AkzoNobel slashes shipping emissions through $500,000 carbon credit scheme

Paint and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has issued more than 126,000 carbon credits - worth more than $500,000 - to 16 ships in a move that has reduced the emissions of each vessel by 4,000 tonnes annually.

By rewarding vessel owners who introduce AkzoNobel-ranged coatings onto their fleets, the 16 vessels received a share of 126,785 carbon credits issued by the carbon credits certification body Gold Standard Foundation. On average, these credits equate to 1,250 tonnes in fuel reduction.

“This is a tremendous moment both for AkzoNobel and the customers involved,” said Oscar Wezenbeek, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business. “With the carbon credits program, we are demonstrating leadership and innovation in driving sustainability.”

The award-winning programme from AkzoNobel rewards owners who convert the coatings on ship hulls from biocidal coatings to the fuel and carbon-reducing ‘Intersleek’ coating produced by the firm. Currently, more than 4,500 vessels are using Intersleek coating, which AkzoNobel claims has achieved total annual reductions of 17 million tonnes in carbon emissions – equivalent to 1.5% of the shipping industry’s global emissions.

In order to receive the credits, the 16 vessels were subjected to rigorous assessments which verified fuel consumption data through an independent auditor.

“We have long known that our Intersleek coatings can contribute to reducing carbon emissions from the shipping industry,” said Intersleek business manager and manager of the carbon credits programme Trevor Solomon. “With the award of the first carbon credits, we now have independent validation and verification of those fuel and emission savings by respected auditors and the Gold Standard Foundation.”

AkzoNobel will now discuss the sale and offsetting options of the carbon credits with the enrolled ship owners.

New coat

Offsetting has become an increasingly viable business option for AkzoNobel, with its latest sustainability report for 2015 – released earlier this week – revealing that the firm had increased its revenue from downstream eco-premium solutions by 19% of revenue. The company had originally set a target of 20% by 2020.

The sustainability report goes on to highlight the recent launch of ‘Interac Vision’, AkzoNobel’s main tool to provide the shipping industry with access to the first ever consultancy toolkit on transparent fuel and CO2 reduction potentials through coating switches.

AkzoNobel, along with WWF and Unilever, is part of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative coalition, which yesterday (24 February) scheduled the release of a new roadmap that encourages the shipping industry to promote sustainable practices.

Once live in Q1 2016, the new sustainability roadmap will set out the viable range of biofuels and renewable sources such as hydro and wind that can be used by ships as an alternative to fossil fuels all the way through to 2040.

According to the sustainability report, AkzoNobel’s own carbon emissions have fallen 3% off a 2012 baseline, with an aim to reach a lofty 25-30% reduction by 2020. Last year saw the company achieve the Carbon Trust Triple Standard after achieving significant reductions in water, waste and carbon.

Matt Mace

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