The Logic of Business vs. the Logic of Energy Management Practice: Understanding the Choices and Effects of Energy Consumption Monitoring Systems in Shipping Companies

René Taudal Poulsen, Hannes Johnson

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    A major part of the world fleet of more than 47,000 merchant ships operates under conditions that hamper energy efficiency and efforts to cut CO2 emissions. Valid and reliable data sets on ships' energy consumption are often missing in shipping markets and within shipping organizations, leading to the non-implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Policy makers are aiming to remedy this, e.g., through the EU Monitoring, Verification and Reporting scheme. In this paper, current practices for energy consumption monitoring in ship operations are explored based on interviews with 55 professionals in 34 shipping organizations in Denmark. Best practices, which require several years to implement, are identified, as are common challenges in implementing such practices—related to data collection, incentives for data misreporting, data analysis problems, as well as feedback and communication problems between ship and shore. This study shows how the logic of good energy consumption monitoring practices conflict with common business practices in shipping companies – e.g., through short-term vessel charters and temporary ship organizations – which in turn can explain the slow adoption of energy efficiency measures in the industry. This study demonstrates a role for policy makers or other third parties in mandating or standardizing good energy consumption monitoring practices beyond the present requirements.
    TidsskriftJournal of Cleaner Production
    Udgave nummer5
    Sider (fra-til)3785–3797
    Antal sider13
    StatusUdgivet - jan. 2016


    • Energy efficiency gap
    • Energy consumption monitoring
    • Energy management practice
    • Shipping industry
    • Monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV)