Maersk Line Receives FMC Chairman’s Earth Day Award
April 21, 2011
Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. today announced that Maersk Line has received the Chairman’s Earth Day Award for innovation and environmental leadership in vessel operation, vessel design, and efforts to increase carbon emissions transparency. This is the second annual award given by the FMC Chairman for the ocean shipping industry’s top leaders on environmental issues. Last year’s recipient was the Port of Los Angeles for the air quality improvements from its Clean Truck program.
"Maersk Line has shown real leadership in improving air quality surrounding ports by voluntarily switching to low-sulfur fuel, in pushing for efficient vessel designs, and in working to provide its customers with reliable tools to track and consider their shipments’ carbon emissions," said Chairman Lidinsky.
The FMC Chairman’s Earth Day Award recognizes members of the ocean transportation community for their innovation, leadership, and success in developing and implementing sustainable shipping practices. With the assistance of the Maritime Environmental Committee’s leader, the Chairman selected the recipient based on the following criteria:
- innovation in design of sustainability-enhancing incentives, measurement, and accountability;
- effectiveness in increasing sustainability, efficiency, and reducing environmental impacts; and
- anticipated creation of green jobs through efficient ocean commerce that grows in a sustainable manner.
Left to Right: Lowry Crook, Ronald Murphy, Bill Woodhour, FMC Chairman Lidinsky, J. Russell Bruner,
Ernest Worden, Laura Mayberry, Kemal Kurtulus, Rebecca Fenneman, Colin Keohan
Chairman Lidinsky noted that in 2006, Maersk Line was the first ocean carrier to begin voluntarily switching its vessels to low-sulfur fuel when they called on the Port of Los Angeles. Since that time, Maersk Line switched to low-sulfur fuel for calls in Tacoma, Seattle, and Houston. This pioneering fuel-switching program has saved 4100 tons in air pollutant emissions in North America.
Chairman Lidinsky also cited Maersk Line’s efforts to drive the efficient design of new vessels. He pointed to Maersk Line’s newly ordered Triple-E class containerships, which will have a hull designed for fuel-saving slow speeds, will employ efficient engines that use exhaust gas to produce extra energy, and promise to reduce by 20 percent the carbon emissions per container shipped as compared to Maersk’s current best-performing vessels.
In addition, Chairman Lidinsky praised Maersk Line’s leadership in working to provide reliable data on carbon emissions from its vessels. He noted that in October 2010, Maersk Line became the first shipping line to receive independent verification of its vessels’ carbon emissions data. Maersk Line also took the lead in posting carbon performance information for all of its vessels on the nonprofit Carbon War Room’s website, www.shippingefficiency.org. Chairman Lidinsky praised Maersk’s inclusion last year of carbon footprint data in the monthly scorecards it provides its customers, so that they can track the emissions associated with their shipments. "For all actors in our global supply chain seeking to reduce climate change emissions, reliable information is key," said Chairman Lidinsky. "I applaud Maersk Line’s trailblazing carbon footprint transparency initiatives, and I encourage them and the rest of the industry to press hard for continued progress in this area."
J. Russell Bruner, Chairman and CEO of Maersk Inc., and Bill Woodhour, Senior Vice President of Maersk Line North America, accepted the award for Maersk Line. Mr. Woodhour said: "I would like to thank Chairman Lidinsky and the Federal Maritime Commission’s Maritime Environmental Committee for recognizing Maersk Line with the Chairman’s Earth Day Award. The Commission’s continuing emphasis on environmental performance is a great service to people living and working not only in our port areas but around the globe. The fact that moving goods by sea is the most environmentally friendly transport mode does not reduce our industry’s responsibility to strive for constant improvement. Earth Day is a fitting occasion to reaffirm Maersk Line’s commitment to the continuous improvement of our environmental performance. We accept this prestigious award with great appreciation."
Mr. Woodhour added: "Our goal is to drive toward zero sulfur emissions while cutting carbon dioxide by at least 25 percent per container between 2007 and 2020. We are well on the way to realizing this goal. Maersk Line believes an effective environmental management system will bring about substantial benefits for the environment and for business. We actively engage with our customers and suppliers, partnering with them to improve environmental performance throughout the supply chain."
Chairman Lidinsky responded: "One of my top priorities at the Federal Maritime Commission is advancing the Obama Administration’s goals of creating green jobs and seeking a more sustainable approach to maritime issues. And Maersk Line has been piloting the way on these issues. I look forward to continuing to work with Maersk Line and the rest of the ocean shipping industry as a helpful partner."
The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The Commission’s Maritime Environmental Committee advises the Chairman and the Commission on sustainable shipping practices, environment-related agreements and operational initiatives, and encourages the creation of green jobs in the maritime industry.