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Maersk to offer customers carbon-neutral biofuel; H&M Group first to trial

Maersk is piloting a new carbon neutral product—the first of its kind in the industry—with select Maersk customers who are highly engaged in sustainable solutions for their supply chain. H&M Group is the first company to trial it as part of the shift towards carbon-neutral transportation.

The biofuel in the pilot project is the same blend of used cooking oil and heavy which has been tested and successfully validated in a trial driven in collaboration with the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition (DSGC), and Shell this year. It is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) body.

The container vessel Mette Maersk, one of the largest containers vessels in the world, sailed on a blend with 20% biofuel from used cooking oil. This was the first time for such a high blend percentage on an ocean container vessel on this scale.

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The biofuel trial on board Mette Maersk has proven that decarbonized solutions for shipping can already be utilized today, both technically and operationally. While it is not yet an absolutely final solution it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today. With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains.

—Søren Toft, Maersk COO

The biofuel to be utilized is carbon neutral and provides H&M Group the ability to reduce their transport and logistics emissions towards their aspiration of carbon neutrality, when accounting for only the emissions from the vessel.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) will provide a procedure to ensure carbon savings are accredited to our customers appropriately. When taking a full lifecycle view including also all emissions from upstream production and transportation, the fuel entails savings of 85% compared to bunker fuel.

The goal of such pilot projects is to unlock the potential of sustainable fuels so they become a commercial reality.

We believe this is the only commercially viable path to make the required investments our industry requires to reach the carbon neutral target. We are so pleased to see a significant shift in sentiment and involvement from customers, fuel suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and competitors towards sustainable solutions.

—Søren Toft

Shipping remains the most carbon-efficient means of global transport today, but accounts for 2-3% of global emissions. This number will continue to grow if left unchecked by industry leaders and policy makers.

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