One of the easiest ways to decrease carbon footprint is the use of bigger ships and to slow down their speed.

A ship is the most environmentally friendly alternative for transporting large quantities of cargo. For instance, one Eira-size 20,000 dwt vessel is the equivalent of around 1,100 trucks with cargo capacity of 18 tons.

Over 90% of the world’s trade is carried for sea and international vessel traffic which accounts for 2.6% of global emissions. Sea transportation is vital for Finland and Sweden which are the group’s crucial market areas. Around 90% of the imports and exports from both countries is carried by sea.

Larger vessel reduces emissions per cargo ton

As a result of the acquisition of AtoB@C Shipping we now have a large number of smaller vessels in our fleet. The smaller vessels consume more energy for the same transport work. The consumption per cargo ton transported with a coaster is on average three times higher than on our LNG-powered vessels Viikki and Haaga.

One of the easiest ways to decrease carbon footprint is the use of bigger ships and to slow down their speed. However, it must be recognized that this is not possible for all of our clients and industries due to lot sizes and restrictions in harbours. Smaller parcels will be shipped and small vessels will be trading also in the future. Therefore, it is important that we try to implement more efficient environmental technologies for the future generations of coaster vessels.

Emissions decreased in 2020

In 2020, emissions were reduced significantly due to two reasons. Firstly, the global limit for sulphur was decreased to 0.5%, which had a clear impact on sulphur emissions of the supramax vessels. In the group’s main trading area in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea, the sulphur limit was previously 0.1% since 2015 and therefore, the effect on the other vessel classes was small. The second factor contributing to lower emissions was the lay-up of a couple of vessels at ESL Shipping during the spring and summer. As a result, the CO2-emissions were reduced by 7.2% and SOx-emissions by 68.5%.

Sea organisms attached to a ship’s hull increase the resistance and lead to increased engine power need. In order to ensure the smoothest possible sailing, the bottoms of the vessels are brushed and cleaned at regular intervals instead of using harmful hull paintings.

Certified environmental management system

ESL Shipping has an ISO 14001 environmental management system certification, which creates a common base for continuous improvement of environmental issues in all our activities. The system has been externally audited by DNV GL. All vessels are operated and maintained according to international MARPOL-convention that governs emissions on a global scale.

Emissions are reported on EU and international level

At the moment, the vessels’ emissions are reported to two different systems: EU-led MRV and international, IMO-led DCS. The main difference is that MRV takes into account the voyages to and from EU-ports regardless of the vessel’s flag while IMO DCS takes into account all voyages of the vessel. In MRV-reporting, consumption at anchorage and at the port are excluded while IMO DCS takes into account those as well. ESL Shipping is responsible for reporting these figures for our own vessels.

Emissions of 3,000-6,000 dwt vessels are not reported to MRV or DCS. In order to achieve a comprehensive picture of the group’s environmental footprint, we have calculated the emissions of these vessels as well and they are included in the figures presented in this report. Given the new operations system, we are now able to provide more detailed emissions reporting to our customers.

It is noteworthy that MRV figures take into account the weight of the cargo which results in poor figures when lightweight cargoes which fill up the hold are carried. These cargoes include for example project cargoes, wood pellets and some steel products such as pipes.


CO2-emissions in 2020


Fuel consumption in 2020
Updated 15.04.2021