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Matson aims for net-zero fleet emissions by 2050

Carrier announces short-term target for 40% reduction in fleet emissions by 2030

Transportation services provider Matson Inc. on Monday announced additional environmental sustainability goals. 

The Honolulu-based company is aiming to reduce fleet-related greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and reach net-zero fleet emissions by 2050. Matson’s (NYSE: MATX) emissions targets focus solely on scope 1 emissions, or emissions directly related to operations.

“Our aim is to achieve these medium- and long-term goals by improving fleet and operational efficiency,” Matt Cox, Matson chairman and CEO, said in a release.

“Matson is supporting efforts to create an industry-funded research and development program to accelerate zero-carbon fuels and technologies. While these transformative technologies develop, we will continue to focus on improving the efficiency of our fleet and terminal operations,” he said. 

Read: Truck driving in Hawaii: Not quite the paradise it seems

Matson highlighted the following sustainability progress in the release:

  • 23% reduction in fleet-related GHG emissions since 2016.
  • 10% reduction in shoreside time lost to injuries since 2010.
  • 2020 schedule reliability of 98% in the Hawaii service, 97% in the Alaska service and 92% in the Guam service.

“We are committed to doing our part in helping the world decarbonize and limit climate change,” Cox said. “We believe we have a responsibility to significantly reduce our carbon footprint by lowering our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The big picture

This announcement comes just after the kickoff for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which began Sunday. COP26 will host a Transport Day focused on electrification and reducing emissions in the sector on Nov. 10.

“We really want to see bold commitments from the participants at COP26 on transportation, and we also want that to be echoed by industry,” Larissa Koehler, senior attorney in energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, told FreightWaves in a previous interview

But not all emissions-reduction targets and commitments are created equally.

The Science Based Targets initiative published a global net-zero emissions target standard on Thursday that puts an emphasis on using climate science to make targets and including all three scopes of GHG emissions. Matson’s targets would not satisfy this standard since it is including only scope 1, or fleet-related emissions. 

However, Matson is joining several shippers with emissions-reduction targets and researching zero-carbon fuels. There’s a fair chance more environmental sustainability commitments will be coming from key industry players as the COP26 conference progresses.

“We’re pleased to see yet another major ocean carrier put forward net-zero targets in line with global ambition. This is not a sea change for Matson but rather a formalization of longer-term targets in line with company culture and history. They demonstrate integrity in their approach to stewarding resources and are actively planning for a commercially-viable zero emission future,” said Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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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.