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Hamburg port operator vows to be carbon neutral by 2040

German port and transport logistics company Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) has jumped ahead of terminal rivals, vowing this week to become climate neutral by 2040.

The port operator has revealed it has already smashed its environmental targets set for next year. Earlier targets had called for HHLA to reduce CO2 emissions per handled container by at least 30% by 2020, a target it managed to achieve in 2018. Emboldened by this, the Hamburg company has made new ambitious targets, unparalleled in the ports world.

Angela Titzrath, chairwoman of HHLA’s executive board, commented in a release: “The people of Hamburg can rely on HHLA. We are well aware of our responsibility to protect the climate and that is why we are implementing specific measures for efficient and more sustainable container handling and environmentally friendly transport chains.

“We are now setting new targets. We’re working on halving our absolute CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to the figures from 2018. The aim is to make the entire HHLA Group climate neutral by 2040.”

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Titzrath said: “Those who invest in innovative, climate-friendly technologies at an early stage achieve sustainable results faster, which is to the benefit of shareholders, customers, staff members and society.”

HHLA’s Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) is setting the green pace, becoming the first handling facility for containers in the world to be certified climate neutral by TÜV Nord earlier this year. The Hamburg quayside facility is now primarily powered by green electricity. Terminal processes that still produce CO2 emissions today will be gradually electrified, or their transition to electrical power will be field-tested.

HHLA compensates for CO2 emissions that are still being generated through emissions reduction certificates supporting projects such as wind farms in India, low-friction anti-fouling paint for ship hulls and reforestation of rainforests in Panama.

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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