Τετάρτη, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2011

test 1o.


Foreword

The protection of the environment is one of our key strategic objectives and a key parameter of our market strategy, which is projected through the Company’s policy, management system and culture of the organization. Environmental awareness constitutes one of the cornerstones of our management concept. We are fully committed to sustainable development and protection of the environment. Not only are we fully cognizant of the environmental aspects and impacts of our operations but we also face all challenges in a positive and systematic way. We believe that identifying and implementing environmental improvements for short and long term gains and positioning may very well produce good return on investment.



A key component of our SMS is our Environmental Management System (EMS), developed and certified in the framework of the ISO 14001 standard, which focuses on identifying, understanding and controlling the risk of an environmental incident. Its purpose is not only to achieve better compliance assurance, but also to improve environmental performance in areas such as energy efficiency, aerial emissions, ballast water management, resources conservation, etc. Pollution prevention, waste management, emission prevention and relevant responsibilities are key elements of the EMS, which is a valuable tool in tasks such as:

  • Identification of Company’s environmental aspects and associated impacts
  • Continuous monitoring of all relevant environmental legislation
  • Setting environmental targets and working through concrete programmes in order to achieve them.



Through this commitment, we are ready to face every new environmental challenge emerging in today’s demanding and volatile international scene. One of the fundamental principles of our concept is to identify in advance every new environmental trend, regulation or best practice worldwide and promptly address it. We believe that although shipping is by far the most environmental-friendly and fuel-efficient mode of transport, nevertheless further action has to be taken to reduce air pollution and to improve the energy efficiency of all ship related operations and their environmental footprint. We recognize that the impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on society and ecosystems is significant and justifies taking action. Total CO2 emissions from global merchant shipping are equivalent to the emissions from Germany and no-one would argue that Germany should not reduce its emissions simply because it is a small proportion of the total. Likewise, shipping will also have to take its share of the climate change burden.



Not only we share the international environmental concerns but we are also committed to the implementation and on-going improvement of sound environmental practices. Our Company is well aware of the environmental impact its business activities generate and takes a number of measures to operate in an environmental friendly way. These measures include:

·         Launching environmental friendly vessels

·         Minimizing the environmental impact of the vessels operations

·         Efforts to conserve energy

·         Programs to reduce air emissions and waste generation

·         Introduction of environmental friendly technologies

·         Recycling of resources



Our Company, recognizing its responsibility to take every possible means to ensure safe operation, makes all-out efforts to prevent marine pollution resulting from accidents, and strives to operate vessels in a way that minimizes their impact to the environment. Our approach to environmental care is based on disciplined management system, coupled with rigorous economic and technical analysis to identify the most effective approach. Before we begin any new activity, we conduct an extensive environmental assessment, with results integrated into project decision making. All environmental sensitivities are considered, operating procedures are reviewed and, if necessary, revised to minimize environmental impact.



Our Environmental Policy recognizes environmental protection and management as one of its highest priorities. We are committed to environmentally responsible operations and to a cleaner and safer environment, regularly reviewing our performance and seeking opportunities for improvement. We seek to drive incidents with environmental impact to zero, to operate in a manner that is not harmful to the environment and to achieve excellent environmental performance.



Our approach to environmental management includes the systematic identification and assessment of all sources of marine and atmospheric pollution and measures for the reduction of potential impacts, both onboard and ashore. We will continue to strive for excellence in environmental performance through the implementation of our EMS.



·        Environmental Aspects have been properly addressed in the EMS, consistent with our policy, regulatory requirements and our business plans.

·        Environmental Programs and plans for further reduction of pollutants and potential impacts onboard and ashore with timescale for action have been established.

·        The Company declares specific procedures to monitor and reduce waste on board all ships, promoting the use of equipment and practices that minimize waste generation, such as purchasing in bulk to reduce packaging volumes, encouraging recycling initiatives and using non-disposable equipment. 

·        Environmental initiatives are being implemented throughout the fleet.

·        Our objectives and targets cover all sources of pollution, are measurable and consistent with our environmental policy and are monitored through selected Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs).

·        The Company benchmarks its environmental management practices and performance across the fleet and against industry information sources.

 






Rather than just waiting for new regulations to come into force, we believe that a proactive approach is the best alternative; thus we are looking for opportunities, developing and implementing effective and practical alternatives, and working with other interested parties to influence regulations with real–world knowledge and experience. The good news is that in many cases future-oriented solutions have economic incentives, so the choices are simple.



Times of change are often times of opportunities. Identifying and implementing environmental improvements for short –and long-term gains and positioning may very well produce good return on investment. Investment in our own future.

The first movers may very well be the winners!

 

The Environmental Programs established, implemented and maintained by the Company are documented in the “SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS & IMPACTS IDENTIFICATION/EVALUATION” Table E-001. The set Objectives and Targets are listed in each Environmental Program and the progress made in the implementation of each program is set out below.
















































Environmental Program 1

Energy Efficiency




Air emissions, such as CO2, SOx, HxCx, NOx, PM (Particulate Matters), etc. contribute to global warming, acid rain, rising levels of ground ozone affecting ecosystems and human health. The shipping industry has achieved significant increases in energy efficiency, mainly through enhancements in the efficiency of marine engines and propulsion systems as well as improved hull design. Larger ships and more rational utilization of vessels have also contributed to reducing the amount of energy needed to transport a given unit of cargo.




In accordance with the updated IMO GHG Study on greenhouse gas emissions from ships, titled: “Second IMO GHG Study 2009” (MEPC 59/INF.10), international shipping is estimated to have emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7% of the global emissions of CO2 in 2007.




Emissions of CO2 from shipping compared with global total emissions



Sea transport has a justifiable image of conducting its operations in a manner that creates remarkably little impact on the global environment. International shipping is, by far, the most carbon and energy efficient mode of commercial transport and crude oil tankers the most energy efficient vessels. The energy efficiency of the shipping industry, benchmarked against the other modes of transport, is shown in the following graphs.







Compared to aircraft, trucks and trains, ships emit substantially less CO2 per km when transporting 1,000 kg and are the world’s most environmentally friendly form of transport (see graphic below).



Although marine transportation is quite energy-efficient in terms of ton/mile performance compared to others modes of transportation, shipping is now facing a new reality: media, politicians and the public are increasingly focusing on environmental issues. Carbon emissions which contribute to global warming are in the spotlight in particular, and the public, the media and regulators are demanding action and companies’ corporate social responsibility is being put to the test. There is little doubt that rules and regulations covering environmental issues will become stricter in the years ahead.



Ambitious emission reduction targets are currently being discussed and agreed upon in international and regional flora. There is little doubt that rules and regulations covering environmental issues will become stricter in the years ahead.



Global warming is a globally recognized and complex to understand problem. It is also tangled up with difficult issues such as poverty, economic development, and population growth. The challenge is how to stabilize atmospheric levels of GHG while providing society with the energy it needs to develop. Dealing with the problem will not be easy. Ignoring it will be worse.



This issue is one of the most important ones in the international environmental agenda. In 2003, IMO adopted the “IMO Policies and practices related to the reduction of GHG emissions from ships”. Furthermore, the IMO has developed a package of measures for reducing shipping’s CO2 emissions. Governments at IMO have also agreed key principles for the development of regulations on CO2 from ships so that they will:



1. Effectively reduce CO2 emissions;

2. Be binding and include all flag states;

3. Be cost effective;

4. Not distort competition;

5. Be based on sustainable development without restricting trade and growth;

6. Be goal-based and not prescribe particular methods;

7. Stimulate technical research and development in the entire maritime sector;

8. Take into account new technology; and

9. Be practical, transparent, free of fraud and easy to administer.



The energy used for the operation of the ship comes from the burning of fossil fuels. This operation has an environmental aspect as well as a financial one. The financial aspect is related to the cost of the bunkers consumed. Fuel is a major cost element of ship operational expenditure. The environmental aspect relates to the emission of exhaust gasses from the burning of fuel oil. These emissions have an environmental impact since are known to contribute to global warming, acid rain, eutrophication, rising levels of ground level ozone, affecting ecosystems and human health.



Regulations for the reduction of SOx and NOx emissions from shipping are already in place including the use of low-sulphur fuel oil and the installation onboard of engines with maximum NOx emission limits. Regulations for the reduction of CO2 emissions are not yet in place. Almost all carbon entering the engine combustion is oxidized to form CO2 which is emitted into the atmosphere with the exhaust gases. Hence, the CO2 emissions from the engine are directly proportional to the carbon content of the fuel and fuel consumption.



It is nevertheless the case that enhancement of efficiencies can reduce fuel consumption, save money and decrease environmental impacts for individual ships. While the yield of individual measures may be small, the collective effect will be significant. In global terms it should be recognized that operational efficiencies delivered by a large number of ship operators will make an invaluable contribution to reducing global GHG emissions.



MEASURES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT


With the aim of enhancing the energy efficiency of the vessel operations, we are committed to:

·         Implement an environmental management program with the objective of continually increasing energy efficiency and minimizing energy waste. A set of time-specific, measurable and attainable targets shall be established, based on a combination of in­ service performance monitoring and best-practice operational management processes.

·         Establish and maintain an Energy Efficiency Management Plan which shall be regularly reviewed by senior management. This Manual shall apply to all fleet vessels and shall provide standard procedures and practices on best energy management under the various operational modes of the vessel, as well as awareness on energy efficiency/ conservation.

·         Promote energy efficiency awareness, by carrying out relevant training to the shore and sea-going personnel.

·         Promote co-operation with charterers and others with the aim of facilitating energy efficient operations.

·         Implement ship and voyage energy strategies to minimise energy usage.

·         Monitor and comply with all applicable requirements related to ship energy management.



The search for efficiency across the entire transport chain takes responsibility beyond what can be delivered by the owner/operator alone. A list of all the possible stakeholders in the efficiency of a single voyage is long; obvious parties are designers, shipyards and engine manufacturers for the characteristics of the ship, and charterers, ports and ship traffic management services, etc. for the specific voyage. All involved parties should consider the inclusion of efficiency measures in their operations, both individually and collectively.


Broadly speaking the efficiency practi