The social organization of energy efficiency in shipping: a practice-based study
The central research question explored in this study is how energy efficiency is organized onboard large merchant ships. The dominant techno-economical approach within energy research and policy, in general, and shipping research and policy, in particular, is reviewed and criticized as being too limited for understanding the challenges and opportunities related to the organization and management of energy efficiency in shipping companies. The failure, it is suggested, of previous research and policy, is associated with the lack of analysis and attention to how the organization of energy efficiency onboard ships is enacted by crew members acting in particular socio-material contexts. The primary aim of this study was to initiate the development of a practice-theoretical understanding of the organization and management of energy onboard ships. An ethnographic study onboard five ships operated by one of the largest ferry companies in the world was conducted in order to explore the social practices of the work associated with ship operation. Three topics were identified and explored: (i) the non-use of energy performance monitoring technology as a result of misalignments in practice, (ii) the role of situated and embodied knowledge for energy efficient navigation and voyage execution, and (iii) the contradictory structure of energy practice leading to reduced energy efficiency. It is concluded that formal energy management systems are insufficient in developing crew members’ know-how, skill and practice associated with energy efficient ship operation. The findings have implications for policy and energy management within shipping companies, as well as other industries, and for training and education of managers and employees. It is recommended that shipping companies should focus more on local capacity building and collaboration among crew members as a means of improving the energy efficiency of ship operation.
Practice based studies
Gamma (room), Hörselgången 4, Chalmers, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences
Opponent: Prof. Jenny Palm, The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University