2017 took us 300 steps closer to a more sustainable future

Sustainability | 2 Comments

We have set sail on a journey to become a greener ferry company. Our focus is centred around four areas, developed in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and adapted to our business: Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption, Good Health & Well-being and Life Below Water. Since 2006, we’ve been working to reduce energy and fuel consumption, and in July, we implemented our 300th project.  Here’s a look at 2017 from a sustainability perspective.

Our vision, splashed proudly across the hulls of our ferries, is “Connecting Europe for a Sustainable Future.” They’re not just pretty words. Seeing as 90% of the world’s traded goods are transported by sea, we — together our colleagues in the shipping industry — play a very important role when it comes to the impact of international trade on the environment. The good thing is that sea-based transport is the most environmentally efficient way of transporting goods when measuring emissions per tonne. Yet the climate and environment are still affected. Here are some examples of our sustainable projects undertaken in 2017.

300 projects for reduced energy consumption

In 2006, we launched our Energy Savings Program (ESP) with the purpose of reducing fuel consumption in line with our target: minus 2.5 per cent per year. In July 2017, project number 300 was executed when we replaced the regulators on the main engines of Stena Scotia, which operates along the Rotterdam – Killingholme route. The annual expected fuel savings is 3%. To put it briefly, we installed a modern control unit and a robot engine in order to get an even and accurate fuel supply. This was previously implemented on four of our other ferries, including the Stena Spirit, which operates along the Karlskrona – Gdynia route.

1,000,000 plastic bags replaced

Plastics ending up in the oceans is a growing environmental problem. We thus decided to replace our regular plastic bags with a bag made from bio materials. This is an important step in our efforts to phase out all carrier bags and plastic disposables onboard all 36 ferries throughout 2017-2018. During the summer we also replaced 1.3 million disposable coffee cups onboard with a biodegradable alternative.

Connecting our ferries to onshore power supply

It’s actually nothing new! We started connecting ferries to onshore power supply back in 1989. What’s new is that four of our six ports in Sweden (or 17% of the ports in our route network) are now connected to the local electrical grid.
The latest port to be included in this project is Trelleborg, in the south of Sweden, where we can now connect our two ships M/S Skåne and M/S Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to the electrical grid during their calls at port. This means that the machinery onboard is completely shut down, bringing emissions down to practically zero, especially as we’re using green electricity. During 2016, all of Stena Line’s electrical connections in port contributed to a reduction of CO2 emissions by 12,500 tons, which equates to the annual consumption of 6,500 average passenger cars.

These were three of our sustainable projects from 2017. For us, sustainability goes beyond mitigating our impact on the environment. It also helps us protect the health, safety and well-being of everyone who works and travels with us. In 2018, we will continue on our sustainable journey and we hope you’ll follow along! /ylva.