MSC brings customers on board in carbon-reduction efforts

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) is helping its customers support carbon-reduction efforts.

MSC has partnered with global climate solutions provider South Pole on a carbon-neutral program since early 2019. The container shipping line announced Monday that it was expanding the program to include clients worldwide.

“For years MSC has been investing heavily in low-carbon technology to help meet the targets to decarbonize shipping. Now MSC customers can share this vision and take responsibility for their emissions,” the company said. 

MSC is working to decarbonize the ocean shipping industry. (Image: MSC)

MSC said its carbon-neutral program supports projects that deliver measurable benefits aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through the program, MSC customers can support a hydroelectric power project in China and a forest protection plan in Zimbabwe.

MSC calculates the emissions generated by the volume of cargo moved. The customer then can select one of the carbon-reduction projects “to compensate for the unavoidable emissions of the marine and inland transportation,” it said.

“The program complements MSC’s strategic approach to sustainability and massive investment in reducing emissions across its fleet,” the company said.

The world’s second-largest shipping line recently completed the launch of its Gülsün Class, which MSC called the largest class of container ships that produce the lowest CO2 emissions per container carried.

MSC said it also is testing a range of alternative fuel and propulsion technologies to support the container shipping industry’s long-term goals to decarbonize. The company announced in December that it was using a 30% biofuel blend for ships calling Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

MSC Chief Operating Officer Claudio Bozzo said, “In addition to running the biggest fleet investment program in the industry, MSC has ensured that customers have an option to compensate CO2 emissions through the global MSC carbon-neutral program.”

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization adopted a resolution that called for a 40% increase in overall fleet efficiency compared to 2008 by 2030 and then a 50% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with emissions being reduced to zero or near zero within ocean shipping beyond the half-century mark.

Blue Circle Award

MSC announced Tuesday that it had received a Blue Circle Award from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for the seventh consecutive year.

“The award acknowledges the highest level of fleet-wide participation in the port’s EcoAction Program, which recognizes fuel, technology and environmental management options for ship operators. It also serves as further validation of MSC’s commitment to reduce emissions and maximize our environmental performance,” it said. 

Since 2007, Vancouver’s program has been “encouraging efforts that go above and beyond regulatory requirements by offering incentives for vessels that have implemented emission-reduction measures and other environmental practices,” the announcement said. “MSC has invested heavily in low-carbon technology and operational efficiency, in addition to retrofit programs to improve performance across its fleet.”

MSC said that for example more than 30% of its fleet is equipped for shore power supply, meaning the vessels can tap into a local power grid instead of relying on onboard generations. This allows ships to reduce their emissions in port by about 80%.

“MSC is committed to promoting a sustainable use of the sea and marine resources to minimize the environmental impact of business activities on land, oceans and populations,” it said.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Kim Link-Wills.