Maersk’s Climate Targets Validated through New Maritime Guidance

cargo ship full of shipping containers off the dock at port

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Feb 15, 2024

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Maersk, a Danish shipping and logistics company, has become the first to have its greenhouse gas emissions targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) under the new Maritime Guidance.

The targets were in line with the 1.5-degree pathway from the Paris Agreement, though Maersk is aiming for net-zero GHG emissions for its entire business by 2040. Those goals also include “significant milestones” for 2030, according to Maersk. The new validated targets include “new specific and absolute targets to reduce emissions from Maersk’s own operations and across its supply chains,” covering Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, the company said. 

The validated targets come after SBTi set its first science-based framework for companies in the maritime transport sector. The shipping industry accounts for more than 3% of global GHG emissions, according to the International Maritime Organization. SBTi published its maritime guidance in late 2022.

Maersk has since set out to implement the greenhouse gas strategy, leveraging green fuels and committing to science-based targets. The company is also focused on fuel efficiency. However, green fuels come with a higher cost, potentially creating a barrier to lower emissions.

“At Maersk, we feel a strong responsibility to take action in the climate crisis,” said Rabab Raafat Boulos, chief operating officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk. “The Science Based Targets initiative represents the highest standard for corporate climate targets, and we are very proud to have obtained validation. We are committed to do our share to reach these targets, but we cannot do it alone. To succeed, we are dependent on and working with the ecosystem that we are part of, including customers, suppliers, industry peers, and regulators. Importantly, there is a need for global regulations from the (IMO) to close the price gap between fossil and green fuels to secure a level playing field.”

Maersk’s GHG plan comes as the shipping industry is exploring other possible carbon reduction solutions, including adding sails to cargo ships to boost fuel efficiency.

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