Environment

Our environmental priorities

Decarbonising logistics is our greatest responsibility, and it is where we can have the greatest impact. Beyond our climate efforts, we also take action to minimise the negative effects from our operations on ecosystem health and biodiversity.

Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

One of the main causes of global warming are the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide by the industrial, energy and transportation sectors. The shipping industry is currently responsible for between two and three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hamburg Süd takes responsibility for its ecological impact and, as part of Maersk, pursues the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero across our operations (Scope 1, 2 and 3).

We want to satisfy the demands of our customers and business partners for a logistics chain that emits as little greenhouse gas as possible. As such, we are working to establish green supply chain solutions already this decade and to enable our customers to realise net zero supply chains by 2040.

With Maersk, we are striving to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. As an interim goal, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity in our ocean services by 50 per cent in 2030 as compared with our 2020 baseline. These targets also apply to all vessels deployed on behalf of Hamburg Süd's customers.

On the road to greenhouse gas neutrality, it will be necessary to decouple corporate growth from greenhouse gas emissions – in other words, to achieve growth while significantly and steadily reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

However, increases in energy efficiency alone will not suffice to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality. Groundbreaking innovations, such as novel fuels and engine technology, will be needed. Therefore, Maersk will operate the world's first methanol-fueled liner already by 2023, seven years ahead of our original schedule.

Driving environmental protection

In addition to reducing climate-harming greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable and responsible action for Maersk and Hamburg Süd will also entail lowering their oil pollution to zero and having their ships recycled in accordance with binding standards.

Reducing emissions

A new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation on sulphur (SOₓ) emissions became effective on 1 January 2020. The goal is to reduce emissions of this pollutant from the ocean-going shipping industry by roughly 80 per cent worldwide. Hamburg Süd views these stricter SOₓ requirements as a good and important step for the environment. We will primarily comply with these requirements by switching to low-sulphur fuel. A rather small share of the fleet will be outfitted with the exhaust gas purification technology known as scrubbers. The IMO is also mandating a gradual reduction in nitrogen (NOₓ) emissions from ocean-going vessels. This will be separately implemented for each of the maritime regions using so-called NOₓ emission control areas (NECAs). Irrespective of these protection zones, the improvements in energy efficiency achieved in the past are helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Avoiding oil pollution

The risk of oil leakage is particularly high when ships bunker; in other words, when they take on new fuel. To prevent this from happening, Maersk has introduced globally applicable standards as well as rigorous controls to ensure compliance. Maersk and Hamburg Süd are pursuing the common goal of reducing oil pollution to zero. Between 2017 and 2019, no oil leakage exceeding ten cubic metres was recorded.

Recycling ships according to binding standards

In the Hong Kong Convention of 2009, the IMO formulated global standards for the scrapping of ships. However, the convention has not yet entered into force because it has not yet been ratified by a sufficient number of countries. Maersk has developed its own standard for the responsible recycling of ships that even goes beyond the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention and that also applies to vessels used on behalf of Hamburg Süd's customers. Close cooperation with carefully chosen recycling shipyards in India will improve conditions on the ground and for the industry as a whole. In addition, Maersk is one of the co-founders of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI). This initiative aims to contribute to more responsible ship recycling by fostering transparency about the recycling standards of participating shipping companies.

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