MSC defends its carbon footprint

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has defended its carbon footprint, having been labelled Europe’s eighth largest polluter in an NGO report earlier this week.

MSC issued plenty of data yesterday to show how its growing fleet is actually becoming far more efficient in recent years (see chart below).

MSC’s fleet improvement program has resulted in a 13% reduction in CO2 emissions per transport work from 2015 to 2018. Furthermore, the latest newbuilding additions to the fleet – led by MSC Gülsün (pictured), the largest containership in the world – claim to have the lowest carbon footprint by design, at 7.49 grams of CO2 emissions to move one ton of cargo one nautical mile.

MSC said in a release yesterday it fully supports reporting CO2 emissions transparently and precisely in the European Union (EU) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, as mandated by EU legislation. It said however that it is vital that the raw data reported in the system is analysed accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions.

MSC said the damning report by Transport and Environment (T&E) offers an “incomplete” analysis of this data, not giving an accurate picture of the emissions from the shipping sector.

MSC’s Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) is among the lowest in the industry. The T&E report ranked MSC as the third most efficient shipping line based on real-world operational efficiency. However, the figure 19.92 included in the report differs significantly from MSC’s own data produced using third-party verified methodology. The global EEOI figure for MSC in 2018 was 14.56, the shipping line pointed out yesterday.

Concluding, MSC noted: “The evolving regulatory landscape and rising expectations of customers, stakeholders and investors present challenges to the shipping industry but are also a positive force that drives progress and creates a shift towards an even more sustainable business.”

MSC said yesterday it remains fully supportive of decarbonising the shipping industry. MSC said it recognises that some major breakthroughs, especially in fuel and propulsion technologies, are needed to shift the industry towards a zero-carbon future.

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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