Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Evaluation of environmental performance indices for ships

Lookup NU author(s): Martin Gibson, Dr Alan J Murphy, Dr Kayvan Pazouki



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. Pollution from ships is a significant environmental concern. Maritime environmental legislation has tightened in recent years since the introduction of the MARPOL 73/78 regulations, however there is often a significant time gap between when the regulations are adopted and when they legally enter force. The emergence of private voluntary environmental initiatives has occurred in an attempt to bridge this gap, reduce environmental impacts, and raise the environmental profile of ships. However, there are inconsistencies in the methodologies used to define ship performance, and the number and diversity of initiatives available for use can cause confusion, hindering progress towards greater sustainability. A critical analysis of existing environmental initiatives in the shipping industry has been conducted, challenging the applicability, scope, and environmental ambition of the methodologies adopted. The analysis highlights significant limitations of initiatives with regards to transparency, assessment rationale and environmental scope, and flexibility to be ship specific. Many show bias towards certain environmental indicators, while others have limited ambition. This paper challenges the effectiveness of existing environmental initiatives used in the shipping sector to promote environmental improvements beyond current regulatory requirements, and proposes an objective, quantifiable approach to assessing vessel environmental performance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gibson M, Murphy AJ, Pazouki K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Year: 2019

Volume: 73

Pages: 152-161

Print publication date: 01/08/2019

Online publication date: 04/07/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 15/07/2019

ISSN (print): 1361-9209

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2340

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2019.07.002


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric