The oceans are at the very heart of our business, and we understand our responsibility to help keep them healthy. Preserving marine biodiversity is a vital part of our environmental sustainability strategy, and this is woven into all our business practices, including how we channel our philanthropic funding.

  • Our Ambitions…
  • To achieve zero incidents of non-compliance with ballast water regulations.
  • To achieve zero spills.
  • To plant 25 million trees by 2026.
  • Achieved in 2022…
  • We recorded zero incidents of non-compliance with ballast water regulations in 2022.
  • We recorded zero spills in 2022.
  • ON TRACK — as of year-end 2022, we had planted 9.6 million trees.

Our Performance

Vessels fitted with Ballast Water Treatment Systems55
Berge Bulk employees who attended the Sea Adventure School19
Trees planted9,600,000

Our Approach

The shipping industry plays an essential role in the global economy, and has far less impact on the environment than other freight methods. However, its potential to negatively impact the marine environment should not be underestimated.

Berge Bulk minimises risks to the biodiversity of the oceans through strict adherence to global regulations, and through critical training programmes onboard. These practices, along with a shore-based range of activities and initiatives to protect coastal and marine environments, are at the heart of our aim to limit our impact, and to maintain biodiversity in the oceans.

Onboard our vessels:

  • Preparedness training.
  • Ballast water treatment.

In partnership with global initiatives and organisations:

  • Mangrove planting.
  • Voluntary programmes.
  • Support initiatives.

Onboard Vessel Practices

Oil Spill Preparedness Training

Whilst Berge Bulk did not experience any oil spills in 2022, we believe in the importance of always being prepared for worst case scenarios. It is critical to ensure the constant readiness of our team, both on ship and on shore.

In 2022, Berge Bulk carried out a number of preparedness drills. In these tabletop exercises, the team ran incident management simulations using fictional scenarios of vessel casualties and oil spills in major global ports. The purpose of these exercises was to test the various components of the response plan such as notification procedures, spill mitigation, spill containment, and the shore team’s response activities.

Ballast Water Treatment

Incidents of ballast water non-compliance0
Vessels fitted with Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS)53
% of vessels fitted with BWTS84%

Shipping has been identified as a major pathway for introducing aquatic species to new environments through its ballast water and sediments.

Ballast water — often taken on board by ships for stability — can contain bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and larvae. When the water is discharged, these organisms are released into new eco-systems where they may survive, reproduce, and start out-competing native species.

The infestation of such invasive species presents a major threat to marine biodiversity, posing dramatic ecological and economic consequences, as well as health problems. With the expansion of sea-borne trade and traffic volumes, the number and severity of such bio-invasions is growing at an alarming rate.

Ballast Water Cycle Diagram

To minimise this risk, The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) was adopted in 2004 to introduce global regulations to control the transfer of potentially invasive species. The BWM Convention came into force in September 2017. Berge Bulk fully supports the universal implementation of the BWM Convention.

All new ships in our fleet are fitted with Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS), and existing vessels are being retrofitted with the newest technology. The BWTS is based on the principles of filtration systems, chemical disinfection, ultraviolet treatment, and ozone treatment of the ballast water.

When our vessels call at ports in the USA, we submit our ballast water samples for laboratory testing. We are also exploring the possibility of extending this practice to other non-USA ports on a voluntary basis.

Our Biodiversity Projects

how we’re tackling biodiversity head on

Sea Adventure School

Educating youth and crew about marine biodiversity

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Mangrove Planting

We are committed to planting at least 25 million mangrove trees

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ECHO Programme

Reducing underwater noise pollution that threatens Orca whales

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Safeguarding Ecuador’s Coastal Forest

Safeguarding existing mangroves and rebuilding those lost

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Fruit Tree Planting

We pledge to plant 8.5 million fruit trees across Morocco by 2028

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“To restore stability to our planet we must restore its biodiversity, the very thing we have removed. It is the only way out of this crisis that we ourselves have created. We must rewild the world!”
Sir David Attenborough
Broadcaster, biologist, natural historian & author