Maritime operations with neutral carbon: know the main benefits!

  • 11/03/2021
  • 9 minutes

Carrying out carbon neutral maritime operations is a current and relevant topic and has several advantages. They contemplate both the environment and companies. Understanding more about its effects is important because, in addition to encouraging eco-friendly practices, it also improves the management of resources of maritime agencies in Brazil.

To deepen understanding on the subject, we interviewed two professionals who can contribute to the theme: Rodrigo Feria, Marine Market Sales Manager – Sotreq/Caterpillar, and Jean-David Caprace, Professor and Coordinator of the Ocean Engineering Program at UFRJ/COPPE.

For those who want to know the benefits of optimizing the ecological footprint, reading is more than advised!

What is carbon neutral emissions?

This concept talks about the total calculation of emissions generated by a service – which can be in industrial production, or even around navigation, intercontinental navigation, and coastal shipping. The idea behind it is to reduce impacts on the environment, among several obstacles, the release of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

In addition to looking for alternative fuels when carrying out the operations of shipping agencies, investing in balancing through compensation is also a good practice. This means buying carbon credits or restoring degraded forest areas.

The definition of what is known as carbon neutral was strengthened in 2015, through the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Currently, the theme is essential for companies in all sectors, including shipping. When dealing with it, there are some obstacles. “With regard to new fuels, some challenges are storage, infrastructure and cost. When we think about effective emissions reduction, significant investments are sometimes necessary”, explains the sales manager, Feria.

However, even with some obstacles in mind, it is essential to understand how the bet on maritime operations with carbon neutral, in fact, is made. After all, the benefits can outweigh the difficulties.

How does it work in practice?

According to Professor Caprace, the country is on the right path about the alternative use of fuels. “Brazil, in terms of electrical generation, produces a lot of energy with water. It is the country that most provides energy through dams. Other countries burn a lot of gas or coal, which pollutes the atmosphere. Or else, they invest in nuclear energy”, says the professor.

On the other hand, the professional warns of the need for damage control in other important points of the environment. “The fires in the Amazon rainforest, in 2019, were the worst in the last decade. This affects the CO2 emission statistics ″.

Regarding the maritime universe, the expert indicates a change in international standards linked to zero carbon: “For the maritime part, IMO (International Maritime Organization) is reviewing international rules. It wants to implement new measures to reach zero carbon in the long term”. One of the objectives outlined by this change in the standard is that, in 2050, the total of international maritime emissions does not exceed half of what was emitted in 2012.

In other words, the country, in an international scenario, is moving towards a future with lower emissions, either due to regulations, or due to the evolution of studies that bring alternative opportunities. This tends to provide several benefits.

What are the environmental benefits of carbon neutral maritime operations?

The benefits of operations with the least possible carbon footprint are likely to outweigh existing challenges. After all, the reduction of impacts that increase the greenhouse effect culminates in several positive elements, such as:

  • reducing or decelerating climate change.
  • increased biodiversity.
  • better socio-environmental conditions.
  • encouraging the use of sustainable energy by people and companies, etc.

Ensuring a future with quality of life and well-being for the next generations is a job that begins today. In organizational terms, Feria complements: “New fuels are being studied, so it is difficult to predict what the future will look like. The important thing is to always seek greater efficiency for operations using existing technologies”.

Caprace gives suggestions that help to minimize emissions: “Some ways to do this include slowing ships and changing fuel. The ideal is not to use marine diesel or low-refined fuels. There are also solar panels, which can reduce the need to produce electricity on board. The idea is to combine solutions to improve the energy efficiency of maritime and waterway transportation”.

What are the benefits for companies?

In addition to the benefits to the environment, organizations also guarantee positive elements in earnings management. Find out what they are!

Increased competitiveness

It is undeniable that carbon neutralization increases competitiveness. After all, companies that invest in it work on their corporate image, optimize the effects of their ecological footprint, and collaborate with a more sustainable future.

Resource savings

One of the main advantages of the search for maritime operations with carbon neutral concerns resources. Feria talks about the subject: “It is important to note that, in many cases, a more energy efficient system, in addition to reducing emissions, also generates savings in the process”.

Caprace also emphasizes this benefit: “For the supply of offshore platforms and shipbuilding, tools that help to better understand this complex system, ranging from transport to logistics, can be applied. They culminate in minimal fuel consumption”.

Opening to new markets

By improving their credibility, companies attract more partners and customers, which allows them to open to new markets. This attitude optimizes sales, improves the visibility of the organization, and achieves better results.

The search for maritime operations with carbon neutral is imperative on the part of the agencies. Both Caprace and Feria make it clear that it is a possibility – even if some challenges are perceived. After all, the advantages, whether in ecological or corporate terms, outweigh them. Invest in that idea!

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