Environmental Responsibilities

NYK is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment and has a number of policies in place to actively assist in supporting a sustainable society under their ESG Management Plan


Fuel Efficiency targets

Key targets are in place to reduce fuel consumption and contribute to a cleaner environment:

  • From 2015 to 2030 -> reduce CO2 emissions by 30%
  • From 2015 to 2050 -> reduce CO2 emissions by 50%

Technology initiatives to reduce environmental impact

A variety of specific measures have been adopted on NYK RORO vessels in order to move towards a final goal of a zero emissions ship by 2050. These measures include recent technical advances such as:

  • Fueling ships with LNG instead of heavy oil
  • Solar power generation
  • Ballast water treatment systems
  • Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS)
  • Hybrid turbocharger
  • Electronically controlled engine
  • Water emulsified fuel in boiler
  • Energy saving fluorescent lighting systems

Switching to LNG Fuel

Vessels currently use heavy oil to run ship engines. However, changing from heavy oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) would result in emissions reductions of about 30% for CO2, about 80% for NOx, and 100% for SOx. In October 2011, the NYK Group established its Fuel Project Team to research the viability of a fuel changeover and the development of related technology. In August 2015, the first domestic LNG-fueled tugboat was completed. And in September 2016, two dual-fuel LNG pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs), a world's first, were completed.
In the North Sea and Baltic Sea areas, strict regulations have been implemented since January 2015 to limit fuel-oil sulfur content to 0.1% or less. And LNG-fueled car carriers operating in that area fully meet these new regulations because LNG does not emit any sulfur.

Solar Power Generation

The AURIGA LEADER was launched in December 2008 with 328 solar panels capable of generating 40KW of power to evaluate the effectiveness of solar power technology on a ship at sea. She was the first fully commercial ship to use such technology.

Ballast Water Management System to Protect Biodiversity

Ships take on ballast water to stabilize themselves when their holds are empty. When this water is discharged, the marine life that it contains can be transported to non-native ecosystems, where it flourishes and causes problems.

NYK's latest LEADER class of RORO vessels were designed in preparation for the implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. This international convention is designed to regulate and manage ships’ ballast water and sediments for the purpose of protecting the environment, human health, and economic activities by preventing the transport of harmful waterborne organisms and pathogens.

It was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2004. Although it has yet to be fully ratified by sufficient nation states to enter into effect, NYK is proceeding to implement ballast water management systems (BWMS) to its vessels on a voluntary basis as part of its long-term commitment to sustainability and good vessel operating practice.

The system fitted to NYK vessels uses filters to remove marine organisms (mechanical treatment) and chemicals to disinfect and neutralize water (chemical treatment) during intake, preventing ballast water from damaging biodiversity.

Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS)

This patented system, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), reduces frictional resistance between the ship's hull and seawater by generating air bubbles at the bottom of the vessel. This innovative technology, the first of its kind to be adopted on ocean going vessels, will assist to reduce CO2 emissions.

Hybrid Turbocharger

New vessels will adopt the Mitsubishi Hybrid Turbocharger system, a generator-integrated hybrid MET turbocharger for marine diesel engines. This turbocharger will utilize exhaust gas, not only to drive the turbocharger, but also using its waste heat to generate the vessel's electric power supply whilst at sea.

Electronically Controlled Engine

By optimizing the fuel injection and exhaust valve opening/closing the electronically controlled engines have much better fuel consumption and reduce NOx emissions.

Water Emulsion Mechanism

Water emulsion fuel is seen as a potentially high efficiency fuel. Savings on fuel consumption result in reduced C02 emissions. At the same time, the water mixed in with the fuel boils during combustion, trapping heat and reducing combustion temperature, which in turn reduces the NOx that tends to be produced in high temperature combustion.

Low Sulphur Fuel Oil to maintain Cleaner Air

International regulations are being enhanced to encourage ships to reduce emissions of air-polluting sulphur oxide compounds (SOx) by using low-sulphur fuel oil. However, low-sulphur fuel oil has low viscosity and can cause engine problems, if used in the same way as higher sulphur content fuel oil. Therefore, NYK RORO vessels carry fuel oil cooling equipment so that low-sulphur fuel oil is maintained at the proper viscosity for safe operations. This keeps ships safe and the atmosphere clean.

Energy Saving Fluorescent Lighting

To save energy and improve economic efficiency we have installed , a next generation energy-saving fluorescent lighting system E.COOL produced by Optrom, on 28 RORO Vessels. A power saving of around 40 percent is expected compared to the use of conventional fluorescent lamps and C02 emissions on voyages are reduced by up to 1per cent.

E.COOL uses cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology that has been used for years in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors. As well as consuming less power, it has a longer operating life and offers greater brightness. It is also flicker free, making it gentler on the eyes of our ships’ crews.

NYK will continue to promote the installation of E-COOL lighting on other vessels when they are in dock. Optrom is based in the city of Sendai in Japan’s Tohoku area, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The Company is donating part of the proceeds of E.COOL unit sales to this area to assist with its reconstruction.

NYK Super Eco Ship 2050

NYK Group have articulated a roadmap of technical innovation towards the development of a "zero-emissions ship" with CO₂ emissions as close as possible to zero by 2050.  NYK launched a Fuel Project Team to develop the technologies required, focusing on conversion to low-CO₂ LNG. LNG not only reduces CO2 emissions but also nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 80% and almost eliminates sulphur oxide (SOx) compared with the use of conventional fuels.For further details please click here

NYK Super Eco Ship 2050