Understanding the social and human dimension of energy management in shipping

01/25/2017 - 11:00-01/25/2017 - 12:15


Martin Viktorelius
(Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Maritime Human Factors and Navigation )
Martin Viktorelius

In order to increase the energy efficiency of shipping adequate energy management practices are needed. The successful implementation of technical and operational measures, such as performance monitoring, voyage planning, speed and trim optimization requires the involvement of ship crews. An important aspect of energy management is thus associated with the motivation, engagement and knowledge of crew members. Energy management practices and systems, however, often neglect the human and social dimension and fail to address organizational and behavioral barriers to improvement. This study presents a conceptual framework, drawing on recent developments in Practice Theory, to structure the understanding of the human and social dimension of energy optimization. The framework is applied and illustrated through a case study conducted on board five RoPax ferries in a major Swedish shipping company. The empirical analysis demonstrates that crew members’ energy practices are formed by cultural processes, understandings and socially negotiated goals. It is suggested that energy management should be integrated with strategies related to the development of organizational learning and energy cultures.