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FTA carbon reduction agenda goes global

A significant step forward in reducing carbon emissions in the global maritime supply chain was taken today when the Freight Transport Association (FTA) joined forces with Heriot-Watt University (HWU) to begin developing definitive best-practice guidance on reducing cargo emissions in global maritime supply chains.

Chris Welsh, FTA’s General Manager Global & European Policy, said:

"Although shipping is regarded as a relatively low-energy and environmentally sound way of transporting goods, it is estimated that maritime carbon emissions are likely to grow by three or four times over current rates by 2050. Clearly, this will have to be curbed, but mandatory regulation is not always the fairest or most efficient way of seeing results.

"Instead, it is far better for the shipping industry if it can agree on and measure its own carbon footprint in order to set voluntary but realistic carbon reduction targets, not just considering the carbon footprint of carriers but also of a shipper’s emissions across the entire supply chain."

The template for this best practice guidance will be produced in conjunction with shippers and other stakeholders in the maritime supply chain and the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University. The outputs of the collaboration between HWU and FTA will also be factored into FTA’s voluntary scheme aimed at assisting the logistics industry to reduce its carbon footprint.

Welsh continued:

"Our continuing work with Heriot-Watt will help us to provide detailed guidance to shippers on the carbon auditing of the deep sea supply chain and hopefully reveal further opportunities to support the wider decarbonisation of the maritime supply chain."

Peter Livey, Head of Logistics (Europe), Hyundai Merchant Marine, spoke at today’s inaugural Decarbonising the Maritime Supply Chain workshop held in London and on behalf of the Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG). He said:

"Like FTA, the CCWG comprises a very representational slice of the industry, including some progressive and innovative practitioners. In working together we can harmonise best practice and share research in order to fulfil our common aim of decarbonising the maritime supply chain. Today’s inception meeting represents a formative step in doing just that."
Professor Alan McKinnon, Director of Heriot-Watt’s Logistics Research Centre, said:

"To date most of the research on this topic has focused on ways of cutting CO2 emissions from the shipping operation. Our work is adopting a broader supply chain perspective on this decarbonisation process and, in particular, considering the contribution that the shipper can make to reducing emissions. The support of FTA and CCWG will be invaluable in helping us study this subject in depth and preparing guidance for shippers on how best to decarbonise their global supply chains."

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