• Measures to mitigate our impact on the oceans and protect marine fauna and flora, such as whales, dolphins and coral reefs.
• Investments to accelerate our fleet’s energy transition to more sustainable methods of transport, such as LNG-powered vessels, and research into new zero-emission technologies.
• Staff members participation on a daily basis, as reflected by their very high turnout for World Clean Up Day 2021.
MARSEILLES : The oceans represent the world’s largest carbon reserve and provide approximately 95% of the natural space for life. They thus play a crucial part in protecting the climate. It comes as no surprise that looking after them forms part of the 17 United Nation Sustainable Development Goals being championed by the European Sustainable Development Week, which began on Monday and resonates with the UN’s Climate Week NYC. As an active user of this natural space, CMA CGM relentlessly endeavors to look after marine ecosystems.
Protective measures for the marine ecosystem
In September, the CMA CGM Group joined the Green Marine Europe label. This environmental certification program for the shipping industry was established in 2019 by the Surfrider Foundation Europe. As part of the process, we pledged to measure our environmental performance on an annual basis and to deliver continuous improvements. CMA CGM’s commitment is already plain to see since it has taken action to protect whales by curbing the speed of its ships to 10 knots in whales’ reproduction areas off the US and Canadian coasts, and it uses the REPCET system to avoid collisions, enabling ships to communicate cetaceans’ position in real time.
As a technology leader, CMA CGM has joined an European consortia, LIFE-PIAQUO, that brings together major shipping industry and European research institutes partners. Its aim is to develop and test various tools to reduce the noise of shipping traffic and its impact on aquatic biodiversity.
The Group’s ships are now also fitted with UV ballast water treatment systems to avoid the proliferation of invasive species without resorting to chemical treatments. Lastly, CMA CGM has launched Reef Recovery, a program that aims to restore coral reefs through initiatives in Australia, the Philippines, the Keys (United States), the Seychelles and Martinique.
Claire Martin, Vice-President Sustainability commented: : “Thanks to our experience and with the support of our NGO and scientific partners, we have introduced an ambitious strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and play an active role in protecting and restoring fragile ecosystems. The results have been positive since we have cut our carbon emissions by 49% (TEU-km) since 2008, putting us on track to meet our target of net zero emissions by 2050. We have also committed to measures safeguarding dolphins and whales and regenerating coral reefs in Australia, for example.”
Harnessing new technologies to decarbonize shipping
The Group first opted to introduce dual-fuel ships in 2017 and it will have 23 LNG and biomethane powered vessels in service by the end of 2021. This solution already helps eliminating almost all emissions of atmospheric pollutants (air quality). The engines fitted on these ships are already capable of using e-methane (rather than LNG), a carbon-neutral fuel source. The e-methane-ready fleet will reach 44 ships in 2024.
Christine Cabau Woehrel, Vice-President Operations and Assets: “Our fleet of LNG-powered vessels represents a first step towards decarbonizing shipping, but we are also laying the ground for the future through major investments in R&D, with a priority focus on biofuels and synthetic fuels for our ships. In parallel, we are making progress on alternative energy sources, such as electricity and green hydrogen for our other needs (quayside equipment, cranes and other machinery). New technologies will also help us to optimize our operations and reduce our consumption as far as we can. We are already doing so using algorithms to adjust the course of our ships and optimize their loads. To curb our consumption, we are also investing heavily in the engineering design of our vessels. We are developing innovative designs that are set for launch in just a few months’ time.”
The future will be green thanks to these best practices, new technologies and research, and it’s up to all of us to maintain this focus, day in, day out. CMA CGM’s staff members are certainly doing their bit, with 1,500 of them taking part in 82 (digital and physical) clean-up operations organized to mark World Clean Up Day on September 18. In total, these initiatives led to the collection and reuse of over 6 tons of waste, and more than 147 GB of data.