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COSCO fares poorly in new sustainability report

COSCO, China’s largest maritime conglomerate, comes out poorly in a new sustainability report. 

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and non-profit CDP launched their new Transport Benchmark today. As a comprehensive analysis of 90 major transport companies from around the world, the benchmark sheds light on the progress – or lack thereof – transport companies have made in adopting fossil fuel alternatives and the health and safety concerns of workers within the industry. 

Key findings include the statistics that more than 90% of transport energy comes from crude oil-derived products, yet only 7% of companies assessed have committed to phasing out their use of fossil fuels 

On average only 0.3% of total transport related revenues are invested in research and development into low-carbon technologies and fuels. 

Among the 90 global companies surveyed, the report covers rail, air, multimodal and shipping. Of the 17 shipping companies covered, Maersk comes out on top and COSCO is the worst performer. 

The research was conducted in partnership with CDP, the non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system. The research uses the Assessing low-Carbon Transition (ACT) methodology that drives climate action by benchmarking companies against advanced, science-based metrics.  

Amir Sokolowski, CDP’s global director of climate change, said: “Companies must go further in setting not only long-term targets, but near-term targets and credible climate transition plans to demonstrate how they are going to reach these targets, currently only 51% of companies within the benchmark have net-zero targets.”

Maersk, topping the shipping rankings, was praised for being one of the few companies with a policy to engage trade associations on climate issues, and reviewing its membership status annually to ensure its trade associations are in alignment with the Paris Agreement. This saw the Danish carrier relinquish its membership at the International Chamber of Shipping earlier this year. 

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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