Carbon War Room

Strategic environmental consultancy for shipping


BLUE’s brief: to create and deliver a comprehensive and viable strategy to reduce carbon emissions form the international shipping industry based on the principles of a new NGO founded by Sir Richard Branson – to seek business-focused, for profit solutions to reduce carbon.

BLUE’s role of providing the NGO with strategic environmental consultancy for shipping included all three threads of BLUE’s core competency: network engagement, PR and communications and regulatory communication.

BLUE, working with the Carbon War Room’s Chief Operating Officer, identified three key barriers to realising a lower carbon shipping industry, which – despite being the most energy efficient mode of transport – still emits over 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year. The three key barriers were identified as:

  • Lack of information to identify an energy efficient ship from an energy inefficient ship
  • Once the information was gathered, stimulate the fuel payers to use this information to charter, finance and purchase
  • With a market motivated by energy efficiency in place, introduce finance models that accelerated the take-up of
    innovative clean technology

Scale of Challenge

BLUE’s challenge with the Carbon War Room is genuinely market defining; to provide strategic environmental consultancy for shipping and instigate trigger points that challenge and change status quo behavioural patterns. BLUE’s role stretched from strategy to market analysis and project management to utilising its network of shipping contacts, academics to create white papers, technology companies, financiers, while also representing the Carbon War Room at ‘in house’ and external events, lobbying the United Nation’s IMO, coordinating PR and continual reporting to the CWR management and founders, including Sir Richard Branson.


Since launching the CWR “Ship Efficiency” Operation in 2009, BLUEcontinues to work with the CWR, leading its ‘Shipping Operation’.

Key milestones include:

  • 2009 – Operation launch: BLUE coordinated, on behalf the CWR shipping operation, a joint event between the CWR and AP Moeller-Maersk at COP15 in Copenhagen at Maersk’s HQ.
  • 2010 – BLUE attends COP16 in Cancun and supports the launch of “”, a partnership initiated by BLUE with global ship vetting company Rightship, providing free access to A to G energy efficiency ratings for over 50,000 vessels. Achieved over 200 million “opportunities to view”
  • 2011 – Established a finance consortium, including PwC, University Central London Energy Institute, a NYC-based private equity company and prominent marine “clean tech” companies to create a “Self Financing Fuel Saving Model” –that pays back investment in clean tech through fuel savings achieved
  • 2012 – BLUE develops the plan and coordinated the announcement that three major charterers, including the global trader Cargill, will no longer ‘charter’ F and G rated vessels from the database
  • 2013 – BLUE developed the plan and coordinated the announcement for Operation Smart Island Economies, which saw 10 island economies’ Prime Ministers gather to sign agreement for roadmap towards 100% renewable on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.


  • As of May 2015, 20% of global shipped tonnage uses the CWR initiated A > G vessel energy efficiency rating, equivalent to almost 2 billion tons of cargo NOT being transported on inefficient ships per annum – and growing.
  • Over 300m “opportunities to view” through media announcements over the course of BLUE’s work with the CWR to date
  • BLUE recognised by Sir Richard Branson and fellow founders for its strategic environmental consultancy for shipping and taking a leading role in shaping the CWR’s most successful “operation” to date
  • BLUE recognised as the leading communications’ consultancy in the marine and environment space