We read and hear a lot about sustainability with regard to environmental management involving ships and shipping. Our mothers have been and are doing a good job vis-à-vis sustainability by hiding the cookies from the kids, lest they may finish all at one go. If we emit too much NOx, Sox, CO2, particulate matter and harmful refrigerant gases, throw too much garbage and oily water into the sea, let go untreated sewage and harmful chemicals into the sea and do not follow company instructions on these subjects, then even though, we might be enjoying ourselves at present but we are drastically diminishing sustainability of the fruits of “good earth” for our children in future.
We often think that we are very modern and clever without realizing that our mothers fed us first and then ate themselves by scraping the cooking pots for last trace of curry. She has always been aware about the sustainability of the quantum of food cooked.
Several problems are solved if we remain simple and see things with a clear mind. I get amused when I see some of the so called experts enunciating on various proclamations of the IMO without even experiencing them first hand.
There is competition about who utters the latest IMO regulation first and is able to let the bullet points fall or dance rhythmically, while speaking authoritatively. Out at sea we tend to eat too much (inspite of the Bible cautioning us) and wasting too much food.
The board members are in favour of sustainability of profits generated ethically. Most of the corporate and shipping company heads have been engaged in leaving the environment much more better for future generations than what we inherited. That sustains our hope in sensitivity and rectitude of our ship owners and managers. For several years now, we have been filling and sending environmental report to office quite diligently.
Using a spare part carefully until the replacement of a new one adds to sustainability. On one ship we had only one Air start motor for generators in good condition which our boys used to remove carefully. They used to preserve it until new equipment was ordered. Not forcibly operating the engine in adverse weather conditions adds to sustainability. Many times we are not aware of our berthing prospects and yet keep burning fuel by not reducing speed in adverse sea and winds. Saving of fuel by reduction of speed plus trim optimization, promote environmental sustainability.