Sustainability simply makes economic sense. The maritime and offshore sectors are no exceptions to this maxim. The trend cannot be ignored: architect and shipbuilder will have to demonstrate the sustainability of a naval, freight or drilling vessel or a luxury yacht before the client signs on the dotted line. There is thus a growing need for scientific evidence that the vessel will in fact meet stringent sustainability requirements.
TNO is specialized in Life Cycle Assessment, which entails an environmental impact assessment of a vessel's total life span. This includes the extraction of raw materials, transportation, the production of metal or plastics, the operation of the vessel and recycling at the end of its service life. By assessing the entire life cycle, all facets are taken into account, allowing designers to ensure that the benefits of one component are not offset by a loss elsewhere. Measures that initially seemed important, often turn out to have little real effect.
At TNO environmental experts work closely together with experts in the field of materials and structures. Their work constantly generates new insights. Using light-weight materials can save fuel while at sea, but these materials may prove a detriment at the end of the vessel's life cycle. Ships that sail a great deal require different measures to achieve environmental benefits compared to vessels that often remain stationary such as drillships or yachts. As an independent institute, TNO takes all aspects into account during an LCA: material use, energy consumption and emissions during production, operation and disposal.