Advanced participant of the United Nations Global Compact, Naval Group is actively participating in the collective effort to preserve the planet, an urgent question for this century.

While naval defence is currently exempt from the obligation to comply with regulations from the International Maritime Organisation in particular, Naval Group is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and our climate. For over ten years already, Naval Group has been carrying out fundamental work on the ecodesign policy for its ships and marine infrastructures in order to prevent and control the effects associated with its products and industrial processes.
The company’s environmental approach has been ISO 14001 certified since 2008. Three principles define these eco-responsibility requirements, whether or not they are governed by the legislator: prevention of the effects related to our industrial activities and the reduction of our impact on the environment, reduction of the environmental footprint of ships, services and infrastructures over the entire life cycle, and finally, participation in the fight against global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Eco-design: Naval Group, certified ISO 14001

Eco-design is a discipline whose objective is to reduce all the environmental impacts of ships, from their design to their deconstruction, including operation, manufacture and maintenance. Naval Group is rolling out its ecodesign approach on ships and then will gradually extend the system to marine infrastructures: operational naval bases, construction and/or maintenance naval shipyards, installations used during construction or dismantling work and in-service support. The roll-out and monitoring, then control of environmental requirements throughout the life of the program, are led by dedicated design teams.

The challenges of eco-design are also economic, via renewed control of production costs (energy consumption, waste recovery, etc.) and operational, via the increased autonomy and discretion of the ships made possible through new hybrid propulsion systems. Lastly, these challenges are competitive: Naval Group took interest in this discipline in order to anticipate new regulations and ensure that its customers will always be able to navigate wherever they want.
This eco-design approach, developed since 2008 by Naval Group, is ISO 14001 certified. Initiated on ships, the approach has been progressively extended to the Group’s infrastructures in order to fully meet sustainable development goal #13.

Responsible innovation, the Blue Ship focus

Naval Group’s efforts also stand out in the sphere of R&D. They cover the definition of methods for measuring environmental impacts over the entire product cycle. They also cover waste and emissions management, protection of the marine environment and the impact of Naval Group products on the biotope, green technologies, carbon-free energies and energy efficiency.
Our ambitions are led by the unifying focus for R&D - Blue Ship one of six focuses. It brings together all the energy- and environment-orientated subjects of interest for the Group. Its aim is to combine innovations, new operational capacities and sustainable growth. It marks Naval Group’s commitment to blue growth and its desire for excellence as well as leadership in this field.

Reducing the environmental impact of maritime traffic noise on marine ecosystems

Naval Group has offered its skills in acoustic discretion to the PIAQUO European research project on the reduction of the acoustic impact of maritime traffic and adjustment in real time to ecosystems. The project has nine other French, Italian and Swedish partners.

Objective: to reduce the impact of maritime traffic noise on ecosystems, in particular in the Mediterranean, as European regulations are aiming for.

The PIAQUO project is set around five areas of research, two of which are specifically led by Naval Group.

  1. development of propellers improved so as to reduce the emission of underwater sound pollution;
  2. development of an on-board system for self-estimation of the level of noise emitted in the environment and self-detection of cavitation in real time;
  3. an awareness program for ship owners on reducing the emission of underwater sound pollution, in association with a database containing real sound pollution data measured by an acoustic buoy at sea;
  4. adjustment of maritime traffic according to passive acoustic real time mapping and drones in the ecosystems crossed through;
  5. implementation of decision-making tools for problems concerning the reduction of sound pollution from ships, aimed at public and private parties.

The solutions found will be proposed to all contributors to maritime transport.

Working towards new energy sources

Naval Group is fully committed to energy transition and examining alternatives to fossil fuels in order to 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 that we are analysing with the aim of moving towards zero CO² emissions for our future ships as well as those currently in service.

As part of this approach, Naval Group call on and supports its suppliers to propose and develop new energy production procedures that are more effective and with no emission of greenhouse gases.

Backed by its experience in batteries for submarines and anaerobic propulsion modules, the group designs and integrates li-Ions 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.

Naval Group is aiming towards new technologies for producing and storing neutral, carbon-free energy in order to combine ecological asset, resilience and operational efficiency.

Green energy transition of the maritime sector

Naval Group aims to become an example in the field of green energy transition in the maritime sector and adheres as such to the objectives for reducing pollutant emissions set by the Paris Agreement.
The group strives to respect the low-carbon objectives set by the International Maritime Organisation for 2050 and anticipate regulations to come, as the design-build-operate process for our ships covers a several decades.
Naval Group has identified several objectives in order to meet this challenge:

  • improving energy efficiency through a higher electrification of ships, which, in allowing common use of the power distributed, enables dynamic control, easier integration of new sources of clean energy and also getting the most out of the digital revolution;
  • saving means by designing and integrating systems that use less power without compromising operational performances;
  • performing operational controls of emissions and discharges to contribute to reducing the environmental footprint.

These challenges are similar to those encountered in the civil maritime sector: the solutions to face these issues could be collective and qualified for use by naval defence.

It is for this reason that Naval Group is committed to these collective projects for green energy transition of the maritime sector and is a founder member of the T2EM (Coalition pour la transition éco-énergétique du maritime - Coalition for the green energy transition of the maritime sector) of the French Maritime Cluster (CMF). The company is also a member of the RAMSSES consortium, a European project which aims to produce and prove that new solutions using high-tech materials in ship design can reduce our environmental footprint.