Decarbonization Survey Highlights Contrasts in Maritime Industry’s Green Ambitions

Shipping Emissions Carbon Co2 - Carbon Intensity indicator

In a comprehensive survey conducted by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a striking divergence in the approach to decarbonization within the shipping industry has come to light. This report, which brings together insights from shipowners and operators across various segments, vessels, and geographical locations, underscores the contrasting perspectives and levels of urgency prevalent in the industry.

A Wide Spectrum of Views and Actions

The survey involved 128 participants across different sectors of the maritime industry, with a notable 25% being smaller companies operating fewer than 20 vessels. Collectively, these respondents own or operate a staggering 14,000 merchant vessels and account for an impressive $500 billion in revenue.

Notably, a substantial majority of shipowners and operators acknowledge the pressing need to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In fact, 73% of respondents consider achieving net-zero operations a strategic priority, with 77% already having well-defined decarbonization targets. Impressively, 54% of these pioneers have set net-zero goals.

To align with their sustainability ambitions, shipowners and operators are taking concrete actions. The survey reveals that 87% of respondents have dedicated personnel working on green objectives, with 55% forming specialized sustainability teams. A noteworthy 25% have established clear decarbonization roadmaps, and, on average, companies are investing approximately 2% of their revenues into green initiatives.

Decarbonization Archetypes Emerge

The survey analysis has categorized participants into three primary decarbonization archetypes: frontrunners, followers, and conservatives.

Frontrunners exemplify the most ambitious stance in terms of decarbonization. They have committed substantial resources to reduce emissions, viewing net-zero operations as a top priority. An impressive 75% of frontrunners have dedicated sustainability teams, and 50% have established clear roadmaps for decarbonization. These frontrunners are investing an average of 4% of their total revenue in green initiatives and plan to increase this investment over the next five years. They are also willing to invest more in retrofitting their vessels for efficiency and incorporating green fuels into their operations. Notably, 41% are pricing carbon emissions into their business decisions.

Followers, while recognizing the importance of decarbonization, are adopting solutions that offer immediate value. These companies, with 73% viewing net-zero as a priority, have shorter investment horizons, aiming to recover their investments 20% faster than frontrunners. They allocate an average of 2% of their revenues to green initiatives. Their willingness to spend up to $3 million per vessel for efficiency retrofits is less than half of what frontrunners invest.

Conservatives acknowledge the need to reduce emissions but have made slower progress in adopting decarbonization solutions. With only 42% having dedicated sustainability teams, they invest an average of 1% of their revenues in green initiatives. This group faces unique challenges, including a lack of familiarity with available solutions, uncertainty about their effectiveness, and limited capabilities to assess, evaluate, and implement such solutions.

Differing Perspectives on Green Fuels

In addition to evaluating decarbonization efforts, the survey also delved into the industry’s outlook on green fuels, such as methanol, ammonia, and biofuels, expected to play a more significant role in the maritime sector’s fuel mix in the medium to long term.

Frontrunners express the highest long-term potential for ammonia, largely due to their experience with the fuel and their confidence in managing its operational challenges. A notable 65% of frontrunners view ammonia as promising, whereas only 36% of followers and conservatives share this view. Furthermore, frontrunners see ammonia as having more potential than methanol, contrary to the opinions of followers and conservatives.

Followers, on the other hand, exhibit the greatest optimism about the long-term potential of biofuels when compared to other archetypes. This perspective reflects their preference for solutions that are perceived as being less risky today.

Frontrunners also lead the charge in the adoption of these green fuels, with over 90% planning to adopt or have already adopted biofuels, while more than 70% indicate similar intentions for methanol and ammonia. This adoption rate far exceeds that of followers and conservatives.

In conclusion, the maritime industry is at a pivotal juncture regarding decarbonization and the adoption of green fuels. Frontrunners are setting the pace with their bold initiatives and investments, while followers are taking a more measured approach, and conservatives are facing challenges in making substantial progress. The industry’s choices in the coming years will be instrumental in shaping the environmental footprint of global shipping operations.

Source: Splash247

Source Splash247

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