February 12, 2024,
by

Jasmina Ovcina Mandra

A new behavior-focused sustainable shipping trial has shown that informed decisions can help ships’ crews make fuel-saving decisions 21% more often.

Specifically, Ridgebury Tankers has carried out a six-month trial in cooperation with behavior change startup Signol during which officers on four tankers were motivated to make fuel-saving decisions.

Signol analyzed Ridgebury’s vessel operational data and identified areas for improvement. After that the company developed targets for the company’s Captains and Chief Engineers to help them improve a range of behaviors that impact fuel consumption.

Ridgebury said that the trial achieved ‘significant emissions reductions’ without requiring hardware retrofits on the vessels or additional data sourcing.

Signol’s platform leverages 17 separate behavior change techniques which prime individuals to think differently about fuel efficiency and decarbonization so that they are more proactive in taking available opportunities to reduce energy usage.

Personal milestones and achievements are provided to the crew via Signol App and direct emails, nudging participants toward fuel-efficient behaviors and letting them review their voyages to see how future improvements can be attained.

The results show that crew members implemented fuel-saving decisions 21% more often after getting personalized and realistic goals. They engaged in behavior change techniques after receiving timed emails and messaging through multiple channels personalized for each user.

For the trial, Signol and Ridgebury Tankers identified three operational processes where crew members had opportunities to save fuel, including using the main engine efficiently given the operating conditions and using auxiliary engines efficiently given the demand for power on board.

“The maritime industry is increasingly focusing on promoting operational efficiency to reduce its environmental impact,and Ridgebury’s fuel-saving demonstrates how ship owners and managers can harness the power of their crews and ensure each individual plays their part,Harriet Johnson, Head of Maritime at Signol, said.

“We are delighted that the strong spirit of collaboration between Ridgebury, BSM andSignol produced such results, adding more weight to our conviction that the human factor’ is key to immediately reducing ships’ emissions without the capital-intensive, longer-term solutions which will decarbonize the sector in the future.”

Even small incremental improvements add up quickly. We’re very excited about the possibilities, reducing our fuel consumption saves money, and reduces our carbon footprint,” Luca Bruga, Ridgebury’s Fleet Performance Manager, said earlier.

The trial was carried out on four of Ridgebury’s ships managed by German ship manager BSM.

Ridgebury said that following the results it might consider to roll this out technology across the entire Ridgebury fleet.

The achievement builds on the success of Signol’s previous trial with Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement last year which showed a similar fuel-saving across 23 ships over four months, an analysis later validated by an academic peer review process.

Ridgebury said that both results showcase the potential for individual seafarers to help move the dial on sustainability efforts and prove that behavior change alone can lead to a material reduction in ships’ energy demand, CO2 emissions, and operational costs.

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