Maersk joins initiative to accelerate transition to net zero steel industry

Danish shipping and logistics major A.P. Moller – Maersk has decided to join Climate Group SteelZero, a global initiative that aims to accelerate the transition to the net zero steel industry, in partnership with Responsible Steel, the steel industry’s first global, multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative.

“Steel is an integral part of our value chain. We use it in our ships, containers, terminals, and warehouses and therefore, it is a pivotal part of our decarbonisation efforts,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk, explained.

“The steel industry is one of the largest emitters of CO2, contributing around 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is imperative to find a low-carbon process for primary steelmaking to adhere to the 1.5°C pathway in this hard-to-abate industry. Joining SteelZero underscores our commitment to demanding net zero steel and boosting a rapid scale-up.”

A significant number of the + 700 vessels operated by Maersk are projected to be recycled in the next decade with a large proportion being the Post-panamax size ships (over 4,000 TEU) with steel making up approx. 90% of these ships’ weight.

“Global ship recycling volumes are projected to nearly double by 2028 and quadruple by 2033. Recycled steel will progressively be recognised as a viable raw material for steel consumers with net-zero emissions targets. At Maersk we have both strong decarbonisation ambitions and ships’ coming to end-of-life, which offer a great opportunity to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by driving circularity in the steel industry,” Palle Laursen, Senior VP & Chief Technical Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk, commented.

By joining SteelZero, Maersk collaborates with like-minded industry organisations committed to climate-aligned steel procurement and progress in developing a policy framework towards responsible production and sourcing of steel.

“We see Maersk joining our SteelZero campaign as marking a pivotal moment in the global transition to a net zero steel industry. Maersk’s substantial purchasing power and influence is a serious addition to the SteelZero membership. Their voice, alongside eighteen other forwarding looking businesses, will enhance the demand signal for net zero steel, and help drive change at the scale and pace needed,” Helen Clarkson, CEO of Climate Group, pointed out.

Customers, financial entities, and investors are increasingly engaging on this topic via ESG requirements and demanding higher engagement in accelerating the shift towards net zero steel also within the shipping industry. The Danish company aims at inspiring peers and others across the supply chain to follow suit.

Earlier this year, Maersk set ambitious targets for the entire group to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2040 – one decade ahead of its initial 2050 ambition.

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They include a societal commitment to act now and drive material impact in this decade, and a commitment to deliver net-zero supply chains to customers by 2040. Participation in SteelZero is seen as another step in that direction.

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