H&M takes part in shipping biofuel trial

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
24 June 2019

H&M has become the first company to take part in a trial of carbon neutral biofuel for container shipping.

The clothing retailer has partnered with Maersk in the pilot, which involves using a mixture of used cooking oil and heavy fuel oil to power the Mette Maersk container ship.

“We are supporting Maersk – one of our strategic transport partners and one of the biggest transport providers in the world – in one of their latest innovations, the carbon neutral ocean product,” said H&M.

“The biofuel blend that has been tested to propel vessels, which comes from wasted cooking oil for instance, has shown promising results in reducing the emissions from the ocean shipping.”

Maersk said the fuel was an industry first and had been certified as sustainable by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification body. It said taking a lifecycle view, including upstream production and transportation, the fuel represented carbon savings of 85% compared to bunker fuel. The company said shipping represented 2-3% of global emissions.

Søren Toft, Maersk COO, said: “The biofuel trial on board Mette Maersk has proven that decarbonised solutions for shipping can already be utilised today, both technically and operationally.

“While it is not yet an absolutely final solution it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today. With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains.”

Helena Helmersson, COO at H&M, said: “Our high ambition to become climate positive by 2040 requires cooperation and engagement from all parties in the supply chain. We want to use our size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions, such as the carbon neutral ocean product, for a greener commercial transport.”

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