Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

130 It can be difficult to measure the overall sustainability of interior spaces as this often needs to be specifically defined within the context. While it is possible to measure aspects such as the energy efficiency or the carbon footprint of a space, depending on the products used within the space, each may conform to a different sustainability certification which measures different things. Also, the manufacturing processes of certain materials may be intrinsically sustainable but may not have (or need) a certificate to say so. Conversely, sustainable manufacturing processes do not always go hand in hand with sustainable maintenance, recycling or replacement processes for the same material or product. Many ship interiors are built using processes and materials that have not changed for years, resulting in a huge ‘domino effect’ of changes when one element is replaced. IMO regulations also play a part in stalling sustainable progress as these restrict the recyclability of many products. In addition, new sustainable products often do not come with years of performance data under the conditions of a ship at sea, making them a harder sell to shipyards and designers. With materials and products developed in more recent years, there is an element of risk in specifying them due to the limited time of testing their quality and durability. This, coupled with limitations in sustainable treatment options to ensure materials comply with health and safety and operational standards, can lead to risk-averse purchasing that rules out many sustainable products. Potential buyers have to weigh the costs of buying, installing and replacing materials during the life cycle of a ship and better choices may have an unpalatably long payback period. For this reason, it is often seen as safer to stick with the status quo and maintain current practices. And, because green products may not be easily available, designers may need to take a wider view to find new opportunities that are palatable to their clients. Unsurprisingly, less-sustainable solutions are often easier, faster and cheaper to implement. Projects are based on reference ships, so if a design suggests a new material, it usually causes additional cost and may be ruled out for this reason. In addition, some organisations are slow to see the necessity for sustainable practices and focus on the negative – for example, that the use of natural dyes restricts the design to a limited range of muted colours so the aesthetics of a sustainable interior would suffer. Education, information and innovation will go a long way to making sustainable interiors more desirable for those who hold the purse strings for interiors projects. To have a selection of sustainable materials to choose from, with verification that the materials presented as sustainable actually meet the requirements, will be a big step in the right direction. ADDRESS ING INDUSTRY I SSUES – “Sustainability is a very hard factor to measure in outfitting; you only have to watch the offloading skips in a drydock to see this”