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Container carriers’ environmental performance

The report by Clean Cargo 

Every year, Clean Cargo carriers report vessel-specific environmental performance data to BSR (the secretariat of Clean Cargo) using a standard reporting template and guidance methodologies. BSR provides the aggregated data to shipping customers that are members of Clean Cargo via individualized
carrier scorecards.

The Clean Cargo Working Group Carbon Emissions Accounting Methodology has become the global standard for reporting CO2 emissions in the ocean container shipping sector.1 Each carrier also undertakes third-party verification of its reporting system using the Clean Cargo Procedure and Guidance for Verifying CO2 and SOx Data.2 As pressure on shippers, logistics providers, and container carriers to monitor, report, and reduce CO2 emissions continues to increase, all parties aim to show their customers, investors, and other stakeholders their commitment to responsible operations and to reducing their environmental impacts.

The following index is derived from emissions reported by over 3,200 vessels, calculated from 22 of the world’s leading ocean container carriers, who collectively represent around 84 percent of ocean container capacity worldwide. A complete list of Clean Cargo members can be found on our
web page.

Our 2018 annual reporting indicates that average CO2 emissions per container per kilometer for global ocean transportation routes were reduced by one percent from 2016 to 2017. While changes in carrier representation or global trade conditions likely explain a portion of these results, the continued performance improvement is also attributable to carrier fleet efficiency and data quality, both of which have direct benefits for shipping customers.

Since Clean Cargo began publicly reporting data from the industry in 2009, emissions per container per kilometer have dropped 37.1 percent on average. This was the first year that Clean Cargo began tracking use of low-sulphur and lower-carbon fuels. The data show that five percent of fuel used by the global container fleet in 2017 was light fuel oil (LFO), while liquefied natural gas (LNG) was used by some vessels on the Intra-Northern Europe trade lane.

These data show that the container shipping industry continues to make progress that is essential to reaching clean air and climate goals. However, significantly more financing and innovation will be needed for the shipping industry to remain on track to meet the ambitious climate goals recently announced in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) climate strategy.

Read the full report here.

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