An investigation into LCA as a complementary utility to regulatory measures of shipping efficiency

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2015
Thesis identifier
  • T13977
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The IMO has recently developed technical and operational measures aimed at enhancing shipping environmental efficiency, i.e. the EEDI and the EEOI, respectively. The purpose of this exploratory research work is to investigate the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology as a complementary tool to these metrics, capable of not only serving as a widespread accepted environmental performance indicator, but also able to competently highlight energy efficiency. The EEDI and EEOI methodology is reviewed, while also using two case vessels as sample implementation case studies. An LCA model formulation is developed and also applied on the two case studies, utilising them for validation, and additionally for comparing the LCA approach to the IMO regulatory metrics. One of the case vessels comprises the evaluation of a proposed retrofit, in order to emphasise on the different metrics' potential to assess changes in the results, with regards to the retrofit's before and after phases. Results show that aside from the environmental score of CO₂ emissions per unit of work - documented by the current regulatory metrics -, LCA can also offer NOx and SOx scores, along with other hazardous releases. Moreover, LCA - aside from showing compliance to the formulation of both IMO regulatory metrics - is able to present material and energy utilisation throughout different stages within the vessel's lifetime. Lastly, it is demonstrated that LCA can be used in parallel to the regulatory metrics, in order to efficiently emphasise detailed environmental information, pertaining to specific substance release or phase improvement/redesign as required. It is concluded that LCA could serve in aiding to monitor and report maritime transport emissions with an already widely accepted methodology. Furthermore, LCA could be recognised between industry and international stakeholders - including shipping and shipbuilding and repair -, as a common performance marker capable of consistent implementation not only across shipping divisions, but also across different industry sectors.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2015
Former identifier
  • 1218770