Richard Branson’s database to reduce shipping emissions

6 Dec 2010

Richard Branson has set up a free internet database that will list the energy efficiency of ocean-going vessels in an effort to reduce shipping emissions.

The initiative,, aims to reduce emissions by up to 25pc by rating ships on a scale of A to G, much like domestic appliances are rated.

Launched by the Carbon War Room, of which Branson is a co-founder, enables importers and holiday makers alike to take advantage of the database using publicly available data on the engine size and CO2 emissions of nearly 6,000 ships and decide between clean or dirty ships.

World’s largest registry

The rating uses methodology developed by the United Nations’ International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and data from the world’s largest ship registry, IHS Fairplay.

What this means for industry is that recipients of goods can now specify that their goods are delivered from their destination by the least polluting ships.

Ship owners and operators are encouraged to update records at when efficiency improvements to vessels have been implemented (see bottom of vessel search pages).

Shipping contributes around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, about 3-4pc of the world’s total. This makes it collectively the sixth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, just after Germany.