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Maersk Sustainability Report: Normalized CO2 Emissions Drop 11%

Maersk Group reduced its emissions per container by 11 percent in 2012, according to the shipping company’s 2012 sustainability report.

The company also reports an 8 percent relative CO2 reduction from a 2010 baseline.

Last year, the company released 38.6 million metric tons of CO2, compared to just short of 41 million metric tons in 2011 – a 5.7 percent drop. Maersk Group revenues decreased from $60.2 billion to $59 billion, or around 2 percent over that time period, suggesting that the company is getting more carbon-efficient.

Neither the 2012 report, nor last year’s report, contains a normalized carbon emissions figure for 2011.

The increased use of slow steaming is the main contributor to the positive result, Maersk said. The fleet reduced its average speed by 2 knots over the course of the year. Capacity was also optimised as vessels were taken out of the Europe-Asia trade lane, the report says.

Some 82.3 percent of the company’s CO2e emissions come from Maersk Line, its container shipping division. Maersk Oil contributes 7.3 percent of emissions, while Maersk Tankers contributes 6.6 percent to the total. The remainder comes from what Maersk terms its other business operations.

In early 2012, Maersk Line launched a strategy aimed at turning the company back to profitability. Fuel and capacity optimization was a key part of the strategy. This initiative was the driver behind the improvement in its per-container emissions.

In January, Maersk Line announced it had reached, eight years early, its target of reducing its CO2 emissions per container by 25 percent from 2007 levels. The shipping company increased its 2020 goal to a 40 percent reduction over 2007 levels.

The company said that increased operational efficiency, network and voyage optimization, slow steaming and technical innovation helped it reach its CO2 target early, and will also help it achieve its new 40 percent reduction goal.

The increased target corresponds to a reduction of more than 750,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, all other things being equal (i.e. with the same level of business activity in 2020 as today), the report says.

In 2012, Maersk Tankers became the first tanker company to sign a carbon pact with a major oil company. The pact calls for a 10 percent relative reduction of the footprint of Statoil’s voyages from 2012 to 2014.

To live up to the pact, Maersk Tankers is servicing Statoil with its most energy-efficient ships and monitoring the performance of each voyage. Every six months Maersk Tankers updates Statoil on its progress, and will engage with Statoil in technical, operational and commercial workshops to optimize the shared benefits of the pact.

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