We are aware of the importance of care for the environment and especially the need to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Company's principal business is linked to shipping by means of containerships that use oil-derivative fuels (heavy fuel oil) for their engines and which emit different kinds of gases, in particular CO2.
In relative terms, and as a result of the large carrying capacity and efficiency of the ships, the carrying of merchandise in containerships is the mass transport means that least emits CO2 per ton carried.
The shipping business is regulated by strict international regulations to promote the protection and safety in shipping operations, as well as the prevention and control of the contamination produced by the ships. The principal regulations are issued and controlled by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) through the following conventions: SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution), ensuring that ships operate according to current international regulations.
Complementing these regulations, we have taken concrete actions to ensure that the operation of the ships meets high standards, balancing operative efficiency with commercial requirements and due care for the environment. These measures are supported by the integrated quality and environment management system, designed to ensure that our processes and implementation methods are carried out consistently in all the activities of each member of the Company.
Quality and Environmental Management System
We have been recently re-certified ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 by Lloyds Quality Assurance (“LRQA”), certifications that are valid through 2016 and 2014, respectively. Our Environmental Management System also covers our owned vessels through Southern Shipmanagement, one of our subsidiaries, which is also ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified by LRQA, including the same certification for all their managed vessels. Since 2010, all our new vessels have the Class Notation EP (which stands for Environmental Protection) issued by either Lloyds Register of Shipping or Germanischer Lloyd. Classification Societies which are members of IACS (International Association of Class Societies).
We seek to improve our standards on a continuous basis, with the goal of promoting sustainable development and trying to ensure that our current activities do not adversely affect future generations. Areas on which we focus our efforts are emission reduction, efficient use of energy and natural resources, eliminate water pollution and minimize acoustic pollution.