Ocean cargo: Two more vessel operators opt to go greener
October 25, 2010 - LM Editorial
As part of their commitment to environmental stewardship, Hamburg Süd and Aliança have decided to extend their tests with low-sulphur fuels to include Asia. Together with other shipping companies, they are participating in the Fair Winds Charter initiative, which aims to sustainably improve air quality in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. To this end, all members of the initiative have voluntarily undertaken to use low-sulphur marine gas oil with a sulphur content of 0.5 per cent, instead of traditional heavy fuel oil, at the berth in Hong Kong from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012.
“As a company which makes protection of the environment and natural resources an integral part of each entrepreneurial decision, we are aware that our vessels have an effect on the air quality in Hong Kong and throughout the world”, said Michael Britton, Regional Director Asia for Hamburg Süd. “Container shipping is recognzsed as the most environmentally friendly mode of transport worldwide, but we will not sit idle in this knowledge. We will seek new ways of making significant cuts in the emissions of pollutant in the Pearl River delta, now rather than just from 2020. We have decided to send out a signal at a transport hub like Hong Kong, because seven of our roughly 35 worldwide liner services alone call at the port here.”
Hamburg Süd is among several carriers comprising the Clean Cargo Working Group, a business- to-business collaboration dedicated to integrating environmentally and socially responsible business principles into transportation management.
“Brands don’t have enough information when selecting transportation service providers,” said Raj Sapur, a spokesman for the committee. “Our mission at BSR is to help provide reliable information on environmental performance of carriers that can be integrated into procurement decisions.”
San Francisco-based BSR, (Business for Social Responsibility) has been focusing on sustainable shipping practices for some time now. They are staging their annual conference in New York next week.
At present – with the exception of “Emission Control Areas” (ECAs) – a maximum sulphur content of 4.5 per cent is allowed worldwide,” said spokesmen. “This also applies to ports in Asia. This limit is to be lowered to 0.5 per cent globally in 2020. On average, Hamburg Süd already operates with fuels containing less than 2.5 per cent sulphur.”