Carbon footprint levels and recommendations for sustainable shipping industry

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Maritime transportation account for the most efficient and economic transportation of goods across the globe but many environmental impacts are to be considered. According to the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) reports, maritime transportation accounts for 2-3% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. IMO has recommended bringing down 50% of these emission levels by 2050. This has created a greater demand among shipbuilders and industry to adopt sustainable methods that can reduce carbon emissions. This study aims at bringing a sustainable alternative approach that can be implemented in the shipping industry to bring down carbon emissions. Carbon footprint (CF) is the tool used here to study the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their quantities. Analysis of carbon footprint during each stage of the ship’s lifecycle is carried out and alternative approaches are implemented at three levels. The first approach is applied on operation level, second on type of fuel used, and third on powering. The result shows that streamlining the ship’s hull brings a 1% reduction in total carbon emission. Switching from fossil fuel to biofuel and renewable fuel shows a significant reduction in GHGs, also renewable alternatives are highly effective and go at pace with environmental sustainability. Reducing the shipping speed and slow steaming can bring down two-third of the total carbon emission. Electric propulsion not only serves as a reduction in carbon intensity but also has immense potential for future developments.

Article Details

V.P. Arya
Akshara Priya Vinod
Satheesh Babu P.K


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