Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2022

Conscientious cruising Anders Ørgård and Bente Medelbye Hansen explain to Rebecca Gibson how Steen Friis Design is using life cycle analysis to develop data-driven design strategies and deliver more sustainable ships United in its quest to protect the planet by achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the global passenger shipping industry is striving to create more sustainable vessels. However, there is one major hurdle – no one really knows what constitutes a sustainable ship. “There is no globally accepted set of standards for what makes something sustainable, so everyone has a different definition and it’s become a meaningless term,” says Bente Medelbye Hansen, design director and head of interior and accommodation at Danish design firm Steen Friis Design. “Many companies are marketing their products as sustainable, but they’ve never analysed the impact they have on the planet so how can they know?” Steen Friis Design, which was founded in 1998 and joined OSK Group in 2016, believes that one of the most meaningful and accurate ways to determine whether a ship or a product is sustainable is to calculate its cradle-tograve carbon footprint. “Today, many shipowners are primarily focused on finding alternative fuels to minimise their scope one emissions, but they must take a holistic approach and minimise indirect emissions arising from the manufacturing, outfitting and endof-life recycling processes if they want to become emission-free,” says Anders Ørgård, chief commercial officer of OSK Group. “To do this, they should calculate the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the entire life cycle of their ships.” Steen Friis Design and OSK Group have invested in a Danish start-up that has databases for calculating emissions to enable it to perform life cycle analyses on concept designs and help shipowners produce data-driven interior design and refurbishment strategies. “We’ve taken a unique approach in the industry by developing several concept cabin designs and calculating the base level of carbon emissions generated by the individual components within each one,” says Ørgård. “This has given us an accurate understanding of which materials are less harmful than others.” Some of the results have been surprising. “We thought wool would be sustainable as it’s a natural material, but we found that breeding sheep involves a lot of carbon emissions,” says Medelbye Hansen. “Similarly, we discovered that leather isn’t always a good sustainable choice after running a life cycle analysis on our concept cabin design, which featured a leather chair and bed headboard. We calculated that using the material for both would produce 157 kilos of CO2, equating to 10 per cent of the total emissions for the cabin. “These emissions would quickly mount up on a ship with 400 to 500 cabins, so leather would only be a sustainable choice if the shipowner plans to keep the chairs and headboards for most of the vessel’s working life. However, it would be a very wasteful choice if they intend to update them in five years. We wouldn’t have known this without doing a life cycle analysis.” Having accurate scientific data about the carbon emissions associated with different products and materials has transformed the design process. “We can factor environmental considerations into COVER STORY Interacting through cloud-based cooperation and gamification in virtual reality, shipowners can 'enter' life-like 3D models of the their ships in the early design phase to get a true sense of the passenger experience