Renault takes the scenic route to green supply chains

French car manufacturer Renault has signed a three-year partnership with compatriot start-up Neoline to get more of the group’s vehicles and parts moved by sail technology, the latest in a recent flurry of important sail-related developments to hit the commercial shipping scene.

Jean-Philippe Hermine, vice president, strategic environmental planning at Groupe Renault, commented: “Groupe Renault’s objective is to reduce the environmental impact of each vehicle throughout its entire life cycle, from parts transportation up to delivery and end-of-life processing. In the context of our strategy to explore new sustainable mobility solutions and to continue along the road to reducing our carbon footprint, the solution designed by Neoline, which combines energy efficiency and operational relevance, has truly captured our attention”.

Jean-François Salles, alliance global director at the car group, added: “The partnership with Neoline is the latest example of our supply chain’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 6% between 2016 and 2022.”

Jean Zanuttini, CEO of Neoline, declared: “Considering that the traditional sea freight accounts for nearly 3% of CO2 emissions in Europe, Neoline aims to build an innovative French solution to address a global environmental challenge while remaining within an industrial and competitive framework, with the support from its partners.”

Nantes-based Neoline is developing industrial-scale wind-powered freight services. The design of a commercial demo has been completed with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimised energy mix, compared to a traditional cargo ship on an equivalent route. The demo features a 136 m long roro ship with 4,200 sq m. The objective is to build two ships based on this model and to commission the vessels by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, the US eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.


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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