Across our activities, we strive to minimise the known negative impacts related to our operations. This is also true for air emissions which include SOx, NOx and particulate matters. All of these are potentially harmful to human health. 

We work to fully comply with regulatory demands to limit air emissions and strive to minimise the impacts. We want to continue to be an industry leader working towards reducing air emissions from international shipping, by continuing to invest in, maintain and implement solutions that will enable this, as well as actively engaging at international and regional levels to secure a level playing field and high levels of enforcement of regulation across the industry.

On 1 January, one of the largest changes in the maritime industry in decades came into effect with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 0.5% global cap on the content of sulphur in fuels. The enforcement mechanisms for this legislation is a ban on carrying non-compliant fuels on vessels, except for vessels where scrubbers are installed to clean exhaust gasses. Thorough preparations in the years leading up to this date ensured a successful switch from heavy fuel oil to low sulphur fuels across our fleet of both owned and chartered vessels. 

The main concern in the years leading up to the cap taking effect was uneven enforcement. While the level of control currently is not always as stringent as we would have hoped for, we have received no indication that compliance is lacking. 

The use of scrubbers to clean the vessels' exhaust of SOx remains a discussion point and no independent global survey of the effects of scrubbers has yet been produced to support global legislation. Maersk has installed open-loop scrubbers on a share of our vessels as a commercial risk management measure.

Read about our 2020 performance and activities on page 38 in the 2020 Sustainability Report.

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