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Helping shipping verify the benefits of green technologies

VERDE (Verification for Decarbonization) aims to develop a standardized framework that enables greater transparency in the shipping industry and gives actors in the shipping value chain a better decision basis to compare the benefits of new green technologies, including fuels. The framework will also speed up the learning process and encourage innovation and adoption.

Environmental regulations are driving greater sustainability in the shipping industry, and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and state actors have already taken steps to introduce measures to limit and reduce emissions to air and sea. Such controls on the industry are likely to intensify over the coming years as public and regulatory scrutiny builds.

While technological and energy efficiency measures are important, these can only reach so far; new tools will be necessary to evaluate the performance of new fuels - including those zero- or net-carbon, such as ammonia or biofuels - against their promises. Not only ship owners but also charterers, banks, financial institutions, and other stakeholders in the supply chain have an interest in improved transparency and sustainable practices.

"If we don't do our job well, then there's no doubt that big, strong companies likes Amazon will look into whether they can do it better themselves."

  • Søren Skou,
  • CEO,
  • Maersk


DNV is creating common guidelines and tools to verify that ship technologies fulfil their promise for consistent benchmarking. The development of improved tools will enable technology assessment and new service offerings for testing the performance of installed technologies based on standardized methodologies. A new business model will also be introduced based on emissions reduction, that will be used to change established practices for financing new technology.

Based upon AIS (Automatic Identification System) data, ship technical data, weather data, engine characteristics and ship measurements, the project is establishing an emission- and consumption-based digital twin for each of the world fleet of ships. These twins will then be used to map the applicability of zero-carbon fuels; assess savings from speed reduction; assess sustainability of biofuels; assess waste heat recovery and hybrid propulsion; evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of new types of fuel, batteries, hydrogen, and other measures; and assess potential savings for various ship types from introduction of Propulsion Improvement Devices (PID) and air lubrication.

The benefits

The project will improve existing fleet and emission models for fuel consumption, while also increasing the scale and scalability of new technologies. Also, by developing environmental assurance procedures I.e., recommended practice for verifying fuel and emissions savings, owners can quantify and verify emissions savings from these technologies, and ultimately reduce fuel consumption.

DNV believes there is a growing interest from serious ship owners, charterers and other stakeholders in the supply chain in pushing for more efficiency and transparency. At the same time, verification services which ensure that technology and fuels really deliver on their promises, can potentially be a ‘ticket to trade’ for securing cargo and ship financing and will help owners and stakeholders to meet increasing sustainability demands from industry and society.