Maersk to Slash Carbon Emissions by 2020

Maersk Triple E Class Vessel

Published May 21, 2015 3:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maersk Line, the world’s largest container ship operator, has set a ‘bold target’ to reduce CO2 emissions 60% per container moved by 2020.

The company has stated that the five year-emission reduction plan will save the climate around 200,000,000 tons of CO2, roughly the amount of emissions of all passenger cars in France over the period of a year.

The announcement comes after Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Schueler launched the company’s 2014 Sustainability Update at a session dedicated to sustainable supply chains last week in Rhode Island. 

Signe Bruun Jensen, Global Head of Sustainability at Maersk Line stated. “We lead the way in ‘doing more with less. We constantly seek out innovative and commercially viable ways to reduce our environmental impacts, be it CO2 and other air emissions, ballast water, or the materials we use to build our vessels. Therefore, we have set a bold target.”

Maersk claims to have reduced relative emissions of its fleet by 40% already, putting it around 10% higher than the rest of the shipping industry in terms of global benchmarks. The company has been reaching emission goals both by building larger more fuel efficient vessels, such as the Triple-E class ships, and by upgrading its existing fleet. In September of last year the company committed 1 billion dollars to upgrading around 100 vessels with optimized propellers, upgraded engines and bulbous bows that will greatly increase fuel efficiency.

Also in 2014, Maersk Line launched the Carbon Pact challenge. The Carbon Pact is a long-term partnership wherein Maersk Line commits to a CO2 target specifically tailored to the business of the individual customer.  As part of the agreement, both companies also pledge to jointly drive transparency and promote more sustainable procurement – raising the bar for the entire industry.

“Maersk Line shares aspirations for sustainable, profitable growth with many of our customers. By committing to reducing supply-chain emissions, we’re demonstrating our commitment to delivering tangible carbon savings" says Stephen Schueler, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Line.