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GHG Reporting Best Practices for Shipowners

The maritime industry has committed to reduce international shipping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly by 2030, ensuring the achievement of a reduction in the carbon intensity by at least 40%, according to the International Maritime Organization’s 2023 Strategy. Achieving this will require robust guidelines for assessing fuel sustainability and emissions as well as innovative solutions for emissions monitoring and reporting.

Forward-thinking shipowners that want to comply with current and future regulations while reducing extraneous costs in fuel consumption and carbon credits should adopt a proactive approach to emissions management by considering the following best practices.

  1. Consider financial impact
    In 2024, the EU ETS regulatory system was extended to include the shipping industry. The system requires shipowners offset the CO2 emitted during transport by purchasing carbon allowances (EUA). Not only does this impact shipping companies doing business abroad, but also forecasts future regulatory shifts and underscores a global trend toward decarbonization and sustainability that will have a widespread impact. The impact is more than a reporting issue. It will have a material financial ramification—potentially up to $100 billion annually.
  2. Set emission reduction targets
    Shipowners should establish clear emission reduction targets that are achievable and aligned with international goals such as the IMO’s Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. They should also monitor progress towards these targets and adjust strategies as needed to meet objectives and GHG reporting requirements. By clearly articulating a commitment to sustainability and outlining concrete goals for emission reduction, such as aligning with international standards or setting ambitious targets in line with industry best practices, shipping companies can build trust and credibility with investors, customers, and the broader public.
  3. Invest in technology for accurate data collection
    Shipping companies without an emissions monitoring system collect fuel logs and manually enter data into a spreadsheet or third-party software that then calculates emissions using a standard conversion ratio. This process is not only time consuming, but leaves room for inaccuracies that can have a large financial impact over time. While many large engine and control manufacturers have added emissions monitoring systems to new equipment, these systems aren’t practical for legacy equipment. Using new technologies that incorporate engine loads and alternative fuels, actual GHG measurements will result in lower GHG emissions, which reduces the carbon cost. These savings could be invested in new equipment that is more fuel efficient.
  4. Prioritize collaboration and support industry initiatives
    Shipping companies should participate in industry initiatives, collaborations, and partnerships aimed at addressing GHG emissions in the maritime sector. They should engage with industry associations, research institutions, and regulatory bodies to stay informed about best practices and emerging technologies. This may include investments in zero-emission propulsion systems, alternative fuels, and carbon capture and storage technologies.
  5. Maintain transparency
    Shipowners should maintain transparency in reporting GHG emissions by disclosing emission data, reduction initiatives, and progress towards targets in sustainability reports or through voluntary reporting platforms. Many investors and other stakeholders have been skeptical about the ability to meet the public targets. By openly sharing data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and other environmental metrics, shipping companies demonstrate accountability and commitment to addressing climate change. This increases the stakeholder’s trust factor. This transparency can also enhance the company’s reputation and attractiveness to investors who increasingly consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decision-making processes.
  6. By implementing these best practices, the maritime industry can effectively monitor, report, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change while ensuring regulatory compliance and improving operations.

    About the TS Cyanergy Solution

    Cyanergy’s remote monitoring system automates the emission reporting process. By monitoring the fuel and power loads, we optimize engine performance to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHG). Cyanergy’s advanced sensors and controllers track the actual engine and emission data every minute. This makes it more accurate and efficient than traditional systems which require manual input.