Wallenius: Reducing GHGs While Delivering Cars

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), the Scandinavian ocean shipping and logistics company, cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent last year, mainly through reduced fuel consumption due to lower volumes and the use of lower sulfur fuels.

The Oslo-based WWL says it also cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 135,000 tons over the nine-year period from 2000-2009, an amount nearly equal to all of the SO2 emissions from road vehicles in the U.S. for an entire year.

The latter fact is a somewhat odd bragging point because WWL provides factory-to-dealer ocean transportation for the automotive, agricultural and construction equipment industries. In other words, its roll on-roll off (think ferry) fleet of car carriers move a good portion of the vehicles that wind-up pumping all that SO2 into the US each year. The company moved 1.23 million units last year by sea; it operates more than 60 “environmentally adapted car carriers and RoRo vessels” in operation on 20 trade routes to six continents.

Writing in the company’s 2009 Environmental and Social Responsibility Report, Arild B. Iversen, WWL’s chief executive, says building and expanding value for customers includes “contributing sustainable environmental improvements.”

An efficient supply chain, he continues, “with reduced environmental impact in every possible step is one of the surest ways to cut costs and at the same time benefit the environment.”

WWL says its 2009 sustainability report is the shipping industry’s first emissions inventory report to receive third-party verification by conforming to the accounting requirements of the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14064-1 and the GHG Protocol.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a decade-long partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and provides the accounting framework for nearly every GHG standard and program in the world – from the ISO to The Climate Registry – as well as hundreds of GHG inventories prepared by individual companies.

Iverson says his company has encouraged customer and supplier collaboration to implement efficiencies through “creative and innovative solutions to the supply chain. Attention to environmental standards means reducing risk and overall costs.”

Included in WWL’s environmental policy are commitments to “long-term reductions” of CO2 and NOx emissions; maintaining its practice of using bunker oil with a sulfur content below 1.5 percent; and minimizing invasive species threats by using ballast water exchange and treatment systems on all new vessel buildings.

That’s as specific the company gets on actual reduction goals.

WWL’s vessels are operated with low-sulfur fuel at sea and use marine diesel oil with “lesser sulfur content” for auxiliary engines while at berth.

WWL’s report also talks about a “farsighted vision” for a zero-emission car carrier that it calls the E/S Orcelle. The vessel combines fuel cells, wind, solar and wave power for propulsion and it requires no ballast water. “Although a visionary car-carrier like the Orcelle will never be built in its entirety, we hope to see some of the most beneficiary elements in a future generation of vessels,” the report says.

Aw, go ahead and build it and then carry a bunch of hybrids and electric vehicles around the world. Now there’s a vision.

writer, editor, reader and general good (ok mostly good, well sometimes good) guy trying to get by

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