Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

121 The scope of activities to be included in commissioning sustainable interiors is broad, from the definition of purchase specifications and associated certifications to maintenance and recycling ambitions. All organisations that will work on a project need to be checked to ensure that they fulfil the requirements for sustainability set out by the owner. A major advantage for those specifying sustainable design today is that the construction team and other stakeholders are likely to be more aware of the operational implications of their work than was the case in the past. Thinking about long life, quality and ease of refurbishment and embracing sustainable design is now a matter of routine rather than the exception in most major shipbuilding or refurbishment situations. However, this needs to be accompanied by a change in mindset from one that favours cheap, short-life products to an understanding of where more expensive but high quality long-life products will enhance the long-term sustainability of an interior. Ultimately it is the ship owner/operator that has to foot the bill for sustainable materials and a more long-lasting method of construction. This requires a longer-term approach to investment that factors in the sometimes non-financial benefits of designing for energy efficiency and using products or materials that have the least impact on the environment. While some visionary shipowners are leading the way by spending big on eye-catching green ships, others will be more motivated by new legislation driving change in the industry. Already, this can be seen in the growing focus on reducing harmful CO2 emissions from ships, which has seen brands spending significantly on reducing the environmental impact of their fleets in operation. It is perhaps not such a big step to turn this intense focus onto the interiors of their new and renovated ships. If owners request sustainable interiors, the industry has to provide them and manufacturers will deliver. They are also in the best position to drive demand among guests for sustainably outfitted ships, especially given the trend for consumers to seek out companies that are making the health of the planet their priority. Over time, the expectation is that this will drive revenue enough to increase the capital to buy more sustainable products and systems – a virtuous circle indeed. Some of the actions that owners can take towards more sustainable interiors include requesting more sustainable materials and equipment onboard; asking for a carbon calculation to determine the carbon impact of materials; implementing accountability and traceability of all interior elements; committing to regular environmental impact assessments; and adopting a life-cycle design approach, engaging designers (both internally and externally) with the skills to deliver it. – “Ship owners and operators are market drivers and should be the main sustainability advocates. They should require assessments and communication of socialenvironmental impacts from their suppliers and partners”