framework that we follow to set up an effective environmental management system.
During 2018 we have carried out internal and external audits to verify compliance with ISM, ISPS, MLC and ISO 14001. All findings from these audits have been closed.