Speaking on a panel at the Port of Houston’s Global Freight Summit on 19 May, Maersk North America Managing Director Narin Phol shared the company’s timeline, strategy and plans to decarbonize operations by 2050.

“Decarbonization is an important agenda for the industry and for Maersk. We are part of the problem and so must be part of the solution. Around half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers have set – or are in the process of setting – ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains, and the figure is on the rise. We don’t have all the answers therefore the process requires a lot of collaboration to achieve a common goal,” Phol mentioned in his opening remarks. 

Maersk has established a team focused on decarbonization and the end-to-end activities necessary to decarbonize logistics, using a holistic approach.

In 2018, the company announced a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050.  In the nearer term, by 2030 Maersk will continue to reduce CO2 emissions for ocean shipping by 60% per container per kilometer moved, through improved efficiency. Compared to the 2008 baseline, Maersk has already reduced CO2 emissions by 46%.

In 2019, the company introduced a carbon-zero product called Eco Delivery – which offers cargo owners certified carbon neutral shipping based upon use of sustainable biofuel on all major trades (limited availability, not a scalable product).

In March 2020, the company announced that by 2023 they will have the first carbon neutral liner vessel on the water – seven years ahead of the original plan. And, all future Maersk-owned new vessels will have dual fuel technology installed, enabling either carbon neutral operations or use of today’s standard very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) as a back-up option.

Phol finished the session by saying “We will be actively looking to partner with customers and other members of the global logistics industry to drive innovation across the supply chain.”