Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


The rising need to tackle climate change, governmental regulations and growing awareness and shift in purchase preference amongst end consumers have made it mandatory for brands to incorporate sustainability into their core business strategy in order to succeed and grow. Thus, companies are increasingly undertaking several initiatives to create a sustainable value chain that has a positive impact on the environment and society at large.

Three-layer sustainability integration

1) Self-controlled manufacturing and production capabilities

Right from finding alternatives for fossil fuels to cutting energy costs and optimising resources to reduce waste and pollution, brands can establish sustainable practices throughout their owned and self-controlled facilities to better control their environmental footprint.

2) Sourcing and procurement

Another aspect to consider is ensuring that sustainability is implemented amongst your first tier of suppliers. This involves brands pledging to work with or ensuring that their suppliers comply with social and environmental standards. Often, socio-political and environmental aspects are harder to control when their operations vary across different geographical locations. However, brands are increasingly paying attention to who they tie up with for their resources in order to maintain better control of sustainability in their overall value chain.

3) Logistics

Logistics is an enabler of global trade and plays an integral role in the growth of businesses across industries. However, global logistics emits more than 3.5 gigatons of CO2 every year – an unsustainable footprint in an already alarming climate change reality. Besides embedding sustainability into their core business strategy, companies are also exploring ways in which their procurement and trading strategy can meet net zero carbon targets. 

Sustainability priorities for Maersk

Climate action is a strategic imperative for Maersk, and we are stepping up efforts to provide end-to-end supply chain solutions that can help you reach your sustainability targets. We are committed to:

  • Taking leadership in decarbonising logistics is the single most important, strategic sustainability priority.
  • Engaging with customers and industry partners to develop standards and solutions for sustainable inland transportation
  • Ensuring responsible business practices across our operations with clear governance, accountability and transparency on policies, commitments and performance.

We launched our ECO Delivery Ocean transport services in 2019 as the first step towards decarbonising ocean logistics. It is an innovative product that enables Maersk’s customers to opt for more responsible ocean transport by replacing fossil fuels with green fuels, thus neutralising their carbon emission footprint.

Customers can simply opt for the addition of the carbon-reduction ocean add-on to their usual ocean logistics bookings, and we will purchase and utilise the corresponding amount of green fuel for the shipment. Offering immediate CO2 savings that are verified by external parties and documented through certification and assurance reporting, this service can be adopted for the transportation of any amount of cargo.

“For our company, logistics plays an important role in the transportation of our products, from our plants and warehouse to our customers. And Maersk’s ECO Delivery services are exactly the right kind of solution that we were looking for. Besides its synergy with our sustainability goals, we can now also say that we are contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions for the overall global supply chain,” says Deepak Mane, Assistant General Manager, Logistics (Crop Division), Coromandel International Ltd.

“Maersk handles over 50% of our exports across the world at present. Hence, considering our growth vision and sustainable goals in mind, we were very excited to discover their Eco Delivery services. The best part was how easy it was to integrate this into our supply chain – with a simple request, we could merely add this to our existing freight contracts with Maersk with full transparency of cost and return on investment. Not only are we assured of net zero carbon shipping based on Maersk’s use of sustainable fuel, but more importantly these carbon savings are globally certified and easy to add to our Sustainability Reporting as well,” says Abhijith Bhadran, Lead – Commercial at UPL.

Since then, Maersk has been setting benchmarks for the logistics industry to enable green channels for customers. Besides investing in designing vessels that run solely on green methanol, we are also investing in alternative fuels for our inland transportation mediums and continue to explore avenues to build more sustainable practices across all our solutions.

The pursuit of climate neutrality will require extensive data insights and close collaboration with both local and regional suppliers of products and services across our business footprint. We are dedicated to the goals that we have set for ourselves and the actions that we have to take. However, in order to really drive the change needed worldwide, we need our customers and industry peers to collaborate with us and commit to comparable targets. Together we can work towards making a real difference in the world.

Written by
Vikash Agarwal, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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