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3 Shipping Companies that Are Going Green
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3 Shipping Companies that Are Going Green

June 22, 2023
Last Updated:
July 23, 2023
5 min read

✔️Learn about the benefits of being eco-conscious, how it can impact your bottom line, and learn from example from 3 shipping companies that are going green.

3 Shipping Companies that Are Going Green

Table of Contents

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the way businesses operate, with more and more companies recognizing the importance of going green.

In fact, a 2018 survey conducted by Nielsen found that 81% of global consumers felt strongly about companies implementing environmental initiatives. As a result, an increasing number of shipping companies are going green to minimize their environmental impact while reaping cost savings and enhanced brand reputation.

The shipping industry, responsible for transporting approximately 90% of global trade, plays a crucial role in the global economy. However, it also contributes to pollution and environmental degradation — it represents 2.9% of total greenhouse emissions. By embracing sustainable business practices, these companies can make a positive impact on the environment, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

This article will explore three examples of shipping companies that have taken significant steps towards going green. We will discuss the various ways these businesses are implementing sustainable solutions, the benefits they're experiencing, and how their efforts contribute to saving both money and the environment.

How Going Green Benefits Shipping Companies

Going green benefits shipping companies in several ways, and the industry has started to recognize the importance of adopting sustainable practices. Here are some key advantages and relevant statistics showcasing the impact of eco-friendly initiatives on shipping companies:

going green benefits for shipping companies

#1 Fuel Efficiency and Cost Savings

Investing in fuel efficiency by adopting energy-efficient vessels and optimizing routes is more than just a good environmental strategy — it’s also a lucrative business move.

With research indicating a potential for up to 25% reduction in emissions and over 200 million tons of CO2 savings, companies have a significant opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint while boosting their bottom line. By eliminating outdated steam fast-then-wait tactics and implementing Just-in-Time practices, companies could potentially save $50 billion in fuel costs annually.

As the call for environmentally responsible practices becomes more prevalent, a shift towards such energy-efficient practices will be not only good for the environment but also for the industry's financial sustainability.

#2 Compliance with Regulations

In an effort to combat the impact of global warming, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

By 2050, companies are expected to reduce their emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels. This ambitious goal requires shipping companies to adopt green practices and technologies, which help comply with regulations and prepare for future policy changes.

Shipping companies can avoid fines and protect their reputations as responsible corporate citizens by going green. Given the significant role that shipping plays in global trade, this move towards sustainability is crucial to preserve our planet for future generations.

#3 Enhanced Reputation and Customer Appeal

The 2020 IBM and National Retail Federation study results are undeniable: sustainability is a major factor in consumer decision-making. For shipping companies looking to stand out in a crowded market, prioritizing environmentally friendly practices is no longer optional.

Not only can eco-conscious customers be won over by these efforts, but existing customers can also be more loyal to businesses that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Moreover, going green is a great marketing opportunity for companies looking to increase their visibility in the industry.

However, it's vital to actually commit to sustainable practices instead of greenwashing (making false statements or promises about a company's environmental initiatives) to truly benefit from the increased customer appeal and trust.

#4 Access to Green Financing

Shipping companies that prioritize sustainability can reap the benefits of financial instruments tailored towards environmentally conscious projects.

For instance, the European Union's "Fit for 55" package allocates €5.4 billion towards sustainable and efficient transport. A portion of those funds will be dedicated to green shipping initiatives, such as implementing on-shore power supply at ports. With this system in place, docked ships can access a renewable energy source, significantly reducing their harmful emissions.

As global efforts to combat climate change gain momentum, shipping companies investing in green initiatives can position themselves for success while also contributing to a more sustainable future.

#5 Innovation and Market Opportunities

As the world increasingly sets sights on a greener future, shipping companies are heeding the call by embracing sustainable practices. In doing so, they are not only doing their part in protecting the environment but also driving innovation in the industry.

By developing new technologies or solutions for sustainable shipping, companies are opening up new markets and revenue streams, which can lead to long-term success. These initiatives are a win-win situation as they benefit not only the planet but also the businesses that embrace them.

As the industry continues to evolve, those at the forefront of sustainable practices will undoubtedly reap the rewards of growth and success.

3 Shipping Companies That Are Going Green

We'll look at three specific companies to give you real-life examples of successful green initiatives being implemented in the shipping industry.

From a shipping giant like Maersk to Samskip, a smaller logistics company, and DFDS, a leader in freight ferries, these three businesses have taken significant steps towards adopting more sustainable practices.

These examples go to show that no matter the size of your business, going green can have tangible benefits.

#1 Maersk

As one of the world's largest shipping companies, Maersk has taken significant steps towards adopting sustainable practices and going green. Here are some key initiatives that showcase their commitment to reducing their environmental impact:

  • Fuel Efficiency and Emission Reduction: Maersk aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and has set an interim target to reduce its relative CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030, compared to 2008 levels. In 2019, the company reported a 41.8% reduction in CO2 emissions, demonstrating significant progress towards its goal.
  • Investment in Clean Technologies: Maersk has invested in various clean technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company partnered with Norsepower in 2018 to retrofit their Pelican tanker with rotor sails, resulting in significant fuel savings and emission reductions.
  • Transition to Sustainable Fuels: Maersk is actively exploring the use of alternative fuels to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2021, they announced plans to launch the world's first carbon-neutral liner vessel by 2023, seven years ahead of their initial target.
  • Eco-friendly Ship Design: Maersk has incorporated energy-efficient designs into their new vessels, such as the Triple-E class container ships. These ships feature waste heat recovery systems, optimized hull designs, and advanced propellers, significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Participation in Industry Initiatives: Maersk is a founding member of the Getting to Zero Coalition, a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the World Economic Forum, and Friends of Ocean Action.

Through these initiatives, Maersk demonstrates its commitment to going green and setting an example for the shipping industry. By investing in sustainable practices, the company is paving the way for a more environmentally responsible future in global trade.

#2 Samskip

Samskip's commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices goes beyond its fleet and fuels. The company has implemented a comprehensive strategy that touches every aspect of its operations, striving for continuous improvement in environmental performance.

  • Energy Efficiency in Offices and Warehouses: Samskip has taken steps to reduce energy consumption and emissions in its offices and warehouses, such as using energy-efficient and 100% renewable-energy lighting.
  • Employee Engagement and Training: Samskip encourages its employees to participate in sustainability initiatives and provides training on environmentally responsible practices. This helps create a company-wide culture of sustainability and promotes personal responsibility among staff.
  • Technology and Innovation: By implementing innovative technology such as digital twins and Nav-Tech Eye technology, Samskip can monitor and optimize its ships for better fuel efficiency, reducing emissions.
  • Partnerships: With almost 20 partnerships with organisations that help improve Samskip's business in a sustainable way, the company can access resources and expertise that support its green initiatives.

By adopting a holistic approach to sustainability, Samskip is not only minimizing its environmental impact but also inspiring others in the shipping industry to follow suit. Samskip demonstrates that even companies of modest size can make a significant impact when it comes to environmental sustainability.


A third example of a company that went green and boosted its bottom line through innovation is the Danish shipping company DFDS. With a focus on sustainable shipping solutions, DFDS has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives that have led to both environmental and financial benefits:

  1. Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction: DFDS has implemented energy-saving measures across its fleet, such as the use of frequency-controlled pumps, LED lighting, and advanced hull coatings.
  2. Transition to Sustainable Fuels: DFDS is committed to exploring alternative fuels to reduce its carbon footprint. They have set a goal to have their first net-zero emission vessel in operation by 2030, using either biofuels or hydrogen-based fuels. Additionally, they are working with partners to develop an ammonia-powered ship, which could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Eco-friendly Ship Design: DFDS incorporates energy-efficient designs into their new vessels, focusing on optimizing hull shapes, propulsion systems, and waste heat recovery systems. This approach contributes to lower fuel consumption and emissions.
  4. Digitalization and Data-driven Optimization: DFDS leverages digital technologies and data analysis to optimize its operations and reduce environmental impact. For example, they use route optimization software that takes into account weather conditions and currents to minimize fuel consumption and emissions.

By going green and embracing innovation, DFDS has improved its environmental performance and boosted its bottom line through cost savings and increased operational efficiency. Their commitment to sustainability demonstrates shipping companies' potential to achieve ecological and financial benefits while contributing to a more sustainable future for global trade.

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By choosing Cargoflip, you're optimizing your business operations and actively supporting a greener future for our planet. Don't miss out on the opportunity to positively impact your bottom line and the environment.

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Charting a Green Course

The shipping industry's shift towards sustainability and eco-friendly practices has proven to be a win-win scenario for both the environment and businesses.

Companies like Maersk, Samskip, and DFDS have demonstrated that embracing green technologies, investing in alternative fuels, and adopting energy-efficient designs can significantly reduce emissions while simultaneously boosting their bottom lines.

By actively participating in industry initiatives and fostering a culture of innovation, these companies contribute to a more sustainable future for global trade and gain a competitive edge in an increasingly eco-conscious market.

As the world continues to grapple with climate change, the success stories of these shipping industry leaders serve as powerful examples of how businesses can thrive by committing to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

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