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Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration – a starting point for cross-industry collaboration

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The Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration has already been endorsed by the United Nations
Over 80 executives from the maritime interiors community are supporting the newly launched Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration (SMI), an initiative spearheaded by a group of designers, specifiers and other maritime experts based around a declaration of advocacy and action for the environment.

The SMI Declaration was inspired by land-based construction equivalents, since to date there has been little industry-wide guidance or regulation to direct priorities. It aims to make a meaningful contribution to sustainability performance improvement throughout the ship interior lifecycle via informed stakeholder guidance and in full support of the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

Garnering interest from the UN

The initiative has garnered widespread interest including from the UN Global Compact, a voluntary United Nations initiative that seeks to encourage organisations worldwide to adopt, and report on, sustainable and socially responsible policies. ‘We applaud the ambitions of the declaration and we are happy to contribute to accelerating its uptake and advancing the programme of activities that may follow,’ stated Erik Giercksky, business action programme for ocean, UN Global Compact.

Launch ambassadors include: Andrea Bartoli, principal manager – outfitting, Carnival Corp.; Antoine Bergeron, eco-design engineer – newbuilding department, Ponant; Linden Coppell, VP of sustainability and ESG at MSC Cruises; Anne Mari Gullikstad, CEO & partner, YSA Design; My Nguyen, director of interior design, Holland America Group; Francesca Panatta, interior manager special projects, Holland America Group and Helena Sawelin, partner & business director, Tillberg Design of Sweden.

The first step on a journey to a more sustainable future

‘The Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration is just the beginning, the first step on a journey to a more sustainable future,' remarked Bartoli. 'Our sustainability journey is going to be tough because we have so few precedents to follow. And so we must create our own path, starting with small actions that will protect our natural resources, conserve energy and reduce waste.'

Sawelin added, 'Sustainability needs to be a design requirement, not an afterthought, it needs to have the same weight in decision-making as safety, aesthetics, price and function.' 

Gullikstad believes, ‘The written declaration can help designers in their work to ensure they make informed choices in their creative work to meet higher environmental standards. It will also play a crucial role in promoting environmentally responsible practices.’

Driver of the initiative Jon Ingleton, MD, Tudor Rose, said ‘It will not solve the challenges that we face but it will give us a starting point from which to move forward more positively.'