HAMBURG- Rickmers becomes the first German company operating in the maritime industry and one of only a handful of shipping companies in the world to achieve certification to the ISO 50001 Energy Management System standard.

Rickmers Shipmanagement received the accredited ISO 50001 certification from GL Systems Certification (GL) for its offices in Hamburg and Singapore, as well as for ten ships from its fleet. The handover of the certificates took place at the Rickmers head office in Hamburg on the 10th of January 2013. All audits were completed successfully in 2012 by GL auditors, with plans in place to add nine more ships in early 2013.

ISO 50001 is a voluntary international standard that gives companies a framework for developing targets and implementing policies with the aim of improving energy efficiency, quality of services and reduction of emissions. In Rickmers, ISO 50001 is seamlessly implemented into its Integrated Management System, a framework that, at present, covers the obligatory elements of ISM and ISPS, as well as the ISO standards ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.

The successful implementation of the ISO 50001 standard within a period of just six months underlines the support and commitment from Rickmers’ top management to energy efficiency. “In shipping today, making more efficient use of energy is not only a key factor in a company’s strategy to reduce its impact upon the environment, but an essential part of remaining competitive and reducing bunker costs substantially,” said Björn Sprotte, Rickmers’ Global Head of Maritime Services.

Last year GL Systems Certification became the first Certification Body, to receive ISO 50001 accreditation from the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS). “The ISO 50001 standard has up to this point mainly been used in industries with high energy consumption, such as manufacturing. There is a growing awareness in shipping, however, that managing onboard energy consumption is at the heart of their profitability. Through the successful implementation of the SEEMP (Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan) on vessels the achievement of ISO 50001 certification was significantly supported,” said Philipp Schwarmann, GL’s Product Manager for Energy Management.

The Energy Management System in Rickmers utilises Key Performance Indicators and ship-specific baselines to ensure the continuous improvement of energy efficiency in ship operations, technical modifications, maintenance and procurement. Best practices and lessons learnt are circulated across ships and fleets. “Ensuring efficient communication between the ship, office fleet team and top management has become one of the main focus points for our energy efficiency program. Overall awareness of energy efficiency and transparency of the developed system are crucial,” said Sebastian Sala, Energy Efficiency, Rickmers Shipmanagement.

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