With less than two weeks of the start of the climate summit in Glasgow, reducing emissions in the maritime sector has never been more on the agenda. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear how much the global economy depends on the shipping industry. However, this shipping industry is also one of the main polluters. It is an industry whose emissions are comparable to those of a large industrial country like Germany.
To be able to sail truly emission-free, we have to think outside the box. A difficult task for a traditionally conservative industry which mainly thinks of the box (the container). One of the most obvious solutions is the application of sail technology. It requires a base of support, capital and knowledge. This is why today the EcoClipper Coöperatie UA was launched in Amsterdam with the aim of creating a global network of sustainable freight transport routes.
This cooperative comes from the shipping company EcoClipper BV, which has developed an innovative and sustainable transport concept that can be delivered with a group of stakeholders. Ships are designed for freight and passenger services, and thus offer a clean alternative to flying. Indeed, the design of the EcoClipper500 has been nominated for the prestigious: “Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021”. EcoClipper COO: Dirk Klaassen says: “The reason for creating a cooperative is to make the switch from engine to sail accessible to as many people as possible. Anyone wishing to transport goods, navigate or invest can become a member. Democratic, transparent and social.
EcoClipper’s future vision is to create alternative logistics, taking people and nature into account. “Over the next five years, we plan to raise funds for a fleet of more than 10 vessels. These vessels will be operated on regular shipping lines on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In addition, the route between Asia and Europe and a route around the world will be covered. The ambitious plans summarized by CEO Jorne Langelaan.
It is not without reason that “Het Scheepvaarthuis” in Amsterdam was chosen as the place of signature for the incorporation of the cooperative. Built at the start of the 20th century as the headquarters of six of the most prestigious shipping companies in the Netherlands, this building not only acts as a bridge between sailing and motor boating, but also symbolizes the cooperative idea of working together. Today this former office has been restored to its glory by the Amrath Group and serves as a Grand Hotel.