CMA CGM creates $1.5 billion fund to speed up shipping decarbonisation

French shipping major CMA CGM has decided to create a Special Fund for Energies, backed by a five-year $1.5 billion budget, to accelerate its energy transition and achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

Courtesy of CMA CGM

The fund will invest to support the industrial production of new fuels and low-emission mobility solutions across the company’s business base, including maritime, overland and air freight shipping, port and logistics services and offices.

It will also help to support a global innovation platform developed alongside large corporations, SMEs, start-ups and the academic and scientific community.

Starting in October 2022, the $1.5 billion fund is structured around four lines of focus to invest in projects securing the supply of renewable energies and exploring new solutions to meet CMA CGM’s decarbonisation targets.

First focus: Supporting the development and production of renewable fuels 

By using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transitional maritime fuel, CMA CGM said it has already begun to respond to climate change.

Now, this special fund will work towards driving forward the emergence of industrial-scale production facilities for biofuels, biomethane, e-methane, carbon-free methanol, and other alternative fuels.

Related Article

The fund is also focused on increasing and securing volumes in line with the company’s needs, in partnership with other major industrial groups with expertise in these technologies, or with investment funds or promising start-ups.

It follows on from projects that have already been identified and launched, such as the Salamander Project (production of second-generation biomethane), the biomethane production and liquefaction project developed with Titan and the Jupiter 1000 project.

Second focus: Accelerating the decarbonisation of port terminals, warehouses and truck fleets  

CMA CGM operates more than 700 warehouses and around 50 port terminals worldwide and intends to enable these facilities to generate enough carbon-free electricity (wind, solar, biomass-fueled, hydrogen-fueled) to become energy self-sufficient

Third focus: Supporting, trialling and launching projects at the cutting edge of innovation

Some of the projects, prototypes and trials supported by the shipping major are the Energy Observer 2, Neoline and SeaOrbiter projects.

As a partner in the Energy Observer, CMA CGM is eyeing hydrogen as one of the energy sources of tomorrow. The partners have taken a new step forward by working together on a prototype intra-regional containership fueled by liquid hydrogen and designed to meet the latest technical and logistical standards. The project is focused on developing practical applications for this new technology, to enable carbon-free maritime shipping on a larger scale, in particular for short distances.

In the meantime, the company has also decided to acquire a stake in Neoline, a prototype sail-powered cargo ship set to serve transatlantic routes by the end of 2024. It is also supporting SeaOrbiter, a prototype marine research vessel and floating oceanographic laboratory designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie that is exploring pathways to the emerging blue economy.

Fourth focus: Pursuing energy savings and improving the energy efficiency of CMA CGM employee working methods and daily mobility 

This fourth focus has three main objectives: 

  • A building energy management plan for CMA CGM office buildings that will reduce energy use (investment in insulation, automation, energy renovation) and diversify their energy mix (solar panels, seawater loop).
  • Encouraging and incentivizing employee use of soft mobility solutions for both commuting and business travel, while improving the work-from-home systems used to avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Engaging the company’s 150,000 employees through a holistic environmental approach that rewards innovative environmental protection and energy efficiency initiatives.

“The CMA CGM Group has been acting to protect the environment for many years. It is at the heart of my convictions and of our strategy. However, in the face of the climate emergency it is our duty to do more and accelerate our actions“, said Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM group.

This fund will enable us to make substantial investments in innovative projects to decarbonise our business. We have allocated the resources needed to accelerate our energy transition and that of the entire shipping and logistics industry.

Register for Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference: