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Environmental responsibility

One of the easiest ways to decrease carbon footprint is the use of bigger ships and to slow down their speed.
Over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by 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 core market areas. Around 90% of the imports and exports from both countries is carried by sea.
Our roadmap towards fossil-free shipping

As a shipping company operating around 50 vessels in the sensitive waters of the Baltic Sea, we recognise our responsibility to contribute towards emission free shipping. This is why we have committed to reduce our carbon intensity by 50% per ton-mile by 2030 and to reach net zero CO2 emission operations by 2050.

Firstly, we need best available ship design and power train capable of shifting to drop-in fossil free fuels when they are available. Prime examples of this are the recent order of twelve 5,350 dwt hybrid vessels equipped with battery packs and shore power connection as well as the world’s first LNG-powered bulk carriers Viikki and Haaga.

Secondly, we need to build industrial scale availability of renewable fuels in partnership with leading Scandinavian suppliers. As announced earlier, we became the first shipping company in the world to start to utilise Neste’s co-processed marine fuel, which provides up to 80% reduction in lifecycle emissions compared to fossil fuels. In addition, we are participating in projects aimed at industrial scale production of hydrogen based e-fuels in second half of the decade.

Thirdly, we need customers who share a common future vision for low emission shipping. Here we have worked for example with SSAB to introduce Viikki and Haaga which almost halved emissions between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe. In addition, SSAB and Port of Oxelösund have played an integral part in the launch of Virtual Arrival, which has enabled 25% reduction in CO2-emissions in applied voyages between Luleå and Oxelösund 

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Larger vessel reduces emissions per cargo ton

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.

In general, 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. In order to provide environmentally superior alternative in the smaller vessel class, we are currently building twelve new, extremely energy efficient 5,350 dwt plug-in hybrid vessels which will join the fleet from Q3/2023 onwards.

Emissions to the water

Growth in a ship’s underwater hull is a factor that can significantly increase vessel’s fuel consumption. We do not use any harmful antifouling paints in our vessels. Instead, divers brush and clean vessels’ hulls in regular intervals. By keeping the hulls clean from algae and other sea organisms, we are able to reduce the resistance and consequently emissions as well. In 2021, we also acquired an underwater drone to our Raahe depot to help to determine the right time for hull cleaning.

In the end of 2022, all our owned vessels are equipped with ballast water treatment systems, which prevent invasive species to transfer between sea areas with the ballast water of the vessels. Ballast water is an essential for all types of vessels to ensure the stability and correct trim of the vessel.

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Emissions are reported on EU and international level

Currently, the vessels’ carbon dioxide 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.

However, emissions of 3,000-6,000 dwt vessels operated by AtoB@C Shipping 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.

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.