GoodShipping Program achieves landmark goal with first fossil-free sea freight transportation

The GoodShipping Program, the world’s first global initiative established to decarbonise shipping through the use of sustainable low carbon marine fuels, today announced that five pioneering shippers are the first to save CO2 emissions through the scheme.

The delivery of advanced, sustainable marine fuel by GoodFuels Marine means that the shippers participating in the inaugural program – Tony’s Chocolonely, Dopper, Blygold, Magic Marine and Mystic – collectively reduced their carbon footprint by over 40 tons.

The milestone was reached when a Samskip-owned container vessel was refuelled with marine biofuels in Rotterdam on 7th September – sending a clear message to the shipping industry that the technology to greatly reduce its CO2 emissions is available on the market today. The five shippers can also claim to have significantly reduced local emissions of Sulphur Oxide (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), and Particulate Matter (PM). When combined, emissions of these substances from vessels in port regions lead to over 60,000 premature deaths globally each year, according to researchers from the University of Delaware.

The GoodShipping Program requires shippers to commit to a reduction in their sea freight CO2 emissions. The initiative works on the premise that, as all CO2 from container shipping is emitted into the same atmosphere, the means of mitigating these emissions is equally impactful, regardless of which vessels adopt biofuels over traditional bunker fuels – or the amount of ‘drop in’ biofuel that is added to the fuel tank, as long as it offsets the CO2 costs of transporting participating shippers’ cargo.

This flexible approach provides far greater scope for immediate impact, while having the same net effect in averting the effects of climate change.

Anniek Sluis, Growth Accelerator, GoodShipping Program, said: “With this first bunker delivery we have realised a significant target for the GoodShipping Program. Through participation in our initiative, polluting fossil fuels are replaced by truly sustainable biofuels. With this announcement, we have clearly demonstrated that shippers have choice in terms of the fuel they use and don’t have to be beholden to fossil-based fuel norms. We are very grateful to our first five pioneers and fully expect, now we have proven our model, that many more sustainable shippers will join us.”

Maarten van der Meer, Managing Director, Blygold International, added: “We read about the opportunity to ship sea freight on biofuels and were instantly interested. For a company like Blygold, where we work with freight forwarders for shipping our sea freight, it has always been difficult to minimize the impact of that part of our supply chain. GoodShipping makes this possible, with an easy and adaptable solution.”

Shipping represents almost three percent of all manmade CO2 emissions, approximately the same output as Germany. In April 2018, the shipping industry agreed to peak carbon emissions from its operations as soon as possible, and to reduce the industry’s total annual carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. In addition, the industry committed to pursuing efforts towards phasing these emissions out entirely, in alignment with Paris Agreement temperature goals.

Unlike other sectors, low carbon fuels are seen as the only means of significantly reducing carbon emissions in shipping.