The Propeller Club of Piraeus | An article for Green Award Foundation- The pride of the oceans

The neutral, independent, non-profit Green Award Foundation, since the day one, back in 1994, was visualized, organized and has been put into the map, as a tool to pursue excellence into the international shipping industry. Since then, all the organization’s staff has been applying an ongoing effort, in identifying, recognizing and motivating for environmentally responsible shipping, through operating a certification scheme that assesses the safety and environmental performance. This is being done, using criteria areas like advanced ship equipment, high quality of each Company, human factor issues and the aim for continuous improvement.

The Management of the foundation, the Committee and the Board of Experts, are working closely to develop the latent potential of the program, for the mutual benefit of the Certificate Holders Ship-owners and their fleet vessels, the Incentive Providers and the users of the Green Award certified ships. Currently, 39 Shipmanagement Companies with a fleet of over 630 inland navigation barges and more than 260 ocean-going vessels, are Green Award certified. Among the Incentive Providers, there are 38 International ports around the globe and 64 Companies which are operating and offering shipping-related services and products. Green Award certification is worldwide recognized for assisting into the developing of the values and ideas that build safety and environmental excellence, driving towards applying effective management systems, which consistently achieve reliable and environmental incident-free performance.

Recently IMO addressed the global challenge of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and has initiated a strategy with worldwide application, for the reduction of any such emissions from ships, by adopting technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels. Adequate technological solutions will be required, largely depending on the design and the technology of the constructed ships, their engines and machinery and the fuels used for propulsion. The IMO strategy will result to competitive technological solutions with better GHG footprint, to be made available to the market.

Green Award has been focusing a lot on the part of monitoring and the reduction of polluting air emissions. This mainly refers to sulphur content in the fuel, as this is contributing directly to the SOx emissions of engine and boiler system. Whilst the basic approach in monitoring and recording of statistical data remains a scope within the Green Award requirements, a new approach has been added into the certification criteria, focusing on the reduction of consumed sulphur content of fuel oil, by benchmarking with the worldwide average while targeting to prepare for 2020 global limits.

The European Union and the IMO have introduced two new requirements (the EU MRV and the IMO DCS – Data Collection System) for the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of CO2 emissions from ships, which are considered as the first step towards greenhouse gas emissions’ reduction from the maritime sector.

Regarding the EU MRV, from 1 January 2018, Companies are monitoring CO2 emissions for each ship on a per-voyage and an annual basis, by applying the appropriate method for determining CO2 emissions. Regarding the IMO DCS, from 1 January 2019, Companies shall monitor fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for each ship on a per-voyage and an annual basis.

Green Award Foundation sustains robust interface with the EU Committee and the relevant Departments. This coaction remains since the Foundation’s establishment, between GA, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Watering. Already since 2000, the Foundation uninterruptedly participates at meetings, concerning the management of CO2 emmissions on the atmosphere. Regular intercourses are held, with the EU Departments of Transport and Environment, EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) and the EQUASIS Program Composition Committee, where the Green Award Foundation is effectivelly involved.

Furthermore, a large number of Green Award Incentive Providers are offering solutions, aiming towards a clean environment and the reduction of the ecological footprint of shipping. One of the latest additions to the Green Award family as an Incentive Provider was Wärtsilä Seals & Bearings (UK), which provides integrated products and services that offer lifecycle efficiency, reduce risks through reliability and are environmentally sustainable. Leading Classification Societies, such as ABS and DNV-GL, Class NK and Korean Register, are collaborating with Green Award as Incentive Providers, towards a safer and more sustainable global shipping.

In order to drive towards a yet better performance, with the final goal being a ship operating with zero emissions, thus eliminating vessel’s specific emission footprint, Green Award has launched a Platinum label for inland navigation ships that keep abreast of the times and operate several hours a day with zero emissions of CO2, SOx, NOx and PM. The emissions are avoided by use of electrical propulsion, powered by batteries or fuel cells. Increase in number of emission-free ships leads to drastic reduction in air pollution and CO2 emissions.
Platinum label comes in addition to existing Bronze, Silver and Gold certification levels within the Green Award program. Green Award expects that the Platinum label will be recognized by ports and other incentive providers and rewarded with suitable incentives, to further promote emission-free ship operations.