Amazon, Ikea commit to using zero-carbon shipping fuels by 2040

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Photo from Inside Retail Asia

By Inside Retail Asia

Amazon and Ikea are among commercial users of container shipping that will opt for zero-carbon marine fuels by 2040 in a new initiative aimed at speeding up decarbonisation in the maritime sector, executives said on Tuesday.

With about 90 per cent of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions and the sector is under growing scrutiny to become cleaner.

The initiative, which was organised by the non-profit Aspen Institute and has nine signatories so far also including Unilever and Michelin, sets a goal for companies to only purchase ocean freight services powered by scalable zero-carbon fuels by 2040.

“The time to act is now,” said Edgar Blanco, director for net-zero carbon at Amazon.

Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, sustainability manager for supply chain operations at Inter Ikea Group, said working with others was crucial for developing cleaner ocean shipping fuel.

“The voice of the cargo owners is important since we are one of the stakeholders to enable the transformation in the industry,” she told Reuters.

“We are not willing to automatically pay a premium for sustainability, but we are willing to collaborate and to co-create the solutions and share the necessary investments.”

Boston Consulting Group estimates that the global shipping industry will need US$2.4 trillion in investments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The move will require the swift development of zero or low-emission fuels and new designs for ships.

A surge in demand for retail goods while people have been stuck at home due to lockdowns has led to record high container shipping rates in recent months, compounded by port disruptions, which has also led to higher costs for cargo users.

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