In the past, ship owners only started to think about green recycling towards the end of a ship’s cycle, if at all. That’s no longer an option.

Words by: Alannah Eames

In 2009, the Ship Recycling Convention (HKC) was adopted in Hong Kong; it’s currently awaiting ratification. The Convention sets down new rules to make the recycling of ships, in the future, as safe and environmentally friendly as possible.

Meanwhile, the new European Union – Ship Recycling Regulation (EU-SRR) which was Rakesh Photoenacted in December 2013 will soon be enforced; it will include an approved list of recycling yards where EU-flagged vessels can be recycled. This list is expected by the end of 2016. All ships larger than 500 tonnes must now keep an inventory of all the hazardous (and potentially hazardous) materials (IHM) on board the vessel. This includes materials like asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, tributyltin and chlorofluorocarbon. The list must show the location and approximate quantities of these materials on board.

“Regardless of whether the vessel owner plans on recycling the ship, we want all our ships to be as ‘green’ as possible for our crew and cargo. So this IHM process fits in perfectly with our group’s environmental objectives,” says Rakesh Bhargava, general manager of IHM, green ship recycling, lay-up ser
vices at Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM).
The preparation process for IHM, he admits, is time consuming and tedious as it means going through lots of documentation andplanning for a ship inspection.

Bhargava explains how the process works:
“Wilhelmsen Ship Management has set up a team of certified Hazmat experts who can spend two to three days on the ship gathering the necessary information and collecting samples which are analyzed by approved laboratories. The IHM report is then prepared and submitted to the ship’s Classification Society for review and an onboard survey. Then the ship receives a Statement of Compliance.”

Even if the ship owner does not wish to recycle the vessel or the ratification of the HKC is delayed, there is no escape from the IHM list as every ship visiting EU ports must soon have an up-to-date IHM as per the EU-SRR.


Inside the Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it’s hard
to miss ‘green’ touches such as the waste which is segregated into special recycle bins, the lack of disposable cups and plastic bottles and the signs scattered around reminding staff of how they can be ‘greener’. If printing is really necessary, it is done on both sides of the paper. Lights are switched off when not in use or when there is sufficient natural light.

WSM Malaysia’s office was ISO 14001-certified in 2010. Fifteen of the vessels WSM Malaysia manages have also been certified since 2013; the rest of the fleet has chosen voluntarily to comply with the certification. It means the office and vessels are operating according to the highest environmental standards in the world. The ISO 14001 was released in 1996 and was revised in 2004 and 2015.


“The certification generates awareness towards ‘eco-friendly’ practices and transforms our mindset to be ‘green’. We hope this is a value which is carried back home by our staff, thus enhancing the impact of office and vessel-based certification,” says captain Mohd Iqbal, HSEQ manager at WSM Malaysia, who has been involved in the certification process since the start.

Once certified, the Environmental Management Program is then carried out regularly to make sure that standards are adhered to and that there is continuous improvement.

“The next step is to make sure every single fleet that WSM manages, both technically and globally, is ISO certified,” says captain Iqbal.

“It confirms our commitment to preserving the environment to our stakeholders and the community at large.”

IHM picture