Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime Affairs


Ph.D (Maritime Affairs)


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Larry Hildebrand

Second Advisor

Johan Hollander


The implementation of sustainable sanitation and wastewater management strategies has been recognized as one of the most important strategies for mitigating wastewater-sourced nutrient environmental pollution, and a central contributor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). This study suggests that, by closing the nutrient loop through the implementation of Circular Economy principles in the management of cruise ship sanitary wastewater and enhancing the resource efficiency of the IGFS, the cruise industry could support the agricultural sector through the supply of more sustainable organic nutrients for farming with the overall goal of rendering both activities “green”, and mitigating the effect of their nutrient footprints on water bodies such as the Baltic Sea. The Systems Approach and the ISWM concept established a holistic perception of the interconnections and interrelationships between the major IGFS components and elements that influence its resource efficiency, while the ISWM Assessment Framework aided in delineating its boundaries and in assessing its sustainability. Material Flows (Phosphorus and Nitrogen) in three major scenarios; the NCEP, the PCEP and the FCEP are modelled. Moreover, the recognized factors influencing the sustainability of the system are assessed and the magnitude of their influence determined. The extent to which the Sustainable System contributes to the achievement of the UN SDGs is also evaluated. The findings revealed that the diligent implementation of the FCEP scenarios that uses various advanced technologies and applied all the circular economy processes (Reduce, Remove, Recover, Reclaim, Recycle, Reuse, Regulate), could assure a zero-wastewater nutrient discharge into the Baltic Sea, mitigating cruise ship- and agriculture-sourced nutrient input, and subsequently eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, a coordinated effort from individual system elements, and their relationships and interactions with each other and with other systems in its surrounding environment, is paramount for its resource efficiency. Hence, the FCEP model is able to play a fundamental role in the achievement of the several of the UN SDGs. The current Covid-19 pandemic, however, is one of the major impediments to the implementation of this model.