Report: Shipping Emissions Declining but More Innovation Needed to Meet IMO Goals

Carbon dioxide emissions from 22 top ocean container carriers, representing 85 percent of global containerized shipping, continued to fall in 2017, BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group said in a report.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license

However, more innovation and collaboration across the value chain is needed to achieve ambitious global climate goals, Clean Cargo pointed out.

The group’s annual aggregate average Trade Lane CO2 Emissions Factors are compiled from the carbon dioxide emissions data reported by over 3,200 ships from 22 ocean container carriers.

Since 2009, when the group first publicly reported the aggregate averages, emissions per container move have dropped by 37.1 percent.

This year’s report shows that average CO2 emissions per container per kilometer for global ocean transportation routes fell 1 percent from 2016 to 2017.

“The progress on climate and air quality we are seeing in container shipping—one of the highest emitting industries—is absolutely critical for achieving global environmental goals,” Nate Springer, Manager at BSR, said.

“We need more innovation in low-emission technology, as well as continued collaboration, to meet the ambitious goal of halving CO2 emissions from shipping by 2050, recently announced by the International Maritime Organization,” Springer continued.

Clean Cargo’s reporting system functions in a way that carriers are submitting operational data from the entire fleet to BSR on an annual basis for trade lane emission factors aggregation.

The results produce environmental performance scorecards for each carrier, which are used to meet corporate supply chain sustainability goals by 95 percent of shipping customers who participate in the group.

Clean Cargo Working Group is a business-to-business leadership initiative that involves brands, cargo carriers, and freight forwarders dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of global goods transportation and promoting responsible shipping.