Reducing the speed of ships will be an important part of Maersk Line’s efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions, the company has said.
In its 2013 sustainability report, the shipping liner said that it has reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 25 per cent per container-kilometre since 2007, meeting its 2020 target eight years early, and it now wants to get to a 40 per cent reduction by the same date.
One of the ways it will do this is through slowing the speed of ships both in bringing goods to major consumer nations, and returning material for recycling to manufacturing centres in Asia and other locations.
In the report, Maersk said: “Slow steaming is an important contributor to reducing our CO2. On average we have reduced the speed of our vessels by some 2 knots over the course of the year. Additionally, we have worked to improve the CO2 performance of vessels we charter especially by improving transparency on performance and the sharing of best practice.”
It also plans to roll out more of its Triple-E ships that are more energy efficient.
Maersk also said that it is increasing research into using biofuels to power its ships from waste biomass and it hopes to introduce the fuel into its ships in the next three to seven years.
The shipping company has also worked with Korean shipyard DSME to develop a cradle to cradle passport that will be implemented on the new Triple-E ships. The passport will document approximately 95 per cent by weight of the materials used to build ships to enable better recycling, particularly of the steel.
This passport initiative has involved the participation of 75 direct suppliers of parts to the ship plus sub-suppliers with the aim of developing a closed loop recycling system for ships.
According to Maersk Line head of sustainability Jacob Sterling, 2013 saw more of its customers requesting sustainability information.
He said: “Large customers representing 19 per cent of our business have requested tailored sustainability information as part of their business relationship with us.
“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.”