Two years after launching its first initiative for the mass reduction of plastic drinking water bottles from the world’s fleet, with a pledge targeting ship-owners and -operators, IMPA SAVE now creates its second pledge aimed at maritime suppliers, thus giving supply chain leaders a first-ever opportunity to work together towards reducing single-use plastic onboard the world’s vessels and finding sustainable solutions.

Formed in June 2020 under the International Marine Purchasing Association’s umbrella, IMPA SAVE was created to support the call to action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals through industry collaboration, awareness raising, outreach work and accountability. Headed by a strong group of global shipowners and maritime suppliers representing companies with a combined fleet of more than 1000 vessels, IMPA SAVE’s first ever pledge under its ‘Getting to Zero’ initiative has so far amassed no fewer than 35 major shipping companies that have expressly committed to reduce single-use plastic drinking water bottles onboard their 7000+ vessels, with several already achieving close to 100% reduction.

Paolo Magonio, Group Procurement Manager at Scorpio Ship Management, the first IMPA SAVE participant to report nearly complete elimination of single-use water bottles, said:

“While searching for ways to reduce our environmental footprint, we realized we were disposing of more than a million single-use water bottles annually.  This figure was not unusual for a fleet of our size but was nonetheless troubling considering the lack of reliable recycling facilities in ports around the globe.  We appreciate that even small changes to a seafarer’s daily life can have a great impact; therefore, we began by small-scale testing of water filtration systems onboard our vessels. We listened to our seafarers and worked to identify the systems and containers best-suited to their preferences. ‘Water As A Service’, as we describe this initiative, was then expanded to our entire fleet with great success. Now, more than two years after our initial testing, we firmly believe our experience should not be unique and encourage all owner/operators to collaborate with their seafarers in examining and reducing their waste streams.”

The need for sustainable alternatives, however, is still there, as even those ship-owners or -operators that achieve near 100% reduction in single-use plastic drinking water bottles onboard their fleet still need to supply vessels with some quantities of bottles for emergency stock, dietary reasons, authorities, and various visitors. And their commitment to “decarbonize their supply chains in time” and take “active responsibility for the society and the environment we operate in” is as strong as ever, said Dorthe Mejlvang, Senior Category Manager at Maersk Procurement and IMPA SAVE Council Member and Pledger.

Paolo Magonio added:

“We struggle to find affordable water in eco-friendly containers at major ports, let alone more remote locations. As partners, we call on our suppliers to make available alternative packaging solutions for basic consumables aboard our vessels. As an industry, we should consider the availability of recyclable packaging critical to the vendor selection process and look to promote the increased use of aluminium cans and paper-based cartons whenever possible.”

Enter the second IMPA SAVE pledge that is being officially launched this August 2022. This aims to bring maritime suppliers to the epicentre of the fight against single-use plastic alongside ship-owners and -operators, asking the former to commit to drastically reduce their supply of single-use plastic water bottles and more importantly, work towards finding and adopting alternative planet-friendlier solutions.

No fewer than 15 maritime suppliers and long-time supporters of IMPA’s wider sustainability goals have already committed to the new pledge before official launch: Albatros Shipping, Bayport Global Services SA, Seven Seas Group, Mare Supply & Services, Francois Marine & Offshore, FitatSea, Insarg Shipchandlers, G. Pierotti, Global Marine Supplies, Deckhouse Ship Supply USA, AMOS Group, NEKO Ship Supply, Ocean Fair International Group, Wrist Group and Saifee Ship Spare Parts and Chandlers.

Some of the very first IMPA SAVE Pledgers have jumped in to state:

"Ocean Fair International Group pledges its support to IMPA SAVE in reducing the supply of single use plastic packaging. As part of this commitment, OFI shall adopt new policies actively encouraging the transition away from the traditional harmful packaging toward both environmentally friendly and reusable solutions. Ocean Fair International aims to lead by example in educating the market through our networks of customers and partners on the environmental impacts the production of these petroleum based products have as well as the devastating ramifications on earth's oceans." (Ocean Fair)

“As Mare we offer our full support for IMPA’s initiatives to bring together ship owners/managers and suppliers to assume our environmental responsibility and assure our maritime supply chain will become (even) more sustainable in future. We have several green initiatives to reduce our eco-footprint and waste, one of which is promoting and offering greener alternatives to single-use plastic drinking bottles.” (Capt. Tunahan Yıldırmaz, Executive Director, Mare Supply & Services)

"The water bottling process releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Disposable water bottle waste washes into the ocean and kills 1.1 million marine creatures each year. Bottled water is tested for microbes and other pollutants 4 times less than tap water. Take care of you, take care our planet!" (Juan Salomon, CEO, Ins Argentina Shipchandlers)

“We are happy to pledge our commitment because this initiative is very much aligned with what our company believes for a better and sustainable planet. We have recently certified ISO 14001- 2015; therefore, there was no better moment for us to join this project. The governmental actions in this regard have proven not effective so far. The good thing is that we do not have to wait for them to rule it. We can play our whole as maritime industry stakeholders. So congratulations IMPA for such a milestone!” (Gustavo Pierotti, Commercial Director, G. Pierotti)

"AMOS Group is definitely supportive of this pledge and endeavour in providing sustainable alternative solutions to the maritime industry. We pledge in for this!" (The AMOS Group)

“Taking care of our customer’s needs is also taking care of our world and our oceans, getting rid of plastic bottles and SUP is a start where we all have a responsibility to contribute to.” (Boris Noordervliet, FitatSea)

"As Spain’s leading ship supplier, I am certain that we can make a considerable impact on this. Joining together with other members to share any information that we have and or may collate over the next years." (Andy Mathison, Senior Commercial, Bayport)

"We at GMS care about the future of our children and our families and the conditions in which the whole humanity will be able to live in the coming years. Global pollution, especially marine pollution, is advancing in an unstoppable way and we think that with the contribution of everyone we can slow down if not completely stop this trend. We believe that all our Customers are sensitive to the subject and that within one or two years they will be able to accept our alternative proposals as long as acceptable and sustainable commercial conditions are reached. With everyone's commitment, we will be able to guarantee a better future for everyone." (Gianfranco Mercandino, Global Marine Supplies)

"It is our intention to support initiatives substantially lowering, and over time eliminate, the use of plastic water bottles on board vessels as well as general use of plastic. We will promote alternatives to plastic water bottles and encourage our clients to source more environmental products. In addition, we are also doing what we can internally to stop usage of plastic water bottles in our offices."(Søren Nørgård, CEO & Chairman, Seven Seas Group)

Stephen Alexander, IMPA’s Chief Operating Officer said:

“SAVE’s mantra is now a well-known narrative but essential, guarding the people, our planet, profit and our higher purpose, we must save cost and save the environment; those working throughout the supply chain have a huge role to play in this.There is close to 1 billion litres of drinking water delivered on board each year generating more than 40 tons of waste bottles and the IMPA SAVE Council are now urging both fellow ship owners and managers and maritime suppliers to pledge a commitment to make efforts to reduce this number over coming months and years.”

Mikael Karlsson, IMPA SAVE’s Chair and IMPA’s Special Ambassador for Sustainability, said:

“I truly believe that, by bringing all supply chain leaders under IMPA SAVE’s ‘Getting to Zero’ initiative, we can work towards our plastic reduction goals better and – more importantly – faster. Collaboration and partnership have always been at the heart of progress and I am personally extremely proud to see IMPA SAVE become the first 360° environmental initiative in our industry bringing together all ship-owners, ship-managers and maritime suppliers towards finding and implementing solutions for the good of our planet.