Maersk sets new target to deliver net zero by 2040

Danish container logistics giant A.P. Moller – Maersk has set ambitious targets for the entire group to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2040 – one decade ahead of its initial 2050 ambition.

Illustration; Image credit Maersk

On 12 January, the company unveiled the new aspiring emission targets expected to align the company with the Net Zero criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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.

The targets go beyond previous efforts to reduce emissions related to the ocean fleet as they cover all direct and indirect emissions across the entire Maersk business.

Photo: Maersk

“As a global provider of end-to-end logistics services across all transport modes, it is a strategic imperative for Maersk to extend our net zero ambition to the total footprint of the business. The science is clear, we must act now to deliver significant progress in this decade,” Soren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, commented.

“These very ambitious targets mark our commitment to society and to the many customers who call for net zero supply chains.”

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2030 targets for significant absolute emissions reductions

Tangible near-term targets for 2030 are set to ensure significant progress on curbing direct Maersk emissions already in this decade.

These include a 50% reduction in emissions per transported container in the Maersk Ocean fleet and a 70% reduction in absolute emissions from fully controlled terminals.

Depending on growth in the ocean business, this will lead to absolute emissions reductions between 35% and 50% from a 2020 baseline, according to the company.

“Our updated targets and accelerated timelines reflect a very challenging, yet viable pathway to net zero which is driven by advances in technology and solutions,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.

“What is needed is a rapid scale-up which we will strive to achieve in close collaboration with customers and suppliers across the entire supply chain.”

As recommended by SBTi, over the decade Maersk will go above and beyond the 1.5°C-aligned targets and invest in building a portfolio of natural climate solutions that will result in around five million tons of CO2 savings per year by 2030.

2030 targets to lead the industry on green offerings

To maximise progress towards net zero supply chains in 2040, ambitious 2030 targets for a range of green product offerings are introduced, adding to solutions including Maersk’s Emissions Dashboard and Maersk ECO Delivery.

They aim to reinforce Maersk as one of the leading providers of green supply chain solutions and cover Ocean, Air, Contract Logistics (warehouses and depots) and Cold Chain businesses.

These products will utilise green technologies and solutions to ensure that they provide real emission reductions within the supply chain.

Covering indirect emissions means the targets also address emissions from e.g., inland transport services and vessel building which are provided by third-party suppliers. Tackling this challenge will require extensive data insights and close collaboration with local and regional suppliers of products and services across the Maersk business footprint, the company explained.

Methanol-powered boxship fleet

Last year, the Danish giant hit the headlines when it ordered a fleet of eight large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon-neutral methanol.

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Two days ago, it declared options with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for an additional four 16,000 TEU methanol-powered containerships.

Maersk also plans to welcome the world’s first containership fueled by methanol in 2023.

With the new pledge to net zero by 2040, it is likely that the company will continue to grow its fleet with zero-emission ships in the near future.