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During spring 2021 we recognized that our environmental work needed a boost. There was also a growing demand for transparent communication and reporting. We made two major decisions; to launch a yearly sustainability report and to create an environmental program, which would be audited externally.

Now, some eight months later, we have a certified environmental program called Ecocompass, and we are also gathering information for sustainability report number two, which will be published in May 2022.

Which environmental program to choose?

There are several options for choosing an environmental management program. One just has to go through their principles and solve, which one is suitable for their branch. We decided to start our work with the help of Ecocompass-program, because it can be used as an interphase while targeting for international ISO 14001-certificate. The structure also seemed appropriate for a bit different “offices”, our ships.

Ecocompass is owned by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, which is the oldest and largest environmental NGO in Finland. As a very well-known association we found them as a reliable partner.

Why do we need an environmental management system?

Meriaura has always been known for ambitious environmental goals. However, the good intentions need proper targets and a follow-up system. Creating an environmental program starts with recognizing the major environmental effects of our daily operations and then planning how to tackle them. Concrete targets are set and each target must have a measurable indicator. That is the only way to commit to the principle of constant improvement and also develop our actions systematically towards the right direction.

An externally audited program ensures, that our targets meet the requirements and that we have adopted the right approach to our environmental management system. We also got this kind of feedback from our Ecocompass auditor; she pointed out that our program is goal-oriented and comprehensive, and our personnel is willing to act sustainably.

Our targets

It is quite obvious, that the biggest environmental effects of a shipping company originate from the ships, mostly wastewaters and exhaust gases from the fuels. Therefore our main targets concentrate on our own biofuel production and follow-up of the emissions of our entire fleet per tonne-mile. It is really important to always transport full loads, which requires precise planning. Another important target is to prevent eutrophication of the seas (especially the Baltic Sea) and get 80 % of our wastewaters discharged to port facilities.

In some efforts we are weak alone, and for better possibilities to influence we are creating partnerships with environmental actors. Our cooperation with Baltic Sea Action Group has already started very promisingly with a ship waste (water) action in the port of HaminaKotka.

We have also decided to strengthen our communication outwards, with the target of increasing the amount of our blog posts yearly, and this one kicks off our year 2022! 😊

Mia Hytti
Sustainability Specialist


Read earlier news about Ecocompass