Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

138 Sometimes, factors other than the product itself have a role to play in determining what is the best choice. Location of the manufacturer can make mainstream products more sustainable if the production plant is close to the shipyard where the interior is being assembled. Whatever the sustainability merits of products, reliability, durability, quality and price will always be critical factors when sourcing. Given that many suppliers of sustainable goods are relatively small in comparison to the size of passenger ship projects, they may not be able to meet expectations of order quantities in the time frame based on their limited resources. While all of the above criteria for sourcing best practice can help build long-term sustainability in the maritime interiors sector, real-world challenges can make these look like impossible ideals. The need to work to deadlines set by the owner and yard is one of these. Others include the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the industry remains in what one respondent to this report calls ‘survival restart mode’. Backlogs in production are exacerbated by staff absences to create a perfect storm in which specifying a greener product can seem like a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity. Emerging from this difficult phase will require a renewed focus on the basics of sustainability, with partnership between purchasers and suppliers seen as a priority. At the very least, it is reasonable to expect a supplier to have a sustainability strategy, even if it is currently under pressure due to market conditions and supply-chain crises. Those suppliers that can demonstrate a willingness and ability to work with design teams to achieve sustainable results will thrive in the longer term. Making informed choices Through a combination of in-house research and conversations with suppliers, some buyers for maritime interiors are updating their specification system to automatically create reports on sustainable and certified materials used in products. Criteria include locally sourced, lightweight and durable materials in addition to those that comply with various sustainability certification systems. Sustainable production and recycling procedures and maintenance without use of chemicals are other aspects that are considered. Using their own sustainability analysis matrices, these organisations are doing their best to ensure suppliers and materials meet their sustainability requirements. One organisation says that the sustainability merits of products it specifies for newbuild and refurbishment projects include lower costs thanks to durability, efficiency and repeated savings; better indoor air and environmental health; reduced carbon emissions and water usage; less deforestation; and less waste sent to landfills. ADDRESS ING INDUSTRY I SSUES – “We are never given enough time to shop around. It doesn’t matter if we start looking at a project three, six or 12 months in advance, decisions are always made at the 11th hour”