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Climate actions

The International Maritime Organization, IMO, has set an ambitious target to reduce total annual GHG emissions from international shipping to reach net-zero by or close to 2050. In order to reach the target, new technologies must be developed and alternative fuels produced in the upcoming years. Finnlines supports the transition towards greener shipping and participates in developing low-emission maritime transportation.

Shipping is a global business and according to the IMO it is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. Up to 90% of the world’s commercial goods are transported by sea. Shipping as a mode of transport only creates approximately 2.6% of the global greenhouse emissions, figures are similar to the emissions from global air traffic.

Shipping is extremely important to the industry and economy. Approximately 90% of Finnish exports and 80% of imports are transported by sea. A liner shipping service with frequent departures is crucial for processed products, such as foodstuffs.

Ships with a higher utilisation rate are also more environmentally efficient. The best results are achieved by combining passenger traffic with cargo transport. This is exactly what Finnlines’ ro-pax service does. The high utilisation rate of the routes and vessels makes sustainable and responsible travel possible.

Reducing emissions is one of our most important targets. We aim to decrease our emissions per transported cargo unit year-by-year. Our performance will improve for instance through investing in fleet renewal and route optimization. Both our customers and the environment benefit from our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint.

  • We have systematically invested over EUR 1 billion in our fleet and operations during the past decade. Investments have included construction of new vessels, retrofits to existing vessels and development of port operations.
  • In 2017, we completed a EUR 100-million environmental programme, which included:
    • The installation of emission abatement systems to meet the more stringent environmental regulations. The exhaust gas cleaning systems remove harmful impurities.
    • Change of propeller blades and rudders. By reblading nine ships and fitting six ships with bulb rudders, we managed to reduce their water resistance and gain energy savings
  • In 2018, we completed a EUR 70-million programme of lengthening six of our ro-ro vessels. Their capacity was increased by 30% and emissions per transported cargo unit reduced significantly.
  • Energy efficiency is being maintained by good planning of our daily operations. For example, micro-organisms, algae and vegetation may grow on the underwater hull of ships, increasing water resistance and fuel consumption. During the open water season the underwater hull of all of our ships is cleaned regularly in order to reduce friction and to cut fuel consumption. Silicone anti-fouling has been applied on the bottom of two ships, which operate in the ice-free Southern Baltic. Silicone anti-fouling reduces the friction between ship’s hull and water and reduces fuel consumption.
  • Ballast water is used to trim and stabilize ships, but it may carry harmful aquatic species and out-compete native species, disrupting fragile marine ecosystems. In accordance with the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, Finnlines has installed treatment equipment in all its ships.
  • We continue to improve fuel efficiency. This means speed reduction, optimisation of schedules and running on optimal speed, load and trim. Our professional personnel play a very important role in reaching this goal.
  • Finnlines’ completed its EUR 500-million Green Newbuilding Programme in December 2023 when the last in the series of five new hybrid vessels was delivered. The programme has included three Eco-class ro-ro vessels and two Superstar ro-pax vessels, which have been equipped with state-of-the-art technology to save energy and to minimize emissions with the aim to reach zero emissions in port. High-powered battery banks and an air lubrication system under the keel have been installed on all five vessels. The ro-ro vessels have solar panels and ro-pax vessels can connect to on-shore power.
  • The Eco-series vessels entered traffic in 2022, the first Superstar, Finnsirius, in September 2023 and the second Superstar Finncanopus is scheduled to enter service in February 2024.
  • We review environmental figures annually and report our annual emissions to the International Maritime Organization IMO and EU. The results are verified by a third party, in our case classification society.