With modern trends of decrease in crew numbers on board ships together with increased operational demands and paperwork, crew fatigue and comfort have become more critical and are being given more importance. It is well known that environmental factors affect crew comfort and performance. The two outstanding factors which exist in the shipboard environment are vessel motions and noise. As such, the findings and lessons learnt from other industrial sectors are considered to be less relevant for ships. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct focused research to understand the effects of these factors, so that the lessons learnt can be integrated into the ship design process so as to mitigate their adverse effects during vessel operations. Due to obvious performance issues, ship motions and motion sickness research has attracted far more interest than human response to noise. This paper reports the findings of a recent research study undertaken as part of an EU FP7 research project, namely SILENV, which investigated the current levels of crew noise exposure through field studies. Furthermore, developed models on human response to noise on board ships and SILENV Green Label noise standards are also introduced in comparison with the current normative framework. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.