World's Largest Shipping Companies Set Sustainability Goals

The largest companies in the global shipping industry have announced a formal agreement detailing steps they will take to reduce emissions, increase use of renewable energy, and design ships that can be reused or recycled.

It's part of the industry's plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 2040, and according to BusinessGreen has been endorsed by Maersk Line, Rio Tinto, Wärtsilä, BP Shipping, and other major shipping companies.

The agreement is called Vision 2040 and is "a shared vision of an industry in 2040 which is resilient, socially and environmentally responsible and profitable." Released today by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, it is intended to surpass emissions reduction goals of 25 to 30 percent by 2030, and instead reaches for a global "beyond-compliance" standard.

Since industry regulations are often not strict enough to enable the carbon reductions that climate scientists say are necessary, the decision to set goals that are more ambitious than what is mandatory is an important one.

BusinessGreen explains more about the agreement and its significance:

Each of the 15 signatories has agreed to communicate the work they are doing to curb their environmental impacts and open this up to SSI scrutiny as part of a biannual reporting process.

They also all acknowledge that work to cut emissions must begin immediately if the 2040 vision is to be achieved.

Emissions from the sector account for just over three per cent of the global total, but are predicted to rise by between 150 and 250 per cent over the next 40 years.

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