Heerema’s 12-story global headquarters built in 2015 significantly raised the satisfaction of its employees, by improving air quality, increasing thermal comfort and maximizing daylight. Thermal solar collectors are installed, a heat pump is used for cooling and heating and electricity is fully green. It was showcased as one of the most sustainable buildings in 2016 by the World Green Building Council (WGBC).
The Sustainability Community is a group of people within Heerema that share a passion for sustainability and aim to improve Heerema in this regard. It is not only an online community, regular lunch and learn sessions are organized with external speakers to discuss and engage in varying sustainable topics. Examples of external speakers include Arnaud Kooij (CEO of Layertec), Mark van Koningsveld (Professor at TU Delft and Program Director of Reefguard at Van Oord) or Hendrik-Jan Groeneveld (Ambassador of Mercy Ships). The goal of this community is to inspire, discuss and improve Heerema's Sustainability Goals and Values.
Heerema believes in responsible ship recycling because it’s the right thing to do. It was this vision that led the recycling of the SSCV Hermod, historically one of the largest crane vessels in the world. From the start of this project, our goal was to ensure that recycling the SSCV Hermod would be done in a safe and environmentally friendly way, with fair labour conditions for the workforce. With the help of Grieg Green, a provider of green recycling solutions, we were able to do just that: a responsible recycling operation reflecting HMC’s sustainable values. Our contribution to Responsible Ship Recycling has been recognized in ABN Amro's Human Rights Report of 2018 (page 60). Heerema is proud to be able to contribute to a sustainable future for ship recycling.
Heerema works around the world. We consider the impact of our work on the local communities of our employees. One of the key aspects of local employment is providing suitable education. For Porto Amboim, our yard in Angola, we have carried out on-the-job training across a range of trades. We operated a welding school and trained local staff to become riggers. Because of the Porto Amboim yard’s relatively remote location, we have created infrastructure that provides for employees’ needs both. One example is the water treatment plant we constructed to supply the yard with clean, safe drinking water. Local employees are also provided with health insurance covering their family. We also support a boys shelter together with REMAR. Learn more in the 2016 Sustainability Report (page 20).
Our latest initiative ensures employees can have the opportunity to become fitter, stronger, and healthier from within our office, in only twenty minutes a week. To do this we have teamed up with Fit20, an intensive personal training programme that takes place once a week under the guidance of a personal trainer in a specially designed safe environment. Employees will spend their twenty minutes testing out the limits of their muscle strength during a tailored workout session that requires no change of clothing, making it the perfect programme to help busy employees have the time to work out.
Generally, people measure sustainability in environmental or economic terms. However, there is a third and equally important type of sustainability that is concerned with the quality of life, known as social sustainability. Burnout is often a culmination of pressure, stress, and fatigue both in personal and professional arenas. However, people often wonder what happens next? How do you get back to the workplace? What help exists? In Heerema, there are positive examples of personnel who regained their health following time off due to burnout. Their stories are both inspiring and educational, providing an insight into how they restored their confidence, got back in touch with their skills, and built meaningful professional and personal relationships in the workplace.
The Paris Agreement, International Maritime Organization and the UN Sustainable Development Goals all provide al clear goal in terms of carbon reduction: society and industry should strives towards becoming carbon neutral. That is why Heerema is looking into several ways to become a carbon neutral company. Our strategy is to Prevent, Reduce and ultimately Compensate our footprint to ensure we perform our activities in a carbon neutral manner. More information on our carbon neutral roadmap is soon to follow.
Heerema is frontrunner in the Offshore Construction Industry in embracing LNG as marine fuel. The newest addition to Heerema’s fleet - the Sleipnir - has numerous features that reduce its impact on the environment and increase sustainability, including the use of LNG as fuel. It is the most sustainable heavy lifting vessel in the world. Compared to heavy fuel oil, carbon emissions are reduced by approximately 20%, while other emissions are reduced by almost 95% or more!
Together with Eneco and the Port of Rotterdam, Heerema plans to build 20 Megawatts worth of electrical infrastructure that powers HMC's fleet when in port by 100% green energy. Connecting Heerema Marine Contractors' fleet to the grid by sustainable energy will provide a significant reduction in terms of emissions and noise. Due to the fact the diesel generators will be switched off shortly after the vessel is moored, nearly all emissions – CO2, NOX, SOX and PM – will be eliminated by Heerema in the channel. In the future, even more vessels could be connected to the grid to reduce the (carbon) footprint even further. In addition to the emissions saved, noise generation will be reduced significantly too.
As part of the crane booms refurbishment project in the R&M period of the Thialf in 2016/2017, the cranes have been fitted with LED lighting, which in turn improved the lighting on deck. The LED lighting uses 60% less power than conventional lighting and will contribute to an overall reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. These reductions will in turn recover the investment in LED lighting over the next few years. In addition to these benefits, the lifespan of the LED lighting is around 4 to 5 times longer compared to conventional lighting.
Heerema has already invested heavily in cleaner fuels to power its vessels, exemplified by the use of LNG for the Sleipnir. In addition to this major step forward, ongoing efforts are made to further reduce emissions on the existing Heerema fleet. That is why HMC is looking into the usage of GTL from Shell and HVO from GoodFuels to further reduce its footprint. These are both synthetic, paraffinic diesel fuels. Both have the potential to greatly reduce emissions - especially SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) - and can even reduce CO2 emissions up to 90% in some cases. It is a so-called drop-in fuel, meaning virtually no adjustments are required for implementation. Heerema is scheduling a pilot to test the performance of GTL and HVO for the Thialf late 2019.
Heerema is part of a consortium together with TNO, Conoship Int., FME and LindeGas called DerisCO2. This consortium is looking in to viability of Ship Based Carbon Capture (SBCC) based on technology proven on land. This would reduce the operational footprint significantly and prepare Heerema for a carbon neutral future. In addition to reducing footprint, the CO2 can be repurposed for the production of synthetic LNG. This would create a circular fuel loop and help reach a circular economy in terms of fuel consumption.
Several years ago Heerema founded Our Oceans Challenge”, the world’s first crow-sourced open innovation platform dedicated to as sustainable offshore industry. Our Oceans Challenge believes in a sustainable future through cooperation in the offshore industry. Last year the second cycle was concluded in which over 30 industry and knowledge partners joined ranks in an amazing call to action. This year will see the start of a new cycle, with renewed vigor and initiatives to improve sustainability throughout the offshore industry.
A sustainable future cannot be achieved alone. We need to cooperate and work together to ensure our entire supply chain is sustainable. Not only in terms of environmental impact, but also in terms of human rights, corporate social responsibility, labor practices, fair operating guidelines and proper local content. Together with peers in the offshore industry, Heerema has co-founded BlueScan, a practical assessment tool for sustainable procurement. The tool enables information sharing amongst the maritime network partners. This means that suppliers only need to adhere to one standard and will receive only one audit request. The tool is embedded in a project framework that prescribes procurement process requirements to ensure a high audit or evaluation standard.
Heerema knows that saving our seas from plastic pollution is essential for a sustainable future. Our captains and crews have been developing innovative and effective solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics on-board our fleet. Together, they have almost completely eradicated the use of single-use plastic bottles, shoe covers, and safety tape by introducing reusable alternatives or changing behaviours on-board. Additionally, employees took part in the Beach Clean Up Tour - an initiative to clear the North Sea Coast - where staff picked up plastic and other waste from the beachfront. Heerema recognises the efforts our sustainable ambassadors have made so far and continues to identify ways we can eliminate single-use plastic waste for good.
In 2017, Heerema signed a collaboration agreement with the TU Delft Solar Boat Team. The TU Solar Boat Team believes in sustainable innovation at sea and has constructed one of the fastest ever sea-going vessel fuelled by solar power only. The Team participates yearly in global solar boat races with contestants from all over the world. The Solar Boat Team embodies the same values as Heerema, that of entrepreneurship and pushing the boundaries. It is a perfect example of "sustainovation" in the maritime industry.
Congrats to the 2018/2019 team for winning the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge Offshore Class!
In 2018, Heerema hosted the second Circo Circular Design Business Track at the Heerema Office. The Track is given by CIRCO together with Critical Minds who both support circular design and thinking within the industry. Companies such as Boskalis, Royal IHC, Rabobank, De Klerk Binnenbouw, Bakker Sliedrecht, RH Marine, Croon Wolter & Dros and van Oord were present to think critically about processes within their own company which could be enhanced using circular design. One of the goals was to find inefficiencies within the company which could be resolved using a circular mindset. This has led to the creation of an "internal marketplace" to stimulate the re-use of steel for grillages and sea fastening. The goal is to be 100% steel waste free with regard to the steel needed for installation.
The Technolab is a place where 20.000 students from primary and high school come together to learn about technology. Heerema supports this initiative and contributes by organizing a case study in which students build their own crane vessel. They learn about the principles of bouyancy and Archimedes, lifting, structural integrity and the general planning, design and construction of a technological project. This project evokes a great deal of enthusiasm with not only the students, but also the Heerema teachers!
Offshore piling noise has been a topic of concern with regard to the permanent damage to the hearing of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales that communicate, navigate and hunt by using acoustics. Germany was the first country to specify maximum noise levels and other countries are now following, with new requirements being specified in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Already, several measures are implemented to reduce piling noise including the use of "bubble screens". Despite these measures, Heerema is looking into ways to reduce or even eliminating piling noise with new types of piling. One of our engineers, Marius Ottolini, has even won the Offshore Energy Young Engineer Award for his endeavors on this topic. Heerema is proud of this acknowledgement and goes above and beyond rules and regulations to further decrease its footprint.
This study focuses on an ingenious way of engine heat recovery. Over the years, people have found many solutions to harness this wasted energy. Thanks to the hard work from SoundEnergy, it is now possible to use this waste heat to directly cool air. Heerema is looking into the applications and viability of this ground-breaking innovation. At Heerema, we always set an example with the steps taken to make our ships as clean and energy efficient as possible yet this wouldn’t just be a step, more like a leap!