20 April 2024

Flying the green flag

| The European |

Arcadia Shipmanagement Co Ltd is an international shipping company specialising in the transportation of oil cargoes and is an established player in the shipping industry. Its vessels trade worldwide across a multitude of routes.

Arcadia Managing Director, Captain Dimitrios Mattheou is also Chairman of the Green Award Foundation. Green Award certification underlines an operator’s commitment to the protection of the environment and to the security and safety of all employees and third parties. Ships with a Green Award reap various financial and non-financial benefits.

Stefanos Papandreou caught up with Captain Mattheou to discuss the wider significance of the award and to learn more about the benefits ship owners will see as they become involved in the scheme.

Do you believe that the conditions in the shipping market today favour the adoption of voluntary environmental standards such as the Green Award scheme?
Dimitrios Mattheou: The maritime industry has always been subject to major market ups and downs. What we’ve faced during recent years is weak growth and great uncertainty. The industry-leading nations have limited fiscal and monetary options, while China is going through a period of difficult restructuring. It’s an unsettled business environment; an additional challenging factor is the geopolitical security picture and the rise of extremist terror organisations.

For everyone within the shipping industry, focussing naturally on financial-turnover, profits and growth, the key message depends on balancing economic expansion with environmental and social sustainability, operational efficiency and the benefits of becoming more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly operators. In relation to the energy footprints of shipping, comes the need to apply measures for reducing the vessels’ environmental impact, setting and achieving environmental-friendly targets, such as cutting down on the amount of waste water discharged into the sea, reducing energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions, isolation of harmful substances etc.

All the above will be improved, through the application of Green Award certification standards. Moreover, participating in the Green Award scheme, provides a ship manager with a consistent benchmark for the safety of people, caring for the planet through protection of the environment and last, but not least, profits from incentives provided through the Green Award scheme.

Describe the incentives of the Green Award. Do charterers accept the conditions of the Green Award certification procedures?

DM: Green Award certification standards surpass the industry standards in environmental friendliness, cleanliness and safety, therefore quite an effort is required by a ship operator, to meet the stringent Green Award requirements.

The earnings that result from having Green Award certified ships go well beyond reductions in port dues and other services’ charges, as those are offered by the Green Award incentive providers worldwide. Green Award is not only about financial benefits, but priority is placed to bring about improvements in the environmental protection and increase the safety of operations. Green Award auditors do not only point out ‘weaknesses’ on board, but also recommend solutions and inform the certificate holders about the best industry practices.

When Green Award certified the ship owners reap various benefits including:

  • Charter preference
  • Preparation for PSC / Vetting inspections’ requirements
  • An upgrade in the performance of ship and crew
  • Reduced possibility of incidents occurring.

Research and statistics based on detention data out of Port State Control (PSC) deficiencies, show that Green Award certified vessels have significantly less deficiencies than seagoing vessels overall. Moreover, data from Paris memorandum of understanding (MOU), Tokyo MOU, Indian Ocean MOU and USCG over the last decade show that the detention percentage of Green Award ships per year, is either zero or very close to zero.

Describe the Green Awards’ involvement in the fields of MRV process and air emissions regulations, especially with regards to the low sulphur cap to be enforced from 2020.
DM: The MRV process (Monitoring/Reporting/Evaluation) includes detailed rules for an emissions monitoring plan, verification of an Emissions Report, and accreditation of verifiers. The methodologies to calculate fuel consumption and carbon emissions are referred, as well as the cargo parameters and the cargo units to be reported for the various types of ships. The key document is the ‘Monitoring Plan’ template, which can be used by ship operators to describe their procedures and systems in place, to monitor fuel consumption and other relevant information.

The low sulphur cap is the requirement, which will be implemented in 2020, for marine fuel to have a sulphur content of 0.5% or less (outside of Emission Control Areas). This will deliver a dramatic reduction in sulphur emissions by shipping worldwide and will improve the local air quality in coastal areas. The Green Award promotes the use of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and industry guidelines to implement energy efficiency measures. In close relation to the above regulations and well before their implementation dates, Green Award air emission requirements include:

  • For NOx and SOx emissions, Green Award requirements are focused on encouraging ship owners to reduce these emissions below the current regulatory limits, as these are set in the Revised Marpol Annex VI.
  • For PM (particulate matter) and CO2, owners are encouraged to establish the current emission levels of their ships and then to implement measures which reduce these emissions below the ship’s current level. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, Green Award promotes assessing methods which can improve a ship’s ‘energy efficiency’ (or reduce the overall fuel consumption).
  • Finally, participation in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) is compulsory for Green Award certified ships. The Environmental Ship Index is a combined effort on behalf of ports to promote the reduction of harmful air emissions (NOx, SOx and PM) and greenhouse gases (CO2). Green Award supports the new ESI concept and has become its incentive provider by integrating it into the requirements.

Please outline to the future objectives of the Green Award scheme.
DM: The main purpose of Green Award scheme remains to gather all certified companies and operated vessels, under an operationally-sustainable and environmental-friendly way of shipping business execution. Following the Green Award recent expansion to LPG Shipping sector, the next steps include Container shipping, RO-RO/Passenger ferries and mega-yachts, with the common link of all the above means of sea transportation, being their many and frequent port calls.

Besides attracting new shipping companies and industry-related organisations to join the Green Award family, the focus will be on expanding to ports and marina’s worldwide, aiming to achieve through incentive providing, reductions to charges for multiple port reception services, which are applicable to a variety of vessels. Those may include the following, all of which will derive benefits for being Green Award certified:

  • Bunker suppliers
  • Garbage collectors
  • Waste water/sluges/slops reception facilities
  • Collection/segregation/delivery of recycled material on-board

Further information

This article is published with the kind permission of Stefanos Papandreou, Editor of ELNAVI Mοnthly Shipping Review: www.elnavi.gr

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