SHIPPING giant Maersk has announced it is beginning trials of a “carbon neutral” fuel, said to be the first of its kind in the industry.

The fuel is being piloted with select Maersk customers, starting with H&M Group as the first company to conduct a trial as part of a shift towards carbon-neutral transport.

The biofuel is a blend of used cooking oil and heavy oil which has been tested and validated in a trial done in collaboration with the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition and Shell.

It is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification.

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“The biofuel trial on board Mette Maersk has proven that decarbonized solutions for shipping can already be utilised today, both technically and operationally,” Maersk chief operations officer Søren Toft said.

“While it is not yet an absolutely final solution it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today,” he said.

“With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains.”

The biofuel to be used is carbon neutral and provides H&M Group the ability to cut transport and logistics emissions towards their aspiration of carbon neutrality.

Maersk is looking to promote greener fuel options. Credit: AP Moller-Maersk

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials will provide a procedure to ensure carbon savings are accredited to our customers appropriately.

H&M Group chief operations officer Helena Helmersson said the goal of such pilot projects was to unlock the potential of sustainable fuels to become a commercial reality. 

“Our high ambition to become climate positive by 2040 requires cooperation and engagement from all parties in the supply chain,” Ms Helmersson said.

“We want to use our size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions, such as the carbon neutral ocean product, for a greener commercial transport.”

She said they would use the biofuel project lessons to support a broader product offering. 

Mr Toft said ensuring the wide adoption of carbon neutral solutions required technical innovation.

“We believe this is the only commercially viable path to make the required investments our industry requires to reach the carbon neutral target,” he said.

“We are so pleased to see a significant shift in sentiment and involvement from customers, fuel suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and competitors towards sustainable solutions.” Maersk is to continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions.

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