Why Company Collaboration on Shipping Emissions is Increasingly Significant

January 31, 2013
  • Angie Farrag-Thibault

    Former Director, Collaborative Initiatives and Transport and Logistics, BSR

  • Jonathan Morris portrait

    Jonathan Morris

    Associate Director, Technology Sectors, BSR

Jonathan Morris, Associate, BSR

It is widely accepted that as a significant contributor to global carbon emissions, the transport sector needs to make environmental improvements in the pursuit of creating a low-carbon economy. Today, around 4 percent of global emissions come from ocean shipping—about equivalent to that of aviation. For global brands, this translates to significant carbon impacts in their own supply chains: Up to 70 percent of carbon emissions during a cargo journey come from the ocean segment.

While the International Maritime Organization has yet to establish a regulatory framework for carbon emissions, the European Commission and various national governments are leaning heavily toward implementing mandatory data measurement, reporting, and verification mechanisms. Indeed, in October 2013, France will enact a law requiring that all carriers providing transport services to and from France provide the carbon footprint of the transport service.

Leading global brands are now setting ambitious targets to reduce emissions from their logistics networks—signaling the increasing relevance of emerging regulations and other drivers. But how can these brands understand and manage how and where to reduce carbon emissions reductions in their logistics chains?

In a recent webinar hosted by partner 2Degrees Network, BSR’s Transport and Logistics practice lead Angie Farrag spoke with Willem Jan Beerthuis, Heineken’s global procurement buyer, and Mads Stensen, Maersk Line’s global advisor for the environment and CSR, about how their participation in BSR's Clean Cargo Working Group helps them measure and report on the environmental impacts in ocean transportation and across the modal chain. The speakers highlighted how Clean Cargo allows them to measure these impacts in a credible, consistent, and comparable way that enhances better business decision making.

“Without robust data and information on supplier sustainability performance, it’s difficult for brands to make effective supply chain decisions that truly integrate sustainability criteria; in turn,  if your business partners do not see you ‘walk the talk,’ this does not help them stimulate the internal buy-in needed to make the investments in technology and operations required for real emissions reductions. Clean Cargo provides the forum for brands to get the credible data they need and for peer group collaboration and best practice sharing, geared toward raising the sustainability performance of the sector at large.”

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