Why we do it
"Earth Overshoot Day" this year fell on July 28. It is designed to illustrate when mankind has used the Earth's sustainable resources within a given year.
What is clear from such an early date is that the Earth can't keep up. While the exact date may be subject to debate, the overall consensus is that too many raw materials are extracted for our world to sustain.
Per Amsterdam-based think tank Circle Economy, mankind currently extracts 100 billion tonnes of raw materials every year, and only recycle 8,6% of them. The potential to do something sensible about the remaining 91,400,000,000 tonnes is huge.
Extraction and handling of raw materials emits 70% of all Greenhouse Gases, as estimated by Circle Economy. While steel is one of the core pillars of modern society, producing one tonne of steel on average results in 1.8 tonnes of CO₂ emissions, and The Economist estimates that steel production currently accounts for up to 10% of global CO₂ emissions.
"Our take-make-waste economy consumes 100 billion tonnes of materials a year and wastes over 90%."
Further, dismantling and recycling of maritime - and many other - assets is currently subject to a lack of both transparency and traceability. A significant part of ship recycling takes its beginning in places where working conditions, environmental impact and emissions contributions have come under heavy criticism. In a world where knowledge of the origin, use and impact of materials is increasingly important, the process must necessarily become more transparent and certifiable.
Clearly, for human society to remain a liveable proposition, something needs to be done about the sustainability - both economical, social, environmental and climate-related - of our activities. Equally clearly, improving the sustainability of recycling of ships and other assets, such as proposed by us, will not get us there alone, but given the numbers above, it can make a significant contribution.
To expedite an improvement, the EU has started to enact regulation, the so-called Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, or CBAM for short, that in combination with the existing Emissions Trading System, which will cease to hand out free certificates, will incentivise all players within the EU market in emissions-heavy industries to adopt low-carbon solutions.
It is our proposition that the introduction of cutting-edge digital solutions for optimisation and tracking & tracing, and the increase in transparency and accountability that they enable, will provide us with a significant opportunity to contribute, while meeting the requirements and fiscal incentives being put in place.
All three founders having worked in emissions-heavy industries for many years, and most recently having worked with decommissioning and recycling of offshore oil & gas installations, means that we see a need and an opportunity to contribute towards improved sustainability. So that is what we have set out to do.