By Ryan Skinner (email)
Add the carbon dioxide (CO2) data - verified by Lloyd’s Register - as one of eight performance measures in score cards that are presented to customers.
That is, the data will be certified, not just a figure jerry-rigged by a hyperactive business development manager. In the article in Bunkerworld, a representative from Starbucks got all frothy about the ability to put together complete supply chain emissions records. It's something I understand the rest of the supply chain has been waiting for: accurate emissions figures for the sea link.
One wonders how Starbucks plans to calculate the carbon footprint created by some tons of coffee in its five containers on a ship with thousands of them. Further, one wonders whether Starbucks would include the emissions created by the ship on its return voyage to...Brazil? Africa? One wonders if they're capable of presenting this information on your grande latte frappucino.
Note, also, that there's no talk about making this data public. Maersk says quite explicitly that the information will be "presented to customers". They're hoping their clients take this as a key differentiator.
I asked the Maritime Executive LinkedIn group whether carriers should be required to publicize emissions data from each voyage. That is, they're already measuring emissions out of the smokestack; should data about these emissions from each transit be published openly and centrally for anyone to inspect?
Not surprisingly, a representative from Consilium (they provide systems that do the measurement) felt that it was a no-brainer. "I think that every consumer should be able to choose the most environmental friendly products, and as all global citizens we are we rely on shipping so why not start there."
An engineer with a background at DNV simply sought to see more measurement systems onboard: "There's nothing to hide and these systems can be used by a sharp operator to assist in maintaining optimum engine performance."
Technical manager Jon Watson felt measuring and reporting this kind of data as a given, but handing it over haphazardly to the public: "I'm not sure what purpose it would serve since the data, to be meaningful, has to be related to a whole range of other factors." He noted the big ships/bigger pollution/bigger efficiency paradox, but felt gross emissions in special sea areas could be useful to account for.
Barry Parker chimed in with thoughts on how this kind of data could be forced out: "It will not happen voluntarily; there is no incentive for a shipowner to provide such data unless forced to by regulators or by cargo shippers attempting to curry consumer favor with their green carrier choices." Wise, indeed.
Then the Director of IT and marketing at The Containership Company, Lars Jensen, chimed in. He pointed out that the romantic idea of A to B shipment is a fantasy. Ship and cargo are making multiple stops, with containers going on and off, etc. "Providing emissions numbers for a vessel would be easy. They would also be next to useless if the objective is to measure the environmental impact of actually having shipped your container from origin to destination." Point made.
At the end where emissions are made, the IMO is contorting itself to create metrics and mechanisms to measure, regulate and cut emissions. As we see in this article, the reporting end may be seeing a picture no clearer.