Watch Now

Maersk moves up net-zero emissions goal by decade

2030 targets set to help achieve 2040 objective

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Like many freight companies, A.P. Moller – Maersk had a target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The shipping giant on Wednesday moved this goal up 10 years to reach net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2040.

This net-zero emissions target will be aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative’s pathway to keep global average temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

“Together we can and must be able to scale technology. 2021 was a pivotal year for shipping [and] accelerating our green ambition. This year will be the year for Maersk to ensure green solutions are developed end to end,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of fleet and strategic brands at Maersk, said in a video.

Maersk set additional ambitious targets for 2030 to help the company reach its 2040 goal. Its new emissions targets for 2030 include:

  • 50% reduction in emissions intensity, or emissions per transported container in the Maersk ocean fleet.
  • 70% reduction in absolute emissions from terminals fully controlled by Maersk.
  • Generation of 5 million tons of carbon dioxide savings per year using natural climate solutions.

Depending on how much the ocean business grows, Maersk said this should lead to absolute emissions reductions of 35% to 50% by 2030, using 2020 as a baseline.

Read: A vision at sea: Maersk’s methanol-powered vessels taking shape

Green fuels and operations targets for 2030 include:

  • Transport 25% of all ocean cargo using green fuels.
  • Move at least 30% of air cargo using sustainable aviation fuels.
  • Run warehouses and depots using at least 90% green operations.

All of these 2030 targets include scope 1 (direct) and scope 2 (indirect) emissions and use 2020 data as the baseline. The company described “green fuels” and “green operations” to mean fuels or energy that have “low or very low GHG emissions on a life cycle basis.”

Maersk will also set a 2030 target for inland transportation this year.

New green product offerings will be introduced to join Maersk’s existing emissions dashboard and Maersk ECO Delivery, making it easier to reduce emissions. These green products will “provide real emission reductions within the supply chain,” the release said.

Including supply chain emissions

Indirect emissions from third-party product and service providers will be included in Maersk’s emissions targets. This will require “extensive data insights and close collaboration” with the shipping giant’s local and regional suppliers across its entire business footprint.

Read: Finding sustainable suppliers — Net-Zero Carbon

“As a global provider of end-to-end logistics services across all transport modes, it is a strategic imperative for Maersk to extend our net-zero ambition to the total footprint of the business. The science is clear — we must act now to deliver significant progress in this decade. These very ambitious targets mark our commitment to society and to the many customers who call for net-zero supply chains,” Maersk CEO Soren Skou said in the release.

WATCH: Journey to Emissions-Reduction

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

Maersk throws its weight behind unicorn electrofuels company

The good, the bad, the promising sustainability developments

Maersk enters agreement for 8 methanol-powered vessels

How will COP26 affect sustainability movement in freight moving forward?

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.