Maersk Line cruises to lower shipping emissions levels

Maersk Line, the shipping company responsible for around 1 percent of global emissions, has saved $764 million on fuel over 2013 by cutting its carbon dioxide output by 12 percent.

The saving was attributed to a number of new investments and initiatives, including slower journeys to optimize fuel consumption and stopping ships at more ports to maximize capacity use, as well as upgrading existing ships and deploying new and more efficient vessels such as the company's fleet of Triple-E ships.

Maersk Line added four of these 400-meter-long container ships to its fleet over the last year and argues that they emit 50 percent less carbon dioxide per container compared to the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade lane. Greater savings are expected in the coming years as 16 more vessels are expected to be added to the company's fleet.

At the same time as reducing emissions, Maersk Line grew its business by more than 4 percent, estimating its customers saved 2.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2013 by shipping their goods with the company compared to an industry-average competitor.

Jacob Sterling, head of sustainability at Maersk Line, said customer demand driven by the company's sustainability performance took off this year.

"Large customers representing 19 percent of our business have requested tailored sustainability information as part of their business relationship with us," he said. "These customers have typically made promises to their stakeholders on sustainability. We are proud to move their goods with a lower environmental impact year by year, thereby helping them deliver on their sustainability promises."

This article originally appeared at Business Green. Maersk ship image by Pres Panayotov via Shutterstock.