Global logistics giant becomes latest major firm to pull forward its net zero emission target to 2040

A.P. Moller – Maersk has today announced it is to pull forward its net zero emissions target by 10 years, making it the latest global company to commit to delivering net zero emissions by 2040.

The shipping and logistics giant, which had previously announced an ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050, said it had also set new 2030 emissions targets that would ensure it delivers “industry-leading green offerings and significant emissions reductions… this decade”. In addition, it committed to delivering net zero supply chain emissions by 2040.

The new targets are designed to align the company with the new Net Zero criteria established by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which require companies to establish emissions targets that are compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5C and ensure carbon offsets are only used as a last resort for tackling low levels of residual emissions.

“As a global provider of end-to-end logistics services across all transport modes, it is a strategic imperative for Maersk to extend our net zero ambition to the total footprint of the business,” said Soren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk. “The science is clear, we must act now to deliver significant progress in this decade. These very ambitious targets mark our commitment to society and to the many customers who call for net zero supply chains.”

The company’s new targets for 2030 aim to deliver a 50 per cent reduction in emissions per transported container in the Maersk Ocean fleet and a 70 per cent reduction in absolute emissions from fully controlled terminals. Depending on growth in the ocean business, the target should lead to absolute emissions reductions between of 35 per cent and 50 per cent from a 2020 baseline, Maersk said.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of fleet and strategic brands at A.P. Moller – Maersk, said the new targets reflected a “very challenging, yet viable pathway to net zero which is driven by advances in technology and solutions”.

“What is needed is a rapid scale-up which we will strive to achieve in close collaboration with customers and suppliers across the entire supply chain,” she added.  

The new targets should help drive investment in a range of new clean technologies designed to curb emissions across the carbon intensive shipping and aviation sectors.

Maersk said that its overarching emissions goals would be backed by new targets to ensure 25 per cent of the ocean-going cargo it ships uses green fuels by 2030, while by the same date a minimum of 30 per cent of the cargo it transports by air should be using Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).

The deployment of clean technologies is set to be accompanied by investment in a portfolio of natural climate solutions that is designed to deliver around five million tons of CO2 savings a year by 2030. The company said its offset programme would be in line with the recommendations of the SBTi.

Maersk also moved to promote its new climate commitments to corporate customers who are increasingly demanding that logistics providers are in line with their own net zero targets. The company said it was working on a range of green product offerings that would build on its existing Emissions Dashboard and ECO Delivery services.

The new suite of targets comes as the shipping and aviation industries face growing calls to accelerate their decarbonisation efforts, with campaigners warning the absence of ambitious international climate policies and carbon pricing mechanisms means the sectors are lagging behind other industries in their development of low carbon technologies.

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