Maersk is First Shipping Company to Join Amazon’s Climate Pledge 

Maersk first shipping company to sign Climate Pledge Led by Amazon
Maersk becomes the first shipping company to join The Climage Pledge (file photo)

Published Mar 14, 2022 6:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

Nearly 100 additional companies, including Maersk, have joined The Climate Pledge, an environmental imitative in part led by Amazon where signatories commit to achieving full decarbonization of their operations by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Maersk becomes the first large shipping company to join the program that includes more than 300 corporations from across the globe.

Maersk, like all companies committing to The Climate Pledge, agrees to start immediately measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis. All the companies must also implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies. Finally, any participant in the pledge that has not achieved carbon neutrality from its operations by 2040 agrees to implement quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to neutralize any remaining emissions from their operations.

The initiative was co-founded in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism, an environmental activist group that “exists to catalyze and inspire action on climate change.” With the addition of companies ranging from Maersk to software company SAP, and timberland company Weyerhaeuser, a total of 312 organizations have signed The Climate Pledge. According to the founders, it is “sending an important signal that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions.” Companies participating in the program, they note, generate over $3.5 trillion in global annual revenues and have more than eight million employees across 51 industries in 29 countries.

"It’s encouraging that 300 companies are committed to working together to achieve net-zero by 2040 or sooner through The Climate Pledge,” said Christiana Figueres, founding partner of Global Optimism and the United Nations' former climate chief. “But 300 companies are not enough to deliver the transformations we need. I encourage all business leaders to get to grips with the science, translate it for their businesses, and enable the changes we need without delay."

In welcoming Maersk to The Global Pledge, the organization singled out the shipping company as a leader in the industry and highlighted Maersk ECO Delivery, which targets emission reductions in ocean shipping. Amazon highlighted that it began participating in this service in 2020 and continues today, reducing emissions by approximately 20 KTonnes of CO2e (the equivalent of 50 million average passenger vehicle miles) in 2021.

"Solving the climate emergency and decarbonizing our customers’ supply chains is a strategic imperative for Maersk," said Soren Skou, A.P. Moller – Maersk CEO. "Hence, back in January 2021, we accelerated our decarbonization commitment to net-zero emissions by 2040—a decade ahead of our initial 2050 ambitions and the Paris Agreement. To drive the massive scale-up of green fuels, we all must move now and take action. If we are meant to see changes this decade, we cannot afford to wait, and in that context, we look forward to joining The Climate Pledge, an opportunity to team up with some of our major customers, learn from them, and share best practices and solutions."

Last week, Maersk took an industry-leading step announced the formation of six agreements in China, North and South America, in addition to efforts already underway in Europe, to lay the foundation for a global supply network for green, bio-, and e-methanol to fuel the carrier’s next generation of ships. Under the agreements, Maersk said it will have production capacity, by the end of 2025 at the latest, to reach well beyond the green methanol needed for its first 12 green container vessels that will be built in South Korea for delivery in 2024.