Responsible ship recycling

Currently, the majority of vessels globally are not recycled responsibly. The projected growth in demand for recycling capacity of large vessels adds to the urgency of creating responsible new solutions. As a leader in the shipping industry, Maersk has a responsibility to use our leverage to make a positive impact.

Why responsible ship recycling matters

Despite many shipowners having policies for responsible ship recycling, nearly 90% of the gross tonnage recycled is handled in sub-standard health, safety and environmental conditions.

With global ship recycling volumes predicted to double by 2028, and quadruple by 2033, urgent action is needed to ensure that the growth in demand for ship recycling services is met by suppliers with responsible practices.

Our ambition

We will ensure safe and responsible ship recycling globally to the benefit of workers, environment, responsible yards and shipowners.

Responsible ship and recycling

Our targets

Create global opportunities for responsible post-Panamax ship recycling
Digital integration
Work with stakeholders to support EUSRR compliance and the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative
Flexibility Pictogram
Continue wider Alang area development
Globe pictogram
Identify Maersk’s role in decarbonizing the global steel value chain

Highlights in 2022

Lashing Operations
Continued to actively address and engage on global capacity and capability challenges of handling post-Panamax vessels
Global consulting pictogram
Engaged with stakeholder groups to better understand the global steel value chain and our potential role in supporting circularity
Completed the recycling of one vessel in Alang and reached milestone of 75,000 out-patient department services in our mobile health unit

Priorities and actions

To support a global transition towards a responsible, practice-driven, and financially viable ship recycling industry, our targets represent core commitments that will guide our work to deliver both short and long-term positive change.
Ship Location

Setting the bar in responsible ship recycling

All Maersk vessels are recycled in accordance with the Maersk Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS). This standard is based on a strict interpretation of the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) regarding health, safety and environmental issues, and goes beyond HKC in key areas including anti-corruption and labour and human rights.
planning and control pictogram

Building capacity for unprecedented demand

We work to identify and support the creation of new opportunities to stimulate capacity growth to handle the anticipated rise in global recycling volumes – particularly large vessels in the post-Panamax category.
Simple claim process

Advocating for regulatory change

To address capacity and capability challenges, we continue to work actively with industry stakeholders to have yards in non-OECD countries included on the EU list of approved yards to recycle vessels registered in EU countries.

Download Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS)

Explore our ship recycling activities

Featured highlights and case stories

Sustaining transformation in Alang

We have to date recycled 16 vessels in six yards in Alang, India, where around 29% of the world's tonnage is sent for recycling. Our engagement has transformed the local industry, and more than 90 yards have voluntarily invested to be compliant with The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC).

Impact studies of our investments in Alang indicate that the yards recycling our vessels perform on par with yards categorised as responsible recycling facilities elsewhere in the world. We also continue to support local communities by improving access to health.

Closing the post-Panamax capacity gap

A significant part of the global shipping fleet becoming ready for recycling in the next decade will be in the “post-Panamax” category: too large to navigate the Panama Canal, and too large to be responsibly recycled in most of the world’s available recycling facilities.

Given the urgency of this challenge, it is crucial that we use our reach to drive traction among industry players. Only by building the business case, and sending demand signals, can we spur the development of responsible recycling opportunities for post-Panamax vessels globally.

Building global ship recycling capacity

Compounding the post-Panamax challenge is a delay in including yards located in non-OECD countries on the EU List of yards allowed to recycle vessels registered in EU countries.

Very few yards on the EU List are capable of handling post-Panamax vessels. Even fewer yards are willing to accept commercial vessels for recycling as they prefer ship repair, conversions, decommissioning and offshore recycling, which are far more lucrative. To address capacity and capability challenges, we continue to work actively with industry stakeholders to have yards in non-OECD countries included on the EU List.

Securing transparency on policies and practices

Maersk is a founding signatory and steering group member of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI). The SRTI works to accelerate a voluntary, market-driven approach to responsible ship recycling by shipowners.

As part of the initiative, shipowners across a range of vessel types and geographies are already disclosing data on recycling policies and practices. This is enabling investors and cargo owners to make informed decisions and reward good practices through the market.

Growing demand for green steel

Steel is a core engineering and construction material, but the steel industry is among the largest emitters of CO2. Many stakeholders are joining forces to find ways to develop steel with less impact.

We predict steel-scrap from large vessels will increasingly be seen as a viable raw material for producing green steel. We will engage with shipping industry stakeholders to better understand the global steel value chain, and how we can play a role in its decarbonisation.

Sustainability Report 2022

Explore our progress on environmental, social and governance dimensions in our latest Sustainability Report.
Maersk sustainability report

Learn more about Maersk



Discover job vacancies, find out how to apply to them, and learn more about careers at Maersk.
Thumb check

Follow us on LinkedIn

Always stay up to date with current and new opportunities which could be your perfect fit.
Our global brand

About us

Learn more about A.P. Moller - Maersk, our values, leadership, our history and more.