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Over the last two decades, the energy consumption of Greek ferries has been reduced by 30%. Although 80% of world trade is also moved by ships, they are responsible only for 2% of global emissions of carbon dioxide. More specifically, passenger shipping accounts for less than 1% of total oil spillage produced by shipping and, within shipping, passenger ships are responsible for proportionately less marine pollution than any other type of ocean-going vessel.
Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries, two of the most powerful Greek Ferries companies, make since their creation great efforts and take strict measures, not only to supply the best quality and high standard services to the passengers but also to ensure the safety of our environment. Therefore, no cost has been spared in contracting the most modern and up-to-date equipment for the ships, which coincide with the idea of respecting and protecting the priceless chain of life. The companies make continuous investments in modern environmentally friendly technology and adhere to international and local regulations. In addition, the fleet is undergoing strict quality certification procedures, which further ensure its safety towards the environment.
Superfast Ferries trains its employees, ashore and on board, and encourages them to be environmentally responsible. On each vessel, the Staff Captain and the Chief Engineer are responsible for the practical and environmental measures adopted on board. Ashore, the Environmental Engineer and Environmental Manager provide both general and task-specific training in environmental issues. Finally, the company's vessels participate in joint emergency simulations with emergency and environmental authorities.
In September 2002, Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries became the first Greek passenger ferry companies to receive certification as per ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Apart from the Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries, also the Minoan Lines and the Anek Lines of the Greek Ferries companies make continuous efforts and take several measures, in order to protect the environment. The company of ANEK LINES complies with the " International code for the safe operation of vessels and the protection of the sea environment" (ISM CODE). On the other hand, the MINOAN LINES encourage particular practices for the protection of the marine environment with regular controls and observance of International Regulations (MARPOL). Moreover, refuse is collected and separated in special containers and it is properly disposed of via waste disposal vehicles in each port of call. At key points on board, signs have been placed that discourage passengers from littering the sea, as well as for instructions for safe disposal of litter. Concerning wastewaters, they are collected in special tanks and are properly disposed of via specially designed vehicles. MINOAN LINES is also an active member of "HELMEPA" (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association").
Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries are active members of HELMEPA, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, which is a non-profit and non-governmental organization involving shipowners and seafarers. Its main principle is the belief that protection of the marine environment can only be achieved through the personal involvement of the human element.
Solid waste is generated by the operation of hotel, restaurant and retail services on board, as well as by maintenance works. Recycling is a key issue for the group, especially when considering supplies on board. Blue Star Ferries has minimized the use of plastics, disposable food, and retail packaging, still in terms of environment protection.
Sea Water Pollution
The effluents of a ship to the seawater mainly consist of sewage, oil spills, ballast water, and anti-fouling paints. Both Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries Companies are particularly prudent against seawater pollution, in terms of disposal of waste material. Therefore, all local and international regulations (e.g. MARPOL) are strongly adhered to, in a continuous effort to preserve the seas.
Sewage: The sewage plant on board complies with the latest MARPOL requirements and ensures that the effluent will negatively affect the sensitive sea environment.
Oil Spills and Discharges: On every ship have been installed oil separation equipment capable to remove oil from bilge water; the mean final effluent contains up to 5 ppm of oil maximum, whereas international regulations may allow oil concentration up to 15 ppm.
The wastewater treatment plant is certified for use on board and in fact, is capable of producing treated wastewater, exceeding the specifications of even the strictest international regulations. All chemicals used on board have been selected based on their environmental friendliness.
Ballast Water: Special concerns have been developed for the handling of ballast water, in order to avoid any disturbances to the sensitive ecosystem of the sea.
Anti-fouling Paints: All vessels have their hulls painted with tin free paints, which are non-toxic, in order to avoid the release of harmful agents into the sea.
Ship and Engine Design
At Superfast Ferries, technology is meant to improve environmental protection. During the past years, through the implementation of improvements in design, excellent levels of engine performance have been achieved, resulting in less fuel consumption, less exhaust of physical resources and sequentially fewer emissions.
Emissions to Air
Air pollutants mainly originate from internal fossil fuel combustion engines, which at the moment appear as the only alternative. Superfast Ferries fleet is fully complying with the international regulations on the production of air pollutants and the company has managed to produce even less than permitted.
More actions for the protection of the climate and the environment: • Climate-friendly alternative modes of travel by offering train & ferry packages within Europe as an alternative to flying and a 50% discount on the transport fares of all hybrid and electric vehicles.
• Recycle of paper, toner cartridges and batteries on the vessels.
• Energy-saving light bulbs are used throughout the vessels, except the safety lights.
• The shops on board are starting to offer climate-friendly and energy saving appliances (e.g. car tire pumps and dynamo torches) and soon all plastic bags will be replaced with fabric ones.
• The fresh products on board come from 100% local suppliers, thus reducing CO2 emissions of air travel.
• Cabin air and hot water are heated via the waste heat from the engines’ exhaust gas.
• Most of the fresh water on the ships are produced by filtering seawater through a special desalination plant thus ensuring that as little as possible is added to the water scarcity of the region.