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.
We will ensure safe and responsible ship recycling globally to the benefit of workers, environment, responsible yards and shipowners.
Highlights in 2022
Priorities and actions
Download Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS)
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.