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DNV GL releases first ever traceability standard for reclaimed plastic from the hydrosphere

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DNV GL releases first ever traceability standard for reclaimed plastic from the hydrosphere. Image: DNV GL
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The public DNV GL standard provides a best practice to verify the authenticity (Chain of Custody) of abandoned ocean and river plastic and build consumer trust in new products made from reclaimed plastic.

The problem of ocean plastic garbage is massive and to solve it requires ground-breaking technology and significant resources.  Moreover, extracting the plastic from oceans and rivers is only the first step in addressing one of the biggest threats to our world’s waters. There are currently trillions of pieces of plastic in our oceans with an estimated 8 million pieces added every day.  The scale needed requires a shift from a linear to a circular plastic future.

“Using the abandoned plastic into new products is essential. By turning trash into something valuable, that consumers are willing to pay for, enables a circular business models that not only resolves the problem of how to dispose of the trash,” says Nicola Privato, Global Operations and Technical Director, DNV GL – Business Assurance. “As customers are eager to buy such products and companies, even big brands, are willing to contribute, the proceeds from the sales can be used to further fund the cleanup. However, for people to pay for the products, they need assurance of authenticity – that this plastic is really coming from the ocean.”

A product or company’s sustainability efforts and performance, even if considerable, can be completely secret or difficult to share with consumers in a trusted way. Moreover, there may be a need to distinguish against wrongful claims of authenticity or share of reclaimed plastic in products. To address this problem and build confidence into the circular ocean plastic economy, The Ocean Cleanup connected with DNV GL.

“To give our supporters added trust that our products are indeed made of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we knew we needed support from a reputable, independent, third party – which is why we sought out DNV GL, as a leading verification body. With their newly established standard, we hope this gives supporters greater confidence in The Ocean Cleanup products, which are soon to be unveiled,” says Leonardo Avezzano, Head of Valorization at The Ocean Cleanup.

The DNV GL standard is the first of its kind, guaranteeing the authenticity, origin and amount of reclaimed plastic in a product. This kind of traceability and transparency must be built from the start of the value chain, requiring an end-to-end verification process from extraction offshore to the onshore landing, transportation, manufacturing and sales.

While The Ocean Cleanup was the first to apply the best practices, the standard is public and available to any organization for application and certification.  Any organization wanting to have its plastic certified must first understand the standard’s requirements and implement compliant processes along the entire value chain or parts thereof.  The verification process ensures full traceability of collected abandoned plastic allowing consumers themselves to check authenticity when buying the product.

Environment

Port joins Hunter group pursuing United Nations sustainability goals

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Port joins Hunter group pursuing United Nations sustainability goals. Image: Port of Newcastle
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Port of Newcastle is one of seven Hunter institutions that have united to advocate for and drive local adoption of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Group members – PON, City of Newcastle, Compass Housing Services, Hunter Water, Kumalie, Port Waratah Coal Services and University of Newcastle – have committed to raise awareness and actively implement the SDGs in the region.

Port of Newcastle’s Environment, Planning and Sustainability Manager, Jackie Spiteri, said the move was part of efforts to become a more sustainable and responsible organisation.

“The UN’s 17 SDGs form the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice,” Ms Spiteri said.

“We have joined other leading Hunter institutions to create a shared vision in this area, build our region’s capability and look at what that looks like in practice, including how that affects the supply chain, procurement and strategic direction of each party.”

Port of Newcastle last month released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which measures the organisation’s progress in achieving its sustainability commitments and its contribution towards the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Hunter and regional New South Wales.

It is also moving to 100% renewable energy by 2021 and is continuing to transition all its vehicles to electric by 2023.

Ms Spiteri said a STEM scholarship program for Aboriginal students, currently being developed through a partnership with University of Newcastle, and programs to promote the empowerment of women in maritime, were just part of the Port’s broader commitment to sustainable and responsible operations.

“Minimising our environmental footprint, diversifying trade and creating a more resilient economy requires a determined, long-term effort, with co-operation between the Port and its stakeholders,” Ms Spiteri said.

“While we look to what the Port could be in the decades ahead, it is clear there are things we can do today to make the way we operate the port more sustainable and responsible.”

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Yang Ming fulfills green promise carbon emission reduced 51% in 2019

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Yang Ming fulfills green promise carbon emission reduced 51% in 2019. Image: Flickr/ JAXPORT
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To achieve the pursuit of global sustainability and respond to customers’ growing awareness about environmental issues, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. formulated plans to build an echo-friendly fleet a decade ago with the aim to proactively enhance ship energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission.

In 2019, Yang Ming fleet’s average carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per transport work) per Teu/Km significantly reduced by 51% compared with the level in 2008, from 99.4 g/teu-km to 48.1 g/teu-km, accomplishing the IMO target of reducing carbon intensity by at least 40% by 2030, eleven years ahead of schedule. Through continuous fleet optimization, Yang Ming has fulfilled its promise of energy saving and emission reduction.

GHG emission plays a critical role in climate change mitigation. In this respect, IMO has adopted strict regulations to address the issue and set the goals to cut global shipping carbon intensity by at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 when compared to 2008.

To achieve the targets, Yang Ming has formulated several long-term strategies, including implementing 12 vessel modification and optimization projects, and accelerating the vessel renewal plan by eliminating vessels over 20 years of age and adding ten 2,800 TEU class, twenty 14,000 TEU and fourteen 11,000 TEU class echo-friendly smart vessels.

In addition, Yang Ming has cooperated with weather service provider Weathernews Inc. to build a monitoring system to manage fuel consumption and reduce GHG emission, and further evaluate the possibility of developing duel-fuel engine such as LNG or other engines that can perform with carbon-neutral alternative fuels.

As for sulphur oxide emission, Yang Ming ensured an early transition to use low sulfur fuel oil at Kaohsiung port and Shenzhen port in 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Yang Ming’s fleet has switched to very-low sulphur fuel oil with sulphur content lower than 0.5% and reduced sulphur oxide emission by 80% compared to traditional heavy fuel oil.

Furthermore, Yang Ming has actively participated in vessel speed reduction programs initiated by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Taiwan International Ports Corporation, LTD to well protect the marine ecology.

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Samsung Heavy Industries and Bloom Energy advance plans for clean power ships with joint development agreement

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Bloom Energy and Samsung Heavy Industries, a part of Samsung Group, have signed a joint development agreement to design and develop fuel cell-powered ships. The two companies will work together to realize their vision of clean power for ships and a more sustainable marine shipping industry.

“By signing this joint development agreement, SHI has a plan to develop eco-friendly ships that will lead the future of the industry,” said Mr. Haeki Jang, vice president of shipbuilding & drilling sales engineering at SHI. “Our goal is to replace all existing main engines and generator engines with these highly efficient solid oxide fuel cells to align with the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 and 2050 environmental targets.”

SHI is actively participating in all of the relevant activities during the joint development, from early studies to project completion, in order to build highly efficient fuel cell-powered ships. In alignment, Bloom Energy has created a dedicated, cross-functional team of engineers to adapt Bloom Energy’s Servers to the unique requirements of the marine environment.

SHI and Bloom Energy are actively working towards the next milestone in this development with a target to present the design to potential customers in 2022. Following commercialization, the two companies anticipate that the market for Bloom Energy Servers on SHI ships could grow to 300 megawatts annually.

This joint development work aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s mandate to meet emissions reduction targets by 2050. Because the fuel cells create electricity through an electrochemical reaction, without combusting the fuel, these ships would be able to improve air quality with a reduction of particulate emissions, including NOx and SOx, by more than 99 percent, and shrink carbon emissions.

“The marine shipping industry has the ability to make a substantial impact on emissions and air quality at ports and across our planet,” said KR Sridhar, founder, chairman and CEO of Bloom Energy. “We see a collaboration with one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, SHI, as a moment to make measurable strides in reducing emissions and extending our mission for clean, reliable energy to the seas.”

The joint development agreement between SHI and Bloom Energy follows an Approval in Principle for fuel cell-powered Aframax crude oil tankers from DNV GL, the internationally accredited marine shipping registrar and classification society, announced in September 2019. The next class of ship to be submitted for design approval is the LNG carrier.

 

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