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WÄRTSILÄ LAUNCHES PRODUCT THAT NEVER SHOULD EXIST

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

We had to check the MEM calendar when the latest press release from Wärtsilä arrived in our inbox - especially when we saw the accompanying image. But no, it 's 4th December, not 1st April. So no April Fool/Poisson d'Avril here - but as the company admits, it's a product that should never exist.

The product, launched in Helsinki, that should never see the light of day is a lifeboat for buildings, which, light-heartedness aside, is intended to be used in severe flooding and rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Wärtsilä says that lifeboat for buildings is not an actual product, at least not yet, but is a concept from Wärtsilä Ship Design. The company says it features Wärtsilä’s world-class smart technologies from both Marine and Energy, such as autodocking, dynamic positioning and wireless charging. The autonomous lifeboat is powered by 100% renewables, like synthetic renewable fuels and solar energy.

“This hypothetical lifeboat is a way for Wärtsilä to amplify the critical need to move climate change discourse to action. In fact, the concept is not as unimaginable as we first think. The boats would have been useful in the recent floods in Italy and Indonesia. We must act now, together. Or the unthinkable will happen and this lifeboat will have to be built for real,” said Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer.

“We simply cannot afford to wait for the marine and energy industries to improve at the current pace. Climate change and scarcity of natural resources call for innovative and creative solutions that Wärtsilä is already developing, but we cannot deliver our purpose ‘enabling sustainable societies with smart technology’ without equally forward-looking partners”, emphasised Wärtsilä’s President and CEO Jaakko Eskola.

“Technologies play an important role in the mitigation of the impacts of climate change. Sustainability has been at the forefront in everything we do for decades. Our sustainability targets call us to reduce our own energy consumption by 7% by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emission from gas engines by 15% by 2020. These goals among others need to be achieved in order to avoid a future where lifeboats for buildings are needed,” said Marko Vainikka, Director, Corporate Relations and Sustainability.

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