On 19 September, Maersk Line received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's “Clean Air Excellence Award” in the category of Transportation Efficiency Innovations for its “innovative programs that protect Americans’ health and the environment, educate the public, serve their communities, and stimulate the economy.”
Al Gebhardt, Head of Maersk Line’s North American Liner Operation Cluster, accepted the award on behalf of Maersk Line. “We particularly appreciate this recognition since it comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency,” he said. “Ocean shipping has the lowest environmental impact of all modes of moving cargo; however that impact is still very significant.
“The projects EPA recognized are a result of our vision to lead the industry by driving superior environmental performance. The benefits of this vision go far beyond the industry to the society at large. We believe that environmental protection and the bottom line are not opposites but can indeed complement each other.”
In their grounds, the EPA state that “Maersk Line was the first global shipping company to voluntarily use low sulfur fuels at select US ports as part of their Drive Towards Zero SOx strategy. The program has been executed in over 2,000 port calls to date, achieving a reduction of over 8 million pounds of criteria air pollutants in port cities. This translates to a 95 percent reduction of SOx and an 86 percent reduction in particulate matter. They have spread this practice to several other global locations, including Hong Kong and Singapore, with reductions of 80-95%.
“Looking beyond fuel type, Maersk Line implements energy efficient technologies that have reduced their fuel consumption and related emissions. These technologies include Waste Heat Recovery systems (installed on over 30 vessels), improved hull/propeller maintenance to reduce drag, Voyage Efficiency Systems and improved control systems for refrigerated containers that reduce energy consumption by 47% for chilled cargo.
“In an effort to promote transparency, Maersk Line was the first shipping line to publish emissions factors for every owned vessel, and to have these factors verified by a third party.
“Additionally, Maersk Line has 20 new vessels on order, designed to optimize economies of scale, energy efficiency and environmental improvements – designated as their Triple E-class. These vessels will reduce emissions by more than 50 percent per container moved, compared to the industry average.”