ESL Shipping has a robust plan to achieve net zero by 2040

Finland-based shipping company ESL Shipping has joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), committing to setting both near-term and long-term science-based emission reduction targets aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

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In 2021, ESL Shipping announced its climate targets, aiming to reduce its emission intensity per ton-mile by 50% by 2023 and achieve net zero operations by 2050. However, in alignment with its commitment to science-based targets, the company has expedited its net zero target to 2040.

“For years we have worked hard to find solutions to reduce our carbon footprint and by committing to the Science Based Targets initiative, our clients and stakeholders can be convinced that we have a robust plan to achieve net zero by 2040,” Managing Director Mikki Koskinen said.

ESL Shipping said it would work with SBTi to develop and validate these ambitious targets.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a globally recognized organization that empowers businesses to establish ambitious emission reduction targets based on the latest climate science.

Focused on propelling companies worldwide to cut emissions by half before 2030 and attain net-zero emissions by 2050, SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), representing one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

Over the past few years, ESL Shipping has invested over €100 million in fleet renewal and environmental upgrades of the existing fleet. In line with that strategy, the company has ordered twelve 5,350 dwt hybrid vessels equipped with battery packs and shore power connection as well as the world’s first LNG-powered bulk carriers Viikki and Haaga.

The company’s roadmap towards fossil-free shipping focuses on investment into the best available ship technology capable of shifting from fossil to non-fossil fuels as well as building an industrial-scale supply of non-fossil fuels in partnership with the energy industry.

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In June 2022, ESL Shipping entered into an agreement with Finnish fuel supplier Neste for the supply of new co-processed marine fuel oil. The company said that the deal enables up to 80 percent reduction in lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions.

In April 2022, the company joined BotniaLink H2 project as the first customer-side stakeholder. The project aims to establish an e-fuel hub in Luleå for the production of hydrogen-based fuels for large ships.