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Maersk becomes first to have climate targets validated by SBTi under the new Maritime Guidance

A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) has become the first in the industry to have its greenhouse gas emissions targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) under the newly introduced Maritime Guidance. This validation signifies Maersk’s commitment to aligning with the 1.5-degree pathway outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Maersk’s overarching goal is to achieve Net-Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its entire business by 2040, with significant milestones set for 2030. The validated targets include specific and absolute measures to reduce emissions not only from Maersk’s own operations but also across its supply chains, encompassing all scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Rabab Raafat Boulos, Chief Operating Officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk, emphasizes the collaborative effort required, stating, “We are committed to do our share to reach these targets, but we cannot do it alone. To succeed, we are dependent on and working with the ecosystem that we are part of, including customers, suppliers, industry peers, and regulators.”

Since 2019, Maersk has been dedicated to setting climate targets in line with scientific recommendations and SBTi guidelines. The recent validation comes after Maersk submitted near- and long-term targets following SBTi’s guidelines for the maritime transport sector published in late 2022.

Morten Bo Christiansen, Head of Energy Transition at A.P. Moller – Maersk, acknowledges the challenges ahead, stating, “Delivering on them will be a very difficult task, however, setting ambitious targets, both near- and long-term, is critical to our energy transition efforts as they drive action to secure material impact in this decade.”

In alignment with the International Maritime Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy, Maersk and the wider maritime sector are actively pushing for its effective implementation. Recognizing the cost disparity between green and fossil fuels, Maersk, alongside industry peers in the World Shipping Council, plans to present a concrete green balance proposal at IMO MEPC81 to bridge this gap.

As of now, nearly 60% of Maersk’s top 200 customers have committed to or set science-based targets, including their supply chains. The introduction of a Green Balance Mechanism for shipping aims to support their efforts in decarbonizing logistics supply chains and achieving net-zero emissions in the shipping industry.

In its 2023 Sustainability Report, Maersk details its existing climate targets, with reporting on the new SBTi validated targets set to commence from 2024.

Net-Zero Definition: Reducing scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to zero or to a residual level consistent with reaching net-zero emissions at the global or sector level in eligible 1.5°C-aligned pathways and neutralizing any residual emissions at the net-zero target year and any GHG emissions released into the atmosphere thereafter.

Green Fuels Definition: Maersk defines “green fuels” as fuels with low to very low GHG emissions over their life cycle compared to fossil fuels, achieving 65-80% life cycle GHG reductions for “low” and 80-95% for “very low.”

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