It is clear that fleet age is the leading indicator of a greener fleet, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry comprises the world’s youngest blue water fleet with an average age of 9.4 years based on Clarksons Research’s World Fleet Register (Clarksons). Furthermore, Clarksons has established “green” categories assigned to ships that invest in emission reduction technologies such as LNG fuel and alternative fuels, battery/hybrid systems, engine control optimisation (ECO), and energy savings technologies (EST) such as wind and solar. Looking inward to its own fleet, this means more than 50 per cent of the gross tonnage of the RMI flagged blue water fleet is availing itself of green technologies.
“As the largest quality flag, as reflected in the International Chamber of Shipping’s Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table 2020/2021, we are happy to report that the data being collected now shows that RMI is the greenest fleet overall too. This is a credit to our owners and we applaud them for reducing shipping’s impact on our planet,” said Bill Gallagher, President, International Registries, Inc. (IRI), which provides administrative and technical support to the RMI maritime and corporate registries.
“For many years, IRI has invested in technical resources and experts worldwide to support RMI owners as they have turned to innovation and green technology. Our owners’ dedication to sustainable shipping practices has put them ahead of the pack in terms of regulatory compliance and created the greenest fleet in the world,” continued Bill Gallagher.
“There’s a correlation between high-quality flag standards and high levels of regulatory compliance,” he adds. “While some of our competitors are targeted by the United States Coast Guard’s port State control regime, the RMI fleet has remained on QUALSHIP 21 for 16 consecutive years in addition to its high white list standing with the other major international Memorandums of Understanding,” he continued. “This is a testament to our owners and their seafarers and the Registry’s long-term commitment to quality shipping and meeting regulatory requirements,” he stated.
As shipping moves to achieve the International Maritime Organisation’s targets in the Initial Strategy for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, greater awareness and concern is developing about the industry’s environmental impact. As a result, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are playing a larger part in the financing of vessels and it is important that shipowners utilise a flag state that has the commitment and proven track record to support them in their journey towards ESG compliance.
“ESG is not just about environmental practices, but it also includes crew welfare. Over the course of the last 12 months to present day, our operators worked proactively, deviating vessels and arranging charter flights to relieve crewmembers when necessary,” said Bill Gallagher. “They recognize that efforts to support and protect crew welfare result in safer and more secure vessels,” he continued. “And that is what it really comes down to with ESG – fostering an ethical corporate culture that acts to improve operational performance, protect the environment, and safeguard the crew and ship,” he concluded.