Environment and ecosystems
As active citizens of the Earth, we are committed to doing as little harm as possible while at the same time actively participating in restoring ocean and land health and resilience, as well as protecting animal habitats where we operate.
Why our ecosystem impacts matter
We see ourselves as active citizens of the Earth, operating on the oceans as well as increasingly on land. We are committed to doing as little harm as possible while at the same time actively participating in restoring ocean and land health and resilience, as well as protecting animal habitats where we operate.
Highlights in 2023
Continued the roll-out of a global requirement for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) aligned with international standards, with initial focus across our terminals business and further expansion across our logistics businesses planned for 2024.
Priorities and actions
Featured highlights and case stories
Protecting ocean life and habitats
To reduce the risk of whale strikes or disturbing breeding whales, Maersk follows all mandatory speed reduction schemes at sea and has also implemented voluntary schemes, reducing speed or avoiding transit in restricted zones. A key lever is better leveraging technology to automate decision making and provide more accurate route planning to protect wildlife.
In 2023, Maersk started adding geofencing to StarConnect, our AI-powered fleet energy efficiency platform. Procedures in our Safety Management System help our crews know where whale protection zones and MARPOL areas exist, and to comply with required regulations.
Supporting ocean and climate science
Maersk continues to leverage our vessels and ocean networks in support of ocean and climate science through long-standing partnerships with research organisations.
In 2023, Maersk supported the Oceans X - Xploration ISAMO (read more) project, an exploration of solutions that could one day recreate the natural process of methane oxidation, which removes methane from the atmosphere. Maersk crew on vessels crossing the Atlantic collected and returned 280 samples for analysis in 2023, helping scientists understand why methane oxidation occurs at an increased rate over the sea and in areas with high iron content, as well as the impact of dust from the Sahara Desert over the Atlantic Ocean.
Assessing regional context to our water consumption
We have continued to assess the increasing risk of water stress and enhanced our methodologies to ensure greater consistency and accuracy in our assessments. In 2023, we have been able to provide water stress context to Maersk’s total 2023 consumption, using Aqueduct 4.0 data from the World Resource Institute.
In 2023, around 45% of Maersk’s assessed water consumption happened in high and extremely high water stress zones. Further, ~6% of the assessed water consumption occurs in arid zones, which are classified by WRI to both have low water availability as well as low water withdrawal. Please see more on p. 30 in the Sustainability Report 2023.
Efficient resource consumption
Maersk is engaged in several initiatives focusing on recycling and circular materials use. A prominent example relates to green steel connected with our ship recycling activities.
Another example is a mooring ropes recycling pilot initiated with C-Loop, a Wilhelmsen-backed venture. Mooring ropes are made of around 400kg of plastic, need to be replaced every 3-5 years, and are currently disposed of in landfills or incinerated - emitting GHGs and other pollutants, including microplastics. Maersk and C-Loop are exploring several solutions to repurpose or recycle the retired ropes. A pilot with 200 mooring ropes began in Singapore which will help scale up the initiative and validate a final solution including traceability and transparency for key factors such as lifecycle GHG emissions.