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container ship

Shippers Launch Sustainability Rating System, Target Emissions Cuts

container shipAs the ocean shipping industry faces increasing pressure to set carbon emissions targets, five global companies have launched a rating system to help shippers choose more sustainable ocean freight carriers.

The BICEPS Network — it stands for Boosting Initiatives for Collaborative Emission-reduction with the Power of Shippers — is a joint initiative of five global shippers, AB InBev, AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina and Huntsman, which launched last year.

The new BICEPS Rating System will be used by shippers in their global procurement processes of ocean freight container carriers. The Rating System will rank the carriers from A to F based on their scores from a questionnaire that covers performance in five areas:

  1. Publication of sustainability information
  2. Actual emission scores and targets
  3. Improvement projects, and project statuses
  4. Collaboration of the carrier with the outside world
  5. Long-term horizon in relation to sustainability

“Via the BICEPS Network we hope we can further leverage and boost sustainability initiatives in the shipping industry,” said Kim van Neer, DSM global category manager ocean and airfreight, in a statement. “Therefore also within our procurement of ocean freight we have fully adopted green tender principle with the BICEPS Rating System, which means we screen all shipping lines based on sustainability and rank them accordingly.”

The shipping sector produces high emissions of sulphur, black carbon and CO2. While it is far more carbon-efficient than road or air transport — shipping makes up around 2.2 percent of global CO2 emissions — the UN’s International Maritime Organization projects CO2 emissions from vessels will rise between 50 percent and 250 percent by 2050 in its “business as usual” case, Reuters reports.

The shipping sector, like aviation, doesn’t have its own carbon reduction targets under last year’s Paris climate deal.

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