According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), international shipping accounts for about 2.2% of global CO2 emissions. Although shipping is considered one of the most energy-efficient modes of mass transport, a global approach to improving emissions is needed.
Poul Woodall is the Director of Environment and Sustainability at DFDS. He says that he sees companies across Europe accepting this challenge and doing their part to reduce transport emissions.
“More and more customers include a request for environmental data in their tenders,” says Poul. “That means they are keeping a closer eye on the impact of their shipping and that they want to track it. That is certainly a good start.”
Understanding our customers sustainability goals
Sustainability is a complex science that is not always easily applicable. Data can be interpreted in many different ways and that makes it difficult for companies to work with.
“It’s our job to make sure our customers are aware of these complexities. We need to use our knowledge to help them understand the impact of their shipping activities. The best way to do this is through a face-to-face dialogue. Then I can get a good understanding of what they are looking for and how it plays into their business model, and I can do my best to guide them based on the data we can supply.”
Preparing for the future
Environmental regulations are becoming stricter and stricter and that means transport is becoming more expensive – regardless of the mode of transportation. DFDS also helps customers understand what the future will bring.
“The IMO wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050,” says Poul. “That means that the mainstream fuels we use today will be obsolete. We’re working with inventors to help them develop new fuels. That’s an exciting challenge to work with, and we can use our involvement to help customers prepare and know where to invest.”
Poul is also vice-chair of the Green Ship of the Future steering group, which brings together Danish maritime players to create a good framework for a green change to shipping.
In April 2018, 173 IMO Member States adopted an initial strategy to reduce the carbon emissions of global shipping by at least 50% in 2050 compared with 2008.