Clothing retailer H&M, the first user of the product, wants to use its “size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions.”
The clothing retailer H&M Group is the first customer of a new carbon neutral transportation service Maersk is offering.
Maersk said that some of its ships will operate using a blend of 20% used cooking oil and 80% heavy bunker fuel. The fuel has been tested and successfully validated in a trial with its ship Mette Maersk, driven in collaboration with the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition (DSGC) and Shell. The blend is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) body.
Søren Toft, Maersk chief operating officer, said the trial proved “decarbonized solutions for shipping can already be utilized today, both technically and operationally. While it is not yet an absolutely final solution, it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today. With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains.”
Helena Helmersson, chief operating officer of H&M, said, “Our high ambition to become climate positive by 2040 requires cooperation and engagement from all parties in the supply chain. We want to use our size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions, such as the carbon neutral ocean product, for a greener commercial transport.”
Maersk did not disclose the premium that shippers will pay for the service.
“Since this is part of our commercial relationship with our customers, we don’t give out the specific numbers,” said Lee Kindberg, Maersk’s director of environment and sustainability.
She said the service “is available to any customer, regardless of route. Since climate is a global issue, it doesn’t matter where it is reduced, just that it is reduced. Practically speaking it will be done where the fuel is available.” Mette Maersk has operated on an Asia-Europe route.
Maersk said when taking a full life cycle view, including all emissions from upstream production and transportation, the fuel entails savings of 85% in greenhouse gases compared to standard bunker fuel.
Kindberg said, “Biofuel is considered renewable because it comes from plants that took the CO2 out of the atmosphere — not from the ground as petrochemicals. So the biofuels are not adding additional CO2 to the atmosphere. Petrochemical fuel use does add CO2 to the atmosphere. Thus in carbon accounting, they are handled differently.”
Maersk said, “Shipping remains the most carbon-efficient means of global transport today, but accounts for 2 to 3% of global emissions. This number will continue to grow if left unchecked by industry leaders and policymakers.”