The issue

The latest scientific assessments leave no doubt that the world in general needs to embark on an all-encompassing transformation process away from the reliance on fossil fuels. This goes for shipping as well, and we have taken steps to respond to this need.

The opportunities

We are the largest ocean shipping company in the world, and by committing ourselves to be a leader in the eliminating fossil fuels in container shipping as well as dedicating our own resources to the needed innovation, we can help drive accelerated innovation efforts in the container shipping ecosystem. At the same time, our work to decarbonise can drive innovation in our products and services to meet customer demands. 

What we do

As world trade and thereby shipping volumes continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil-based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them.

We will continue to work on efficiency measures to continue to decouple growth in our business from our CO2-emission levels. We have invested substantially in efficiency measures for 10 years and have reduced our relative emissions by 42% compared to 2008. Yet, it is clear to us that efficiency is not enough to live up to the Paris Agreement’s ambition of keeping global warming below 1,5 degrees Celsius.

To achieve this goal, we must fully move to new carbon neutral fuels, and supply chains must fully eliminate fossil fuels. At A.P. Moller-Maersk, we have set ourselves the goal of reaching carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2050. This is where we have the greatest impact, as around two thirds of our CO2-emissions come from our own operations (scope 1). 

Given the 20-25-year life time of a vessel, the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050  must be developed now. The next 5-10 years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources in innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions. 

We cannot do this alone. Research & development is key to move the industry away from today’s fossil-based technology and by setting this ambitious target, Maersk hopes to generate a pull effect towards researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators that will activate strong industry involvement, co-development, and sponsorship of sustainable solutions that we are yet to see in the maritime industry. 

Since the launch of our decarbonisation target, we have seen tremendous interest from all types of stakeholders resulting in the launch of new coalitions as well as products and services. 

Learn more about 2019 progress.

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