A commitment to sustainable shipping

28 October 2020
News

Ocean transport has a relatively low CO2 footprint, accounting for around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is, as such, considered the more ecological and sustainable alternative for moving cargo from one point of the globe to another.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the shipping industry carries about 90% of world trade. And while shipping is already the ‘greener’ option, sustainable goals of shipping companies are adapting rapidly, becoming more progressive and wider in scope.

Höegh Autoliners has been in the shipping industry for more than 90 years. With our long experience in shipping, we are committed to upholding a business model that supports growing world trade through sustainable service offerings. It is our aim to contribute to sustainable development by operating as a socially responsible shipping company and actively integrating social and environmental concerns in our ocean business operations.

Patron of the UN Global Compact Action platform

Höegh Autoliners is a proud patron of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). It signifies our commitment to conduct business in a safe, responsible and transparent through focusing on four main sustainability areas: being a responsible business partner, reducing our environmental footprint, creating a safe and inclusive place to grow, and protecting life below sea.

The focus areas are incorporated into how we work and behave and are ingrained in our culture. Through this, we aspire to create long-term value for our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate. As Head of Sustainability, Henrik Andersson states, "Results are achieved when these goals are anchored in our corporate strategies and integrated in the organisation."

Collaborating with industry leaders

Henrik adds,

We believe that collaboration is key in creating a greener shipping industry. To realise this, we work with organisations and regulatory bodies that drive and support sustainable development initiatives.

As one of the founding members of Trident Alliance, Höegh actively participates in this coalition of shipping owners and operators who share a common interest in robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulations. The alliance also collaborates with other stakeholders who share similar objectives.

Höegh is also a member of Clean Cargo, a business-to-business leadership initiative that involves major brands, cargo carriers, and freight forwarders dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of global goods transportation and promoting responsible shipping. Members share a vision of a shipping industry that is a responsible part of sustainable supply chains and that supports clean oceans, healthy port communities, and global climate goals.

Reducing our environmental footprint

Henrik explains, "Our main sustainability agenda today is reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions." To address this, the company commits to using only IMO-compliant fuel, reduce our vessels’ fuel consumption through ambitious fuel saving programmes and continue to implement fuel saving measures across the fleet.

Henrik says,

It is difficult to say what the fuels of the future will be, but I hope that the industry will be operating on fuels developed from renewable energy. This would allow us to operate our vessels efficiently and with limited negative environmental impact.

The vessel is the most important factor when we address the environmental impact of our services. Therefore, we work to ensure that our vessels are, as much as possible, developed to minimise their impact through their lifetime from construction via operation to recycling.

Protecting life below sea

Höegh Autoliners actively work to reduce overboard emissions to protect the ocean’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Overboard emission management and compliance minimise the spread of invasive species through ballast water and safeguard against marine pollution. Henrik states, "Within three years, all of our vessels will be equipped with Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS)."

Another initiative is minimising the amount of waste oil, sludge and bilge water produced. The sludge and bilge are cleaned onboard using state-of-the-art equipment, and also monitored through a system called White box installed on our vessels.

The company operates a zero garbage overboard policy. This means no garbage other than food waste is to be discharged into the sea. Garbage is sorted in separate containers, and only disposed of at approved shore facilities.

Support from customers

Heading the company’s sustainability efforts and being responsible in ensuring we achieve our goals, Henrik reaches out to customers and other stakeholders with information about how we plan to reduce our negative environmental impact and meet future emissions targets. He states,

A successful sustainability strategy has to be aligned with our customer’s expectations and at the same time, comply with global regulations.

Henrik concludes,

We in the shipping industry cannot take on the challenge alone, we also need the support from our customers. Close cooperation with them will be essential in our journey towards more sustainable operations.