Creating the right conditions for shipping’s zero vision

Via the co-operation on the Zero Vision Tool (ZVT) platform, Association Ports of Sweden is helping create the right conditions for the vision of zero environmental impact which shipping has adopted. “It’s hugely rewarding to be one of the industry representatives in ZVTREF when so much is happening as regards the environment in connection with shipping,” says Anders Klingström, who is responsible for environmental and safety issues at Association Ports of Sweden.

As far as Anders Klingström is concerned, meeting the need for LNG infrastructure, the reception of scrubber waste and supplying vessels with chemicals for onboard scrubbers are just some of the duties of a port, and it has to accept them as such.
“The starting point for our participation in ZVT was that as early as 2010 Association Ports of Sweden and the Swedish Shipowners’ Association engaged in a joint initiative to establish industry-wide collaboration, called Baltic Sea Position, with the aim of identifying solutions which would give us better conditions for a cleaner Baltic Sea region. For us, it’s important that the impact on the environment from shipping is as limited as possible.”

ZVTREF provides an opportunity to contribute

There is a lot happening in shipping just now, and what’s more: everything is happening at once. S(ECA)s with reduced emissions into the atmosphere, regulations governing ballast water treatment and new regulations on black and grey water – each of these is a real challenge in itself. The main work is clearly a matter for the shipping companies, but all parties have to shoulder their share of the responsibility and contribute so that we can achieve the zero vision we desire.
Anders thinks that it is hugely rewarding to be one of the industry representatives in ZVTREF (ZVT’s reference group) when so much is happening as regards the environment in connection with shipping. 
“ZVTREF is a way of keeping up-to-date, getting involved and making a difference, as well as being able to contribute. There is a lot of new technology which has to be developed and when we can follow the work at close quarters we see where the problems lie and how people are trying to solve them. Via our contacts within ZVTREF, we gain an understanding of what ship owners and public authorities require from the ports,” says Anders.

A shared problem-solving method

The entire ZVT platform works on the basis of a traffic light method. A red light means that you will not get any further and will have to raise the issue with someone else who is in a position to do something to solve it. Anders thinks this is a good approach. 
Thanks to these overviews, you can always see that something is happening, where the bottlenecks are and what issues require your own response – it becomes a living document. Most issues which come to ZVTREF are yellow, which is just to be expected, as it is in the reference group that things get discussed until a solution is found. Of course, green issues disappear as and when they arise. 

Specific work aimed at meeting new sulphur requirements

Association Ports of Sweden is also active in one of the pilot projects, Pilot Scrubber. This pilot project is designed to use real case scenarios to show scrubber application potential and how it might function throughout the entire chain, from on-board implementation to managing of the waste, and Anders maintains that the work currently undertaken is of a highly specific nature. 
“I get to meet ship owners who describe their day-to-day operations and the problems the new requirements are causing them, and this gives me greater understanding of what they do. In addition, we are involved in the entire process with them, instead of coming in at the end without a proper understanding of the context. Just at the moment we are focusing on a solution for the sulphur requirements and the specific issues involved. After all, 1 January 2015 is not far off now.”

Environmental issues as a competitive advantage

But 2015 is not the objective, but rather the start of something new, according to Anders. He says that politicians had to weigh in heavily before anything started happening with shipping, but now that things are moving properly, it’s all looking up. 
Once the industry decided to grasp the nettle of environmental issues and view the environment as a competitive advantage, massive resources were put into it. The Swedish state, not to mention the EU, is taking a stand here. And it is not just that they are telling the industry to get its act together. They are providing resources and support to help it highlight the most major problem issues. Even though it is the shipping companies which are investing most in this, everyone takes shared responsibility for solving the problems, which Anders thinks is just as it should be.
“Our involvement in the collaboration at ZVT, where there is a really positive and enthusiastic atmosphere, results in a new way of meeting in terms of the issues we share with many others. It is an extremely absorbing and positive experience. All of us have our own role, but it is a new way of working which we appreciate and would like to see continue.”