Navigating the shipping decarbonization agenda, the CMA CGM Group is fully committed to energy transition of the shipping industry to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.By Dalila Abu Bakar, Malaysia correspondent, Maritime Fairtrade
Managing director of CMA CGM Malaysia Ravindra Sahu said this will be attained through a combination of cleaner energy sources, improving fuel efficiency, stakeholder collaborations and further innovations.
A total decarbonization of the shipping sector would be possible by 2050 if the three following options – technological measures through improving energy efficiency and storage; operational measures including slow steaming (reduction of the vessel speed); and renewable energy by developing the use of biofuels or wind power, are combined, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Investing in green fuels
Sahu said CMA CGM is committed to using 10 percent alternative fuels by 2023 for its energy supplies. The Group now operates 20 “e-methane-ready” dual-fuel vessels and will operate a fleet of 44 dual-fuel vessels of all sizes by the end of 2024.
Dual-fuel engines fitted on the company’s ships can run on LNG and biomethane. Today, LNG is the most advanced solution when it comes to preserving air quality, a major public health challenge. It reduces sulfur oxide emissions by 99 percent, particulate matter emissions by 91 percent, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 92 percent, going well above and beyond existing international and local regulations.
“We will also be able to use other clean fuels when they are available at a large scale. Dual-fuel engines fitted on the Group’s ships already have the technical capability of running on e-methane, a carbon-neutral synthetic gas,” Sahu told Maritime Fairtrade.
According to Sahu, CMA CGM is investing to support the development and production of these future clean fuels. The Group supports the production of 25,000 tons of biomethane, which will be injected into the European network via the guarantees of origin system. As a result, customers can get reductions of at least 67 percent (well-to-wake basis) in the carbon footprint of shipping services.
Working with other stakeholders
The Group collaborates with various stakeholders to advance the fight against climate change. Supported by French president Emmanuel Macron, chairman and CEO of CMA CGM Group Rodolphe Saadé initiated an international coalition for the energy of the future to lead transport and logistics players to decarbonize transport.
CMA CGM has joined forces with 17 other major international companies, including PSA International, a leading global port group with flagship operations in Singapore, to develop solutions in accelerating energy transition in transport and logistics.
CMA CGM also engages with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to play a role in advancing the global maritime industry sustainably. The Group also collaborates with 420 ports to eliminate auxiliary engine emissions to accelerate the deployment of cold ironing worldwide.
On the other hand, CMA CGM achieves fuel efficiency from deploying a fuel-efficient fleet of vessels, speed adjustments, monitoring consumption, optimizing routes, improving propulsion and hydrodynamic technology; and the company is also exploring all alternatives, such as hydrogen and wind power, to carbon intensive propulsion systems.
Supporting social causes
Additionally, CMA CGM has always considered its economic performance to be intrinsically tied to social and environmental performance, which anchored around three pillars: people, planet and fair trade.
The Group supports diversity, nurtures women executive and prioritizes seafarers’ safety and well-being, for example, faster and more extensive internet access are provided for seafarers at sea to stay connected with loved ones.
“In case of need, psychologists are available 24/7 in all the countries where our seafarers came from to help them should they need any assistance. Seafarers’ access to Covid-19 vaccines is a priority for us. We continue to refine our protocols to protect seafarers from Covid-19 during crew changes,” Sahu said.
Meanwhile, the CMA CGM Foundation, in partnership with associations in southern France and Lebanon, is promoting equal access to education and giving humanitarian aids to countries affected by crises. A solidarity response fund is also created to help vulnerable communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Group also pledges to achieve zero sea pollution, reduce pollution on land and air, protect cetaceans, not use the Northern Sea Route, engage in circular economy programs and train employees on environmental issues. Through the ACT with CMA CGM+ solutions, customers can analyze, offset, and reduce their carbon footprint.
“We are also protecting and restoring biodiversity beyond our activities such as eliminating plastic from the ecosystems, preserving sensitive marine and terrestrial ecosystems, fighting against the illegal traffic of protected species, restoring natural ecosystems, offsetting carbon dioxide emissions for our clients and supporting research,” said Sahu.
Sahu added: “As a responsible business, we play our part in preventing corruption risk, fight against illicit trafficking of protected species.
“We also pay close attention to and anticipate customer’s needs to build a trusting partnership, provide assurances through certification and help them adopt more sustainable practices, including through eco-innovations, technological innovations & digital transformation.”