Will the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan reduce CO2 emissions? A comparison with ISO 50001 and the ISM Code
Review article, 2013

The IMO Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) is the sole international regulatory instrument expected to affect rising CO2 emissions from shipping in the short-term. In this article, we discuss present gaps in the SEEMP guidelines through a comparison with the international standard for energy management systems, ISO 50001, and with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which sets requirements for safety management systems in shipping companies. We show that the SEEMP lacks crucial features found in typical management system standards, such as requirements on policy and management reviews. Moreover, best-practice in the form of the ISO 50001 addresses important aspects, such as monitoring, energy auditing, design, and procurement processes in much more detail. In the context of previous research on these instruments and on energy efficiency in general, we argue that these gaps may be detrimental to the success of the SEEMP, both from the societal perspective of CO2 abatement and from the perspective of companies’ success in energy management. This requires further attention by academia, policy-makers and industry.

Maritime Policy

International Maritime Organization

CO2 emissions

Energy Efficiency

Management Systems


Hannes Johnson

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Maritime Operations

Mikael Johansson

Det Norske Veritas

Karin Andersson

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Maritime Operations

Björn Södahl

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology

Maritime Policy and Management

0308-8839 (ISSN) 14645254 (eISSN)

Vol. 40 2 177-190

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Environmental Management

Economics and Business

Marine Engineering



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