Global firms flex purchasing muscle to improve sustainable shipping

7 July 2015

Five global companies have united to develop a common approach to sustainability in their procurement of ocean freight and selection of carriers.

Brewer AB InBev, chemical manufacturers AkzoNobel and Huntsman, health and nutrition firm DSM, and dairy food producer FrieslandCampina will work with Pure Birds, which helps organisations create sustainable business models..

The 'BICEPS network' (Boosting Initiatives for Collaborative Emission-reduction with the Powers of Shippers) partners, which represent a significant amount of shipping demand, will share best practice, and promote collaboration and dialogue between shippers and carriers.

They will take steps to adapt selection procedures to reflect actual carrier performance on sustainability and reduce impact in their shipping operations.

Walter Vermeer, category procurement manager logistics at FrieslandCampina, said the aim was to boost the adoption rate of proven processes and technologies.

“FrieslandCampina is consciously working on impact reduction in every step in our grass-to-glass supply chain to enable realisation of climate neutral growth,” said Vermeer. “Our participation in the BICEPS network is our means to also adding greener ocean shipping into our scope.”

As part of the partnership’s approach, CO2 reduction targets will be defined based on a baseline, together with a uniform set of requirements for sustainability assessments of suppliers and carriers within the shipping industry. This will streamline the reporting requirements of shippers to carriers.

The network partners will work to persuade other sector partners to participate in sustainable practices within the whole sector, such as incentive schemes by ports, adoption of clean technologies and the re-usage or recycling of end-of-life ships.

The partnership said that other companies with an interest were welcome to join and to share best practices.

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