Environment and responsibility

The Baltic Sea and the surrounding archipelago are our living conditions. We promote and develop our responsible practices in our own business and throughout our entire value chain. The purposes of our environmental responsibilities are for them to be a natural part of our daily operations. Everyone in our organization has a responsibility to actively follow and further develop our established environmental goals. Our goal is to minimize our environmental impact and Eckerö Line is continuously developing new methods for handling ships' emissions and waste products. All of Eckerö Group is certified by Lloyd's Quality Assurance as complying with the environmental standard (ISO 14001), which ensures continuous work to reduce our environmental impact.

Shipping is one of the most regulated sectors in terms of safety and the environment. We are affected by countless directives and legislation. Our entire personnel are involved in environmental work and are responsible for the environmental objectives in their own work. All personnel are regularly educated in environmental responsibility issues.

We develop environmentally friendly ways to work

  • Numerous technical development projects to reduce fuel consumption
  • Onboard we have a unique absorption system, developed by Gadlab Oy. The system collects residual heat from the ship's machines
  • Operating speed optimization
  • Waste is sorted
  • We strive to reduce food waste

Purchases

When purchasing raw materials for the ship's restaurants, we mainly prioritize locally-sourced produce. We prefer manufacturers with eco-labelled products or producers who themselves are active environmental leaders. In addition:

  • Our fish products come from sustainable fish stock and responsible suppliers. We prefer MSC/ASC certified products.
  • Most part of all meat and meat products that we use come from responsible Finnish breeders.
  • In dairy products we prefer local ingredients and cooperate with the Finnish company Valio.
  • The gluten free products served onboard m/s Finlandia are mostly baked in Finland.
  • The coffee served onboard is Kulta Katriina ecological coffee from Meira.
  • We prefer ecological products.
  • Our food wholesale shop has committed to give up eggs laid by hens in furnished cages by the end of 2025.

Emissions of air pollutants

The energy efficiency of the vessel and its machinery, as well as the quality of fuel, is of great importance in reducing air pollution. In order to reduce sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions in accordance with the sulphur directive, Finlandia main engine, booster drives and boiler uses low sulphur fuel (

M/s Finlandia also targets the environmental protection objectives of the CLEANSHIP classification system. The CLEANSHIP construction technique regulations aim to prevent emissions into air or water, should an accident occur.

M/s Finlandia has received a new propulsion system that reduces fuel consumption, lessens vibrations and as a result increases travelling comfort onboard.

M/s Finlandia also has new waste heat boilers, that recover heat energy from the exhaust gas from the main engine and booster drives. The energy recovered is used for heating the vessel. 90% of the ship's spotlights have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lights.

Waste management

We sort all waste produced by our operations on our passenger and freight vessels. Waste is produced in the passenger facilities, and during the operation of the vessels. We also sort the waste produced in our land operations, as in harbour operations, in our offices and storehouses.

The waste onboard m/s Finlandia is sorted as follows:

  • Combustible waste
  • Organic waste
  • Waste paper
  • Waste glass
  • Aluminium cans
  • Scrap metal and hazardous waste
  • Cooking oil
  • Waste plastic
  • Environmentally hazardous waste
  • Waste oil
  • Waste water (grey and black water)

Purer water

Our vessel has a closed wastewater system, and wastewater is always disposed of ashore at wastewater plants.

Two types of wastewater are produced; grey water is water used in the showers and sinks, and black water originates from the toilets.

In order to achieve as high a degree of purification as possible, we pump all wastewater ashore for municipal wastewater plants to treat. Therefore, the phosphorus and BOD7concentrations in our wastewater do not cause any environmental load to the Baltic Sea.

Chemical substances

We take part in a continuous development, where the aim is to replace chemical substances with more environmentally friendly ones.

We are engaged in continuous development, the aim of which is to replace chemical agents with more environmentally friendly ones. In the kitchen at m/s Finlandia for example, we use Biofloor, a biological floor detergent. The agent contains living microbes that break down fat and other organic waste stuck to the floor. The biological floor detergent has replaced the chemicals that were previously used to clean the drains.

Today we do not use antifouling paints with toxic tin compounds to keep the hulls of our vessels clean. We scrub the hull regularly, which reduces both fuel consumption and emissions.

Energy efficiency

  • In order to reduce and optimize energy consumption, frequency converters have been installed on the seawater pumps that pump cooling water to the engines.
  • CO2 controlled ventilation in the conference rooms reduces energy consumption and ensures that the rooms always have fresh air.
  • The energy efficiency of m/s Finlandia has been improved by several purposeful actions. Different technical upgrades have been done, e.g. the installation of the Gadcooler absorption system which collects waste heat from ships engines and utilizes it in the cooling system during summer.
  • M/s Finlandia is ready for shore-side electricity. In the future m/s Finlandia can plug into land-based power while in port, instead of using the auxiliary engines. Shore-side electricity switching will start as soon as it is possible in the ports of Helsinki and Tallinn. The implementation of shore-side electricity preparedness is part of the EU-funded Helsinki-Tallinn double-port project.

           

Reducing food loss

To us high-quality and delicious food, sustainably made of local ingredients, is an important and valuable issue. Our degree of self-sufficiency in food is high. Of all food served onboard about 80% is made in the ships kitchen. We value the raw materials we use, our labour and the environmental benefits of reducing food loss. We, together with our customers, want to make an effort to reduce food loss.

M/s Finlandia passenger volumes were 1.8 million in 2018 and food purchases for the ship cost over 3 million euros a year. As the passenger and food volumes are substantial, every little drop of less waste makes a great river of reduction. On annual levels even small improvements are significant.

The total amount of food waste on m/s Finlandia was reduced during 2017-2018 with more than 25 %. The total amount of food waste includes all food waste generated onboard, not just food loss. In the ship’s kitchen, during preparation for buffet or cafe meals, a natural food loss occurs, that is vegetable peels and stems or coffee grounds.

Many steps and ways to affect the amount of loss

We can have an impact on the amount of loss in several stages. All begins at ship’s food purchases but we can affect the loss also during preparation and serving. Passengers can have an impact on plate loss. In Buffet Eckerö, for example, the passenger serves himself the amount of food that he will eat. At buffet restaurants you can always go back for seconds if you like.

  • Procurement: we are optimizing the amount of food supply purchases, we ensure an efficient storage cycle and we have reliable suppliers.
  • Preparation: When food is prepared in m/s Finlandia’s kitchen for restaurants onboard, the amount is carefully calculated. The menus of Buffet Eckerö are planned to include a wide variety of foods, including special diets, and not to increase food loss. The amount of food and consumption in both cafes and restaurants onboard is monitored. The processing of raw materials is also important when it comes to food loss. We monitor the optimization of the processing. We also invest in high-quality kitchen tools and cooking methods like low temperature long time cooking. The kitchen is for example equipped with a vacuum sealer and a meat grinder. With the vacuum sealer the remaining ingredients can be vacuum-wrapped and stored for example in the freezer instead of thrown away, no loss occurs. With the help of the meat grinder, meat that has been left over during cutting in the kitchen, for example fillet ends, can be utilized in meatballs as flavour. We ensure that our staff is up to date in reducing food waste.
  • Serving: The third aspect to reducing food loss is serving. The food presentation and the size of serving plates and cutlery are things worth considering. The sizes of pieces and portions are also important. We have for example made research about the, from customer point of view, optimal size of a piece of cake at the desserts table.
  • Plate waste: We are informing about controlling food waste at the buffet lines in Buffet Eckerö. We combine the food lines as soon as the first rush is over or if we have less customers.
  • Ecological and biodegradable packaging: Food packaging has been replaced with ecological alternatives and some with biodegradable ones.
  • Products for -30% at Cafeteria Satama: On the last departure of the day, you can at the cafe buy today’s products at 30 % off. The packages are labelled 30% off.What do we do next?

What do we do next?

We are constantly doing development on how to reduce food waste. We are investing in a new storing system and more detailed reports than before. In the future we can monitor how food waste is generated in different points of sales at the ship and more accurately steer the actions towards reducing food waste.


Global emission reduction targets

Finnish Shipowners’ Association explains in a press release the comparability of carbon dioxide emissions in shipping and air traffic, and gives facts about the environmental impact of shipping. Read the release here. Shipping carbon dioxide emissions are monitored and measured at a vessel-specific level using the MRV follow-up system. Verified emissions data are reported to the EU.

The shipping industry is committed to reducing shipping emissions and the entire Maritime Cluster is working together to solve the challenge of emission reductions. Shipping and aviation are the only forms of transport where the global emission reduction targets affect the entire industry. The global obligation to measure emissions came into effect in early 2019.

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided that carbon dioxide emissions for international maritime transport work (tonnes / kilometre) should be reduced by at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050. The benchmark is the 2008 level.

Despite increasing traffic volumes, the absolute amount of annual greenhouse gases is to be reduced by at least 50% by 2050.

Since 2015, the amounts of sulphur emissions have been reduced to almost zero in Northern Europe. The global sulphur limit of 0.5% will take effect in 2020.

Corporate social responsibility

Finland 100-years Jubilee Project

In 2017 Eckerö Line acted as a corporate co-operation partner with the Finnish Government in the Finland 100-years jubilee project. Eckerö Line congratulated 100-year-old Finland by offering young musicians at the Sibelius Academy a stage. Tens of young musicians performed every other Thursday throughout the anniversary year on m/s Finlandia. At the same time, passengers were invited to new experiences.

By supporting talented young students we wanted to assure that Finnish music skills remain at top-level in the world. Our action was a gift to Finnish music makers and friends. We believe that music has a uniting and social function. The value of our donation was approximately 100 000 euro.

The co-operation also resulted as following: Eckerö Line is nominated on The Responsible Travel Act of the Year -short list in Finnish Travel Gala 2018. 

Bed sheets made of surplus fabric

As a result of a co-operation between Eckerö Line and Image Wear, about 200 bed sheets made from surplus fabric from Eckerö Line workwear, were given to The Helsinki Mother and Child Home Association (Helsingin ensikoti ry) in May 2018. The Association, founded 1936, is a voluntary child welfare organization that helps distressed families with small children and their close ones.

Fabric was left over as the personnel workwear appearance was updated, and thanks to the collaboration the fabric came to use again. The fabric was used to manufacture personnel shirts. Other older Eckerö Line workwear are reused as well. Personnel now again wear classic ties and cardigans from 2007.