Green Shipping is Imperative in the Fight against Climate Change
This entry was posted on July 8, 2011.
Shipping is a massive industry and unfortunately it is a radical contributor to climate change. Green shipping is one method that may help to reduce carbon emissions, thereby reducing the impact on the environment.
The term and concept of green shipping first became popular in 2008 but due to the state of the economic climate, green initiatives soon became a pay-off for companies in terms of saving costs as opposed to the fight against climate change being the primary concern. When the cost of fuel goes down so does the interest in green shipping; however, when the cost increases companies start looking to see how sustainable initiative can help them save costs.
So what can be done to reduce the shipping industry’s impact on the environment? Here are a few ideas that any shipping company can use in order to be more green. Sea freight is a popular method of shipping because large, heavy items can be transported more easily on a boat than on, for example, a plane. Most container ships use fossil fuels for power, which not only reduces these non-renewable resources, but also results in a lot of carbon emissions. Using solar and wind power as alternative energy sources to power the ship will significantly reduce costs and shouldn’t result in any carbon emissions. Although these may be quite costly to set up initially, the future savings on fuel will be more than worth.
Another method that green shipping companies can employ is the concept of “slow steaming”, where the ship travels at a slower speed. For every mile per hour above 60 that a truck travels its fuel consumption increases by 2.2%. By maintaining a constant speed of 62mph, the trucker reduced carbon emissions by about 30%. The same concept of maintaining a reasonable and consistent speed will reduce emissions.
For companies wanting to be green and not have to rely on sea, road, rail or air freight shipping, becoming more sustainable and producing more food and products locally will go a long way towards reducing trade’s carbon footprint.
These are just a few ideas that will help the shipping industry lessen its carbon footprint, while enabling companies to save on fuel and to promote green shipping.