Maersk Line today published its Sustainability Progress Update for 2013, showing a 3.8 million tonnes CO2 reduction in a year where the business grew 4.1%.
“2013 was a good year for Maersk Line – financially as well as in terms of our sustainability performance” says Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Line. “Our fuel efficiency improvements helped cut CO2 as well as air pollutants like SOx and NOx. So even while our business grew, we were able to reduce our environmental impact in absolute terms.”
In 2013, Maersk Line took delivery of the first four
of 20 Triple-E vessels. These vessels will set a new standard for energy efficiency. However, the main driver for the strong CO2 performance was the major overhaul of Maersk Line’s network.
One of the challenges outlined in the Sustainability Progress Update is the tightening regulation of sulphur emissions (SOx) that will require ships sailing in so-called Emission Control Areas to switch to cleaner and thus more expensive fuels from January 2015.
“Air emissions are a serious issue in shipping and we support the upcoming regulation. We are, however, concerned about the level of enforcement in Europe. The new regulation will be costly and without proper enforcement, some might be tempted to cut corners. This will erode the environmental improvements and create a commercial disadvantage for those that follow the rules” says Jacob Sterling, Head of Sustainability in Maersk Line.
In 2013, customer demand for information on Maersk Line’s sustainability performance really took off.
“Large customers representing 19 % of our business have requested tailored sustainability information as part of their business relationship with us” says Jacob Sterling.
“These customers have typically made promises to their stakeholders on sustainability. We are proud to move their goods with a lower environmental impact year by year, thereby helping them deliver on their sustainability promises”.
In total, Maersk Line’s customers saved 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 in 2013 by shipping their goods with Maersk Line compared to an industry-average competitor.