Heerema Marine Contractors, based in Leiden in The Netherlands, can call itself the first climate neutral company in its field. They have achieved this by preventing, reducing and offsetting CO2 emissions. A big step, because a maritime contractor has an enormous footprint due to its fuel consumption. The goal: to be 100% climate neutral by 2025.
Roadmap to 2025
Carbon Advisors Jouke Roelfzema and Marjan Verbeek of Climate Neutral Group worked with the Heerema Marine Contractors. Roelfzema: “The initial request was to make all offshore activities climate neutral. Our role was to show the best way to do that.” Climate Neutral Group and Heerema Marine Contractors have found the point on the horizon to aim for. They have drawn up a ‘Roadmap To 2025’, a guide for achieving their climate goals. “We do this by offsetting 100% in the first year, and then reducing more and more every year.”
Vincent Doedee, International Sustainability Manager at Heerema Marine Contractors:
“During the implementation of our strategy and our roadmap to climate neutrality, Climate Neutral Group has helped us to formulate our goals, sharpened the roadmap and found suitable climate projects that fit with us as a company for offsetting our residual emissions. Climate Neutral Group has helped us a lot, both as a project manager and as a sounding board to help us on the way to climate neutrality. A very qualified partner who knows what they are talking about!”
Heerema Marine Contractors is investing in new technologies to support its sustainability measures. For example, the contractor has introduced the innovative sustainable vessel Sleipnir, which is propelled by LNG. This reduces CO2 emissions by 20% compared to conventional diesel and reduces nitrogen oxides, sulphur and particulate matter even more. Heerema has also developed a sustainable energy shore power (‘Shore Power’) connection at the Rotterdam mooring location.
Heerema Marine Contractors CEO Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven said earlier this year that its mission is to be the leading maritime contractor creating sustainable value: “Our decision to become climate neutral in 2020 is proof that we are acting on our words. We are proud of the commitment. We have brought the Sleipnir into operation and delivered shore power, which has significantly reduced our impact. Going climate neutral is the next step for our company.”
Prevention, Reduction and Offsetting Measures
Heerema Marine Contractors distinguishes three different types of measures for becoming completely climate neutral by 2025: offsetting, reduction and prevention measures.
- Prevention – Avoiding
Prevention measures are measures that avoid the combustion of fuel for generating energy. Various initiatives are already underway, such as the Walstroom Caland channel, better utilisation of the cranes and an improved energy management system for the Thialf. Heerema’s head office is also BREEAM certified and they use Dutch wind energy for electricity. As a result, the Carbon Footprint of Heerema employees in the head office has been virtually eliminated. In total, Heerema estimates that it can prevent about 25% of its total CO2 emissions.
- Reduction – Cutting Back
Reduction measures are measures that cut back on the amount of fuel required, use a cleaner fuel and/or increase combustion efficiency by improving specific fuel consumption. An example is the use of synthetic diesel fuel or biofuels such as GTL1 and HVO2. Energy recovery measures, such as heat recovery from exhaust gases and hybridisation, are also included. An important and successful initiative that Heerema Marine Contractors has already undertaken is the use of LNG for the Sleipnir, which reduces local emissions such as NOx, SOx and particulate matter (PM). It is estimated that Heerema Marine Contractors can reduce up to 55% (approximately) of its CO2 emissions through alternative fuels such as biofuels.
- Offestting (compensation) – Greening
From 1 October 2020, Heerema Marine Contractors is offsetting 100% of its current Carbon Footprint at sea, which corresponds to approximately 50,362 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is almost equal to the Carbon Footprint of the entire company in 2020. Heerema Marine Contractors is offsetting by investing in climate projects that are in line with its mission to create sustainable values. These are certified CO2 reduction projects that are already under development by Climate Neutral Group.
The amount of offsetting needed to remain climate neutral is gradually reduced as prevention and mitigation measures increase. It is expected that by 2025 CO2 emissions will be about 20% of the 2020 level. These will be offset in order to remain climate neutral, by preferably by the capture and storage of CO2 on board Sleipnir. If necessary, additional offsetting will take place through climate projects.
1 GTL is the abbreviation for Gas To Liquid It is the liquid diesel fuel that can replace conventional diesel. GTL is obtained synthetically from natural gas. GTL burns more efficiently than standard crude oil diesel fuel. This means less nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and soot (fine dust).
2 HVO (also sold under brand names such as CO2 fuel or Blue Diesel) stands for “Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil” and is a new type of diesel fuel. It is made from used oils and residual waste such as animal fats. This makes HVO a fossil-free and renewable fuel with enormous advantages in terms of sustainability. It has a very high CO2 reduction (around 85-90%) and a lower amount of harmful emissions such as particulate matter, NOx and sulphur.