By Georgia Bekridaki, Dock, Greece

This project will be implemented by DOCK and Aegean Cargo Sailing, a social enterprise which is funded by the Green Fund of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate change that supports environmental projects.

The activities we will implement concern two goals: on the one hand, the inter-island connection and the transport of products, using wind and electric energy sources, with zero carbon footprint, and, on the other hand, the protection of the environment by strengthening and expanding the cultivation of organic products, without the use of chemicals.

The above will be achieved, among other things, through the production of a feasibility study for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in inter-island transport, the recording of sailing and the boat’s electrification data, the addition of electrification to the boat, the interconnection and the building of collaborations with ecological producers. The project aims to pilot an innovative and environmentally sustainable model of cargo transfer adapted to the requirements of facing climate change and environmental protection.

The project will be used as a pilot in order to become a good practice for the implementation, expansion and adoption of emission free transport on a small and medium scale. Thus, for the first time, ecological sailing-transport is applied in Greece, a country with many islands and a large coastline with many ports, and it also connects the country with the ever-growing trend at European and international level. Its medium-term goal is to inform civil society organizations and local authorities about the environmental impact of maritime transport and to promote sailing as a means of transporting and moving small-scale ecological products between the islands.

Additionally, the project offers a solution to the serious problem of lack of inter-island connection: many islands of the East and the West Aegean (Sporades) or the North and the South Aegean have very limited or zero connection between them. The immediate results are a serious increase in food-transfer miles since the transport has to pass through the main ports, and also the suspension of the transport of local goods that spread the culture and civilization of each place.

Through this project, an example of transport and inter-island connection with reduced or zero greenhouse gas emissions is created, with the ultimate goal being the creation of a clean environmentally friendly transport model that will be widely used.