Unlocking Growth for Society and Maersk

In 2014, we introduced a new sustainability strategy aimed at addressing significant sustainability challenges in a way that creates value for society and Maersk. We have identified three key priority areas where focusing our efforts will help us unlock growth. On the same time, we will continue to integrate sustainability in our operations, mitigating risks and raising performance levels.

Our Sustainability Strategy

Focusing on three key priorities while maintaining responsible conduct
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Energy efficiency

We will unlock growth for society and Maersk by enhancing our CO2 efficiency and promoting efficient supply chains and infrastructure.

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Enabling trade

We will unlock growth for society and Maersk by improving conditions for businesses and industries to participate in global trade.

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Investing in education

We will unlock growth for society and Maersk by investing in relevant training and education, contributing to building the skills base in growth markets.

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Responsible conduct

Our responsibility agenda focuses on mitigating risks and raising performance.
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We will carry out efforts to continuously improve performance on anti-corruption, responsible procurement,
labour standards, health and safety, environment, diversity and inclusion.

UN Global Compact

As member of the Global Compact LEAD, we are committed to continuously improving our sustainability performance and reaching new levels of impact and achievement.

Focused on progress

In 2009, Maersk became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, and a LEAD member in 2011. Our LEAD membership involves implementing the ten UN Global Compact Principles into strategies and operations, meeting the Global Compact’s 24 Advanced Level reporting criteria and taking action in support of broader UN goals and issues.

Health and safety

With safety, we all work towards a common goal

Our goal is simple: Zero fatalities

We focus on creating a working environment where safety is deeply rooted into behaviour, performance and company culture. Our responsibility is to ensure that our employees return safely to their homes and families after work.

Read more about our 2013 safety performance
Safety in action

All businesses undertake significant safety investments and activities to progress towards incident-free environments.

We are hopeful that our ongoing focus on safety will continue to move us closer to our goal of zero fatalities.

Making a tough decision
Making a tough decision

In 2013 APM Terminals for the first time decided to relinquish an inland facility due to poor safety performance, despite significant efforts which had been made to bring the facility to an acceptable safety standard. The facility in Vietnam has 280 employees and is providing services such as container repair, maintenance and warehousing. They encountered two fatal incidents in less than a year, and the investigations revealed that in spite of significant investments in safety training, new equipment and management support, they still failed to meet the APM Terminals’ minimum safety standard.

After careful consideration, APM Terminals’ management decided to sell the facility; a key factor in this decision was the realisation that the efforts required to bring the facility into line with APM Terminals’ safety principles and standards would be too great and that effort was better spent on other facilities and operations. Even though the local team had made good progress, APM Terminals was not convinced that the business could operate efficiently and without significant risk of experiencing further serious injuries or fatalities. It was a tough decision.


We are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment
Air emissions

We support the position that adeqeuate efforts must be made to limit global warming and mitigate dangerous climate change.

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Ballast water and regulation

To comply with the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention all vessels delivered in 2012 and beyond will be equipped with ballast water treatment systems.

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Oil spills

We are committed to managing this material business risk and protecting the environment.

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We have zero tolerance towards corrupt behaviour and participate actively in the fight against corruption

Fighting corruption

Corruption negatively impacts communities and overall global economic development by channelling funds away from overt towards covert economies. Corruption also erodes the trust necessary to build healthy societies. In the Group, we work against all forms of bribery.

Read more about fighting corruption
The fight against corruption

We work against all forms of corrupt practices, including bribery and facilitation payments.


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Getting to the bottom of corruption

Maersk Line and Maersk Tankers are active members of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), a global business network working for a maritime industry free of all types of corruption. MACN supports a pilot project in Nigeria together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The aim is to identify and address vulnerable elements in vessel port call processes where corruption is prone to take place. 

In 2013, 70 Nigerian assessors started interviewing public officials working in the port to get a full and frank description of the practices and processes. 

Through collaboration with the local authorities, an environment was created in which the local officials could feel comfortable talking about their processes without fear of repercussions. The input provided was turned into an action plan launched in Nigeria by the end of 2013 including actions such as integrity training, reducing manual handling and establishing a formalised complaint mechanism.

Social responsibility

Taking action to integrate social responsibility into our business practices

Integrating human rights

We respect human rights and work to ensure that we do not contribute to human right violations. Our approach is to integrate human rights management into existing business processes, and we aim to work in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Visit the UN guiding principles




Labour conditions

Good and fair labour conditions for all our people

Our employees are an essential ingredient to the Group’s success. We are committed to good and fair labour conditions for all employees to ensure their welfare.

Global Labour Principles

All Maersk employees are covered by a single set of labour principles designed to ensure their welfare. These principles are in accordance with internationally recognised instruments.

Read our global labour principles


Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

We are committed to providing positive, productive and supportive working environments where all employees are valued and inspired to be the best they can be. We base our diversity and inclusion work on the principles that diversity benefits business results, that we will treat every employee with respect and dignity and that we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.


Aiming for a better balance

Our industries are historically male-dominated, and male applicants still outnumber female applicants, especially for technical specialist and leadership roles. To address this we require diverse groups of candidates when hiring for key senior positions.

Read about our diversity and inclusion program

Responsible procurement

Prioritizing long-term sustainable partnerships with suppliers
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Lifting supply chain sustainability

In our work with responsible procurement, we focus primarily on suppliers where high social and environmental risks are related to their operations, e.g. builders of vessels, terminals, cranes, containers and drilling rigs as well as manning agencies and security firms.

Read more about our Responsible Procurement Programme

Responsible Procurement Portal

Maersk Group's suppliers are spread across the globe and work in accordance with varying standards and cultural norms. When we consider signing up a new a supplier, the supplier is invited to register in the Responsible Procurement portal.

Go to responsible procurement portal
Third Party Code of Conduct

Third Party Code of Conduct

The code reflects our commitment to the UN Global Compact and the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organisation. It addresses anti-corruption, labour practices, environmental protection and the human rights of supplier employees and includes binding contracts, audits, and improvement plans.

Go to third party code of conduct

Logistics support in humanitarian crises

How we use our unique capabilities, assets and expertise to help in times of crises

Supporting people in need

Logistics Emergency Teams (LET) is an industry partnership formed by logistics companies Agility, –Maersk Group, and UPS. It was initiated by the World Economic Forum and supports the World Food Programme with logistics and transport of relief items when a natural disaster strikes.

Read more about Logistics support
Relief in the Philippines

"The Logistics Emergency Teams were very quick to respond and have been a tremendous help for the humanitarian community in the Philippines." John Myraunet, Logistics Cluster Coordinator, World Food Programme.

USD 768,150

donated by employees, Maersk and Maersk’s relief foundation and given to the Red Cross.

Fast, effective assistance

Responding effectively to humanitarian disasters is complex and requires specialist knowledge and resources. With our logistics and transport expertise and equipment, the Maersk Group is able to play a significant role, helping communities recover from humanitarian crises. 

The efficient deployment of logistics expertise in the first phase of an emergency can be crucial in providing medicine, food and shelter to minimise human suffering. The long-term effects of a disaster also present challenges for the local business and economic rehabilitation of the affected society. In both cases, we can play an important role.

The Maersk Group has participated in and supported relief efforts in several of the regions where we operate. We have adopted a systematic approach for our engagement by participating in the Logistics Emergency Teams (LET) to ensure we respond appropriately to different scales of emergencies.

Response examples

Find out how our staff and companies have been able to assist during crises


Every year, we report on our sustainability performance in a transparent and balanced way
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We aim to provide our stakeholders with a balanced view of our position and performance.

See reports


We have been fortunate to receive a number of prestigious awards for our work with sustainability.

See awards


We are involved in many partnerships at Group level and within our business units, and we are members of organisations that are relevant to our business or specific sustainability issues.