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Maersk Sets 60% Emission Intensity Reduction Target For 2020

The world’s largest container ship operator, Maersk Line, has announced a target to significantly reduce emissions produced per container moved.

Maersk LineMaersk Line plans to cut emissions per container moved by 60% by 2020 as part of a five year plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200 million tonnes of CO2e. The amount of emission reduction envisaged is equivalent to emissions from all passenger cars in France, the company noted.

The shipping company has set 2007 as the baseline for calculation of emission reduction by 2020.

The emissions intensity target translates to reduction of per container shipped emissions from 76.9 g CO2e per kilometre to 30.8 g CO2e per kilometre in 2020.

The company had announced a similar target to reduce emissions in 2010.

Speaking at the launch of the 2014 Sustainability Update (PDF), Signe Bruun Jensen, Global Head of Sustainability at Maersk Line, stated that the company plans to decouple volume growth from emissions and will target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in absolute terms while increasing volume growth by 80% by 2020.

Maersk has shown exceptional environmental performance of the last 3 years. The company has been able to consistently reduce energy consumption between 2012 and 2014. Consumption of fuel oil has reduced by 13%, diesel consumption by 27%, and electricity consumption has fallen by 42%, while total greenhouse gas emissions, including indirect emissions, have reduced by 13.5% between 2012 and 2014. Other non-carbon based emissions like NOx and SOx were also down during the last 3 years, however, emission of volatile organic compounds nearly doubled, although the absolute emissions of such compounds is relatively low.

Over the last 3 years the company has been able to demonstrated that financial growth can be decoupled from emission growth. While absolute GHG emissions were down by 13.5%, revenue grew by 0.9% to $27.3 billion in 2014.

Image Credit: Maersk Line | CC-BY-SA 2.0

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Smiti works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.


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