CMA CGM Group moves closer to net zero aim

Making shipping more sustainable.

The CMA CGM Group continues to move forward to make shipping and logistics more sustainable and to reach its goal to go beyond carbon neutrality and become a net zero company by 2050.

Recently, CMA CGM and Electrolux announced the conclusion of an agreement to ship 40,000 TEUs of household appliances through CMA CGM’s low-carbon Cleaner Energy Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Solution. This deal underscored Electrolux’s ownership to reduce the carbon footprint of its shipments through the choice of clean energy. 

The LNG Solution allows the cargoes to be shipped on CMA CGM’s dual-fuel LNG-powered vessels, while also benefitting from a share of guarantee of origin biomethane, allowing a 25 percent reduction in CO2emissions on a well-to-wake basis (entire value chain).

The CEO of CMA CGM Asia Pacific, Laurent Olmeta, said: “As the 6th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report recalled again recently, it is urgent to act now in order to limit the negative consequences of global warming. 

“This is why CMA CGM is taking concrete actions now by adopting the best available solutions such as LNG, biomethane and biofuels, while stepping up its investments and partnerships to develop a supply chain for new zero-carbon technologies such as synthetic methane. 

With the largest fleet of e-methane ready vessels already deployed, the CMA CGM Group is able to help shippers like Electrolux make significant strides in de-carbonizing shipping. As more shippers move their cargoes on sustainable fuels through our range of ACT with CMA CGM+ solutions, we are building on the economics for alternative fuels to accelerate the energy transition in shipping.” 

Electrolux COO Carsten Franke added: “These partnerships put Electrolux at the forefront in terms of the percentage of the total volume of products being transported in a more sustainable way. As we continuously contract increasing volumes of biofuel for sea transportation, we are also supporting the overall market development toward more sustainable practices for shipping goods across the world.”

To become net zero by 2050, CMA CGM has chosen to invest in dual-fuel gas powered vessels that run on LNG, avoiding up to 99 percent of atmospheric pollutant emissions. LNG is an important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the engines installed on these vessels are already capable of using BioLNG (liquefied biomethane, reducing 67 percent of CO₂ emissions on a well-to-wake basis). 

In the coming years, those engines will use synthetic methane (including e-methane). CMA CGM already has a fleet of 27 e-methane ready vessels in service and will have a total of 44 such vessels by the end of 2024.  By 2023, alternative fuels will account for 10 percent of total fuels used. 

Through stakeholder collaborations, CMA CGM is championing industrial-scale production and distribution of bio-LNG (produced from agricultural and industrial food waste), synthetic methane (derived through gasification of industrial, wood and plastic wastes), and e-methane, produced from hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. 

Reducing ocean plastics pollution

In March, the Plastic Flamingo (PLAF) and CMA CGM launched a new recycling line at an upcycling factory in Muntinlupa, Philippine to upcycle hard-to-recycle plastic sachet, and to reduce plastic sachet from the equation of marine plastic pollution, therefore playing a part in saving marine biodiversity and the food chain.

The launch, which included incentives for waste collectors to pick up discarded plastic packaging to prevent them from finding their way into rivers and oceans, marked a milestone for the partnership, which aims to collect 120 metric tons of plastic waste in Metro Manila to be upcycled within a year.

A total of 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste are generated in the Philippines each year with about 20 percent ending up in the ocean. Single-use plastic packaging is one of the biggest problems, where according to the World Bank, the Philippines uses 163 million pieces of sachets every day.

With the CMA CGM-funded recycling line, the PLAF will now be able to expand its range of recycled plastic products beyond those that are used to build shelters, boardwalks and outdoor furniture. The PLAF will optimize the new line to roll out more products to stimulate a market for recycled plastic products and enhance the circular plastic economy.

Since last September, about 75 metric tons of plastics have been collected through junk shops, individual waste collectors and various collection points across Metro Manila. The PLAF’s network of collection points include drop-off points, shops, schools, villages and offices including those of CMA CGM and CEVA Logistics. 

The CMA CGM-PLAF partnership also supports the employment of 12 local staff at PLAF’s factory in Muntinlupa. 

Francois Lesage, founder of PLAF, said: “Thanks to CMA CGM, we are now empowered with new capabilities and resources to transform the almost-impossible-to-recycle plastic sachets into products like eco-panels which can be used to build shelters. The new recycling line also translates into value for waste pickers to collect the plastic wrappers to be recycled at our factory in Muntinlupa.”

General Manager of CMA CGM Philippines Yeya Berjaoui said, “The CMA CGM-PLAF partnership demonstrates CMA CGM’s determination to fight plastic pollution; as well as seek better ways to protect our environment and drive fair trade. Through our partnership with the PLAF, we tackle plastic pollution by involving the important community and enhancing the PLAF’s capabilities in blocking the plastic tide in the Philippines.”

CMA CGM decided it will no longer carry plastic waste on board any of its ships worldwide from June 1 last year, a landmark decision in the shipping industry.

Photo credit: iStock/ Stefan Lambauer

Dalila Abu Bakar

Dalila Abu Bakar

Dalila Abu Bakar possesses more than 25 years of experience in journalism and had worked with many established mainstream media in Malaysia including New Straits Times and the Malaysian National News Agency.

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