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Is Circular Economy the answer to environmental issues?

Posted on 23rd September 2021

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The shipping industry contributes to 90% of the world trade, making it an essential part of the global economy; however, the international shipping industry is a major contributor to gas emission. Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Source: European Commission). For this reason, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been putting in place regulations and measure for the shipping industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Upcoming strategies to achieve the shipping emissions goal is the ENERGY EFFICIENCY EXISTING SHIP INDEX (EEXI), coming in place on January 1, 2023. Read More Here.

Following IMO regulations is not the only answer for the shipping industry to move towards a more sustainable approach and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Re-using and extending the lifespan of raw materials can reduce energy consumption, thus gas emissions and carbon footprint.

What does recycle mean?

In a recycling economy, materials that are supposed to end in a landfill are reused in the production line once more before they are disposed of. This expands the lifespan of products. This approach is more sustainable than a linear economy, where materials are used only once, and all components of the product go to landfills.

All industries, including the maritime industry, undertake this practice. Ships and containers’ parts are used to build other vessels; however, the product life cycle will come to an end and all parts will be disposed of at one point. Therefore, in a recycling economy, the product life cycle is repeated only once.

What does circular economy mean?

Circular Economy takes its fundamentals from a recycling approach. The name circular suggests how this environmental strategy works: the product life never comes to an end. After being recycled, used materials or parts are repaired and used once more to produce a refurbished product or a different product altogether.

The main concept in a circular economy is to close the gap between recycling and disposal but creating a loop in the production system. As a result, there is no waste going to landfills, or at least it is reduced. Consequently, there is also a reduction in carbon emissions caused by extracting raw materials. Energy consumption is also significantly reduced together with greenhouse gas emissions.

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How does the maritime industry contribute to a circular economy?

The maritime and shipping industry can encourage a circular economy by starting to look at products from a service provision point of view; where products are considered to be more than just raw materials put together, but services to improve global trading. This will allow companies to consider performance above product parts, enabling each product to be refurbished and establish longevity.

To improve sustainable growth through circular economy the Danish Maritime Fund has taken a step by introducing The Circular Shipping Initiative, a project with the aim to reduce waste, costs and become more climate positive. Read more here.

Martek Marine Sustainability Statement

We are dedicated to building a sustainable and profitable business while continuing to operate responsibly with honesty, integrity and fairness.

At Martek Marine, we are committed to establishing high ethical standards of behaviour and effective corporate governance. This defines our strategic and financial objectives. Corporate responsibility remains central to delivering our strategy and achieving our success.

We are committed to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner. We are putting in place processes to understand and address our responsibilities in respect of our operational impacts on the environment.

We aim to reduce the use of replacement parts and calibration to help overcome waste and excessive carbon emissions.

Pioneering sustainable and innovative solutions for ship safety, performance and crew welfare