What is Heerema’s definition of sustainability?

A commonly used interpretation is the Brundtland definition:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

This definition is also adhered to by the UN. A slightly more tangible definition is "the Triple Bottom line", or the balance between People, Planet and Profit. This is a commonly used definition for business and makes it less abstract for most people.


Does your organisation have a corporate strategy for minimizing your social and environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions? 

Heerema is committed to prevent harm to people and the environment. Caring is an essential part of our way of doing business – on our work sites, in our offices, and when we travel. An open, people-oriented approach is particularly important in motivating our employees, who have diverse backgrounds and work in different locations and situations, to be more safety conscious themselves and to demand safe practices from their colleagues.

Heerema aims to eliminate all carbon emissions - where technically feasible – adhering to a strategy of prevention, reduction and compensation. Heerema is looking into becoming carbon neutral in the short terms by means of offsetting, whilst investing in prevention and reductions measures to fundamentally remove emissions from the source (link to Carbon Neutral).


Where can I find information on (carbon) footprint and emissions of Heerema and its vessels?

All the information you need is in the Data & Emissions Page. This data could be used to (roughly) interpret emissions footprint for Heerema projects. 


What kind of fuel does Heerema use to power its vessels?

Heerema has been operating crane vessels since 1963. Electrification of Heerema construction vessels became the standard around 1975, when the original vessels’ engine rooms were replaced by new diesel-electric power plants fueled by Marine Gas Oil (MGO) or Marine Diesel Oil (MDO). 

Marine distillate fuels are generally referred to as 'DMX', 'DMA', 'DMB', and 'DMC'. DMX is a very clean fuel that can be stored for longer periods of time with little concern about its quality deteriorating over the long term. DMX fuel represents a very small amount of marine fuel that is used, and it is only used for special applications, such as life boat engines and emergency generators. DMA is also referred to as marine gas oil, or MGO, and is used when a cleaner or less polluting fuel is desired. DMB, often referred to as marine diesel oil, or MDO, is generally a blend of distillate fuel with residual fuel oil. DMB does not burn as cleanly as either DMX or DMA. The main difference between MGO and MDO is the sulfur content. DMC is the lowest quality grade of MDO.

Since many years Heerema exclusively orders MGO but it cannot be excluded that in the early years (also) MDO was used. With the advent of the Sleipnir in 2019, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has become part of Heerema's fuel mix. Furthermore, Heerema is looking into the usage of Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) and Hydrated Vegetable Oils (HVO) as a cleaner alternative to MGO. GTL and HVO are both synthetic, paraffinic diesel fuels and show potential to greatly reduce emissions. 


How do I determine the carbon footprint of a project?

The vast majority of the emissions footprint for a Heerema project usually consists of the offshore and logistics parts. Simply put this is the vessel fuel consumption times the emission factors of the specific vessel. The emission factors are stated in the Data & Emissions Page. If you are looking for average fuel consumption of the different vessels, try the Sustainability Report. More information can be requested from the Sustainability Advisor.


Where can I find some slides regarding the sustainability approach of Heerema?

If you are looking for general context and why Heerema finds sustainability important, visit the Sustainability Beliefs page. If you are looking for how we implement sustainability into our company, visit the Roadmap & Themes page. If you are looking for slides for specific projects, visit the Initiatives page.

A more general introduction to sustainability within Heerema that encompasses all these topics can be found here.


What is the difference in emissions between LNG, MGO and HFO?

Determining the exact amount of emissions is complex, because it is dependent on many parameters such as engine type, load, weather etc. Nevertheless a fair comparison can be made using IMO Emission Factors or engine test data. Below is a table and a graph with a comparison of emission factors taken from the 2014 IMO Greenhouse Gas Study. The graph clearly shows a significant reduction of emissions, where SOx is virtually eliminated when LNG is used. Slow Speed Diesel engines and IMO Tier II vessels were compared. It should be noted that current literature contains a rather large variation of PM emissions factors, which vary significantly between studies because of differences in methodology, sampling and analysis techniques.

Other comparisons show a similar result. The below graph is taken from Engie, where LNG is compared to HFO. The slightly larger saving on carbon emissions is due to the fact that the caloric value of LNG is higher than MGO, resulting in a more economical combustion for the same amount of work.

Why are CO2 emissions higher for MGO compared to HFO?

The carbon content of HFO is lower because it contains more pollutants such as sulfur. Consequently the amount of CO2 produced upon combustion is lower. Other emissions, such as SOx, are a lot higher however.


Where can I find the sustainability logo?

You can find it here


How does Heerema engage its workforce and suppliers to achieve its sustainable goals?

Heerema actively engages its workforce and suppliers by the Dare to Care mindset, which shows we care for people and the environment. Next to the Dare to Care program, Heerema is part of the Global Sustainable Enterprise System to generate sustained profitability, economically, socially and environmentally throughout the supply chain. 


Has Heerema's footprint been externally audited?

Our carbon footprint has not been externally audited. Our emission factors have been externally verified however. You can ask the sustainability advisor for a copy of the report or check the emission factors in the Data & Emissions tab


How is waste management done on board Heerema vessels?

Waste management on board Heerema vessels is not only regulated by several MARPOL regulations, but also internal waste management procedures. In general, Heerema states that no garbage shall be discharged into the sea with the exception of food waste in accordance with the provisions of MARPOL 73/78 Annex V - Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships. No garbage shall be discharged into a treatment system unless such system is designed, constructed and approved for treating such garbage in accordance with the requirements of MARPOL 73/78 and pertaining Annexes and Guidelines. Garbage shall be separated, treated and packed as to allow further processing in accordance with sound environmental practice at a minimum of cost. In addition, several vessels including the Sleipnir, Thialf and Aegir have an incinerator on board to reduce waste and logistics for offshore waste. On board our vessels garbage is separated into the following categories:

A.        Plastics  

B.         Food wastes  

C.         Domestic Wastes  

D.        Cooking Oil  

E.         Incinerator ashes

F.         Operational wastes

G.        Animal Carcass(es)

H.        Fishing Gear  

I.         E-waste

These procedures are continuously being improved when improved practices become available. Continuous improvement projects for the re-use of plastic and steel to improve life-cycle thinking in accordance with ISO:14001 are part of general Heerema sustainability initiatives and vessel SEEMP (Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan). More information on waste can be found in the Garbage Record Book of Heerema.