Maersk, DB Schenker Jointly Curb Ocean Pollution, Emissions

Maersk containershipIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Danish shipping major Maersk and DB Schenker, that partnered up in 2014, are putting their heads together to create more sustainable, environmentally-friendly transportation networks around the globe.

“We’re on the same page with our carriers and the transportation providers who are striving for higher levels of environmental sustainability and less pollution,” Andrea Schön, DB Schenker’s Corporate Climate Protection Manager, said.

“We work together to hold the flag and are putting our heads together to come up with better fuel products like non-fossil and low sulfur fuel blends,” Schön added.

As part of the partnership, DB Schenker and Maersk agreed to establish a CO2 target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% per container transported from 2014-2020 for DB Schenker’s business with Maersk. As a result of Maersk’s fuel efficiency efforts, the parties met this target in 2018 – 2 years early.

Sustainability transcends just transportation. Climate change was a major theme at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, where panel discussions on global warming, ocean sustainability, and biodiversity all drew large crowds.

“The top three issues on Davos official agenda all relates to climate change,” said Mads Stensen, Senior Sustainability Advisor at Maersk, which is, like DB Group, committed to attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

DB Schenker and Maersk are working together, and involving other entities in the charge, to comply with IMO’s 0.5% mass by mass (m/m) global sulfur cap on fuel content and to help shippers manage the upcoming change.

Achieving Sustainability Goals

For Maersk to achieve its sustainability goals, Stensen explained that carbon-neutral vessels must be made commercially-viable by 2030. Equally as vital will be an acceleration in new innovations and adoption of new technologies, both of which would help ocean carriers attain their sustainability goals.

Stensen estimated that Maersk has almost cut emissions per container transported in half. As those CO2 emissions were reduced, Maersk’s business was growing.

“We knew that we needed a different approach,” Stensen said, referring to the company’s new zero carbon 2050 commitment.

Because the world’s transportation needs will only continue to grow, Schön added that gaining a deeper understanding of what the industry can do and where it needs external regulation and involvement of the entire supply chain is critical.

“We won’t make it if our customers don’t get involved, if investors don’t support the effort, and if technology providers don’t help us develop new ways to achieve our goals,” Stensen said.

“More and more companies are joining us on this journey, but we need more of them to get involved.”

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