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New Data Shows 5.6 Percent Reduction in CO2 Index for Container Shipping from 2018 to 2019

July 2020

Annual report from Clean Cargo, representing approximately 85 percent of ocean containerized shipping and major global buyers, reveals steady progress in emissions reductions

Copenhagen, 21 July 2020—Carbon dioxide emissions from 17 of the world’s leading ocean container carriers, representing approximately 85 percent of global containerized shipping, continued to fall in 2019, according to a new report from Clean CargoTM, a collaborative initiative for sustainable cargo shipping managed by BSR (Business for Social Responsibility). Global industry averages for CO2 emissions per container per kilometer decreased by 5.6 percent and 2.5 percent for Dry and Reefer (refrigerated) indexes, respectively.

Clean Cargo’s aggregate average Trade Lane CO2 Emissions Factors are compiled from verified operations data of over 3,500 vessels, from 17 of the world’s largest ocean container carriers, including A.P. Møller – Mærsk, CMA CGM Group, COSCO Shipping Lines Ltd., Evergreen Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai M.M., MSC, ONE (Ocean Network Express), and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. The annual report indicates that container shipping continues to improve its fleet-wide environmental efficiency whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of global trade.  

“Standardized, consolidated, industry-wide emissions data are essential to decarbonization efforts. Clean Cargo continues to provide industry-leading emissions factors and tools for buyers of freight to calculate their emissions and make procurement decisions that incorporate environmental impacts,” said Angie Farrag-Thibault, Collaborations and Transport Director at BSR and Program Director of Clean Cargo. “With over 60 global brands and forwarders working with the industry in Clean Cargo, we are making excellent collective progress. But we know that further action is needed: full value chain collaboration is critical to transform the system, and we encourage more brands to get involved.”

Several years ago, Clean Cargo developed a standardized methodology and reporting system that was adopted globally by the industry, with carriers 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 a significant share of shipping customers participating in the group. This year, Clean Cargo reported information that includes W2W, CO2e, and a 70 percent utilization adjustment factor. As such, reported data align with the GLEC Framework and reporting expectations.

Clean Cargo members also work to accelerate progress by sharing best practices, discussing trends and innovations across the full logistics value chain, and designing tools and pilot projects that support progress towards industry decarbonization. Clean Cargo is a GLEC Accredited partner of SFC and a Knowledge Partner to the Getting to Zero Coalition.


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