Naval Group is actively participating in the collective effort to preserve the planet, an urgent issue for this century.

Naval Group is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its products even though naval defence is currently exempt from the obligation to comply with related regulations, more specifically those set by the International Maritime Organisation. Naval Group has been working on incorporating environmental requirements into its ships for more than ten years now, always aiming to strike a balance between environmental impact and operational requirements from a life-cycle perspective.

Meanwhile, Naval Group sites are defining and implementing actions to manage risks and mitigate the environmental impact of the company’s activities.
Its environmental approach has been ISO 14001 certified since 2008 for both its products and activities.

Environmental analyses of its products and activities: Naval Group, ISO 14001 certified

The purpose of environmental analyses is to determine the major environmental factors pertaining to our products and activities from a life cycle perspective.

Naval Group specifies and implements the necessary and relevant actions based on these analyses. These actions are mainly aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (energy consumption, commuting to work), reducing the amount of waste produced and ensuring better reuse, as well as controlling fluid discharge.

As far as the company’s products go, the dedicated design teams conduct environmental baseline analyses for each product line and over the ships’ entire life cycle - right from their design to their deconstruction - to integrate environmental requirements into new ships. The results of these environmental analyses are also used to guide Research and Development (R&D).

The economic challenges related to environmental considerations over the entire life cycle of products are met through the renewed control of production costs (energy consumption, waste recovery, etc.). Furthermore, operational challenges are dealt with by increasing ship autonomy and discretion thanks to new hybrid propulsion systems. These challenges are also competitive in nature: Ship availability is assured to the greatest extent for customers thanks to the fact that Naval Group takes this environmental dimension into account, thus always staying a step ahead of future regulations.

Blue Ship, responsible innovation

Naval Group’s efforts also stand out in the area of R&D. A specific environmental and eco-design orientation is incorporated in our R&D projects. It addresses the need to anticipate regulations, improve eco-design methods, manage waste, emissions and resources as well as their impact on biodiversity.

Blue Ship reflects one of the main guiding principles of our R&D ambition, bringing together all the subjects pertaining to energy and environment, relevant to the group. Its aim is to provide programs with green technologies that combine innovation, new operational capacities and sustainable growth, enabling them to meet these two challenges.

Reducing the environmental impact of maritime traffic noise on marine ecosystems

Naval Group offers its skills in acoustic discretion to the PIAQUO European research project on reducing the acoustic impact of maritime traffic and real-time adjustment to ecosystems. Nine other French, Italian and Swedish partners are also a part of this project whose objective is to reduce the impact of maritime traffic noise on ecosystems, in particular in the Mediterranean, in line with European regulations.   
The PIAQUO project covers five areas of research, two of which are specifically led by Naval Group:

  1. developing improved propellers to reduce the emission of underwater sound pollution;
  2. developing an onboard system to self-estimate noise levels emitted in the surrounding environment and self-detect cavitation in real time;
  3. an awareness program for ship owners on reducing the emission of underwater sound pollution, using a database containing real sound pollution data measured by an acoustic buoy at sea;
  4. adjusting maritime traffic according to passive acoustic real-time mapping and drones in the surrounding ecosystems;
  5. implementing decision-making tools for public and private parties, to deal with the issue of sound pollution from ships.

Solutions identified will be proposed to all maritime transport contributors.

Working towards new energy sources

Naval Group is fully committed to energy transition and examining alternatives to fossil fuels that significantly reduce the environmental footprint of its platforms. The use of new neutral or carbon-free rules and their associated energy production procedures are some of the solutions Naval Group is examining with the aim of moving towards zero CO² emissions for future ships as well as those currently in service.

With this end in mind, Naval Group encourages its suppliers to propose new and more effective energy production processes and provides support in developing them.

The group now uses its experience in batteries for submarines and anaerobic propulsion modules to design and integrate Li-ion battery systems and fuel cell-powered energy production modules. These technological solutions for the production and storage of electric power are promising ways forward in actions to decarbonise ships to meet the ambitious objectives of regulations and the expectations of society as a whole.

Green energy transition in the maritime sector

Naval Group, in keeping with its ambition to embody green energy transition in the maritime sector, complies with the objectives on the reduction of pollutant emissions as defined in the Paris Agreement.
The group strives to comply with the 2050 low-carbon objectives defined by the International Maritime Organisation and anticipate future regulations since our ship design-build-operate process covers several decades.
Naval Group has identified several objectives to meet this challenge:

  • improving energy efficiency through the further electrification of ships, thus enabling dynamic control, easier integration of new sources of clean energy through the common use of distributed power also by getting the most out of the digital revolution;
  • making a more economical use of means by designing and integrating systems that use less power without compromising operational performance;
  • performing operational controls of emissions and discharges thereby contributing to reducing the environmental footprint.

Given that these challenges are similar to those encountered in the civil maritime sector, these solutions could also be applied to naval defence once qualified.