MSC Responds to Emissions Concerns
MSC has reaffirmed its commitment to decarbonization following the release of a report from environmental NGO Transport and Environment that estimates MSC is the eighth-largest single carbon emitter in Europe.
MSC has recently started using biofuels and says it is strongly committed to further reducing CO2 emissions. “While continuously increasing its TEU capacity to meet the growing demand, MSC operates a modern, green fleet and is investing heavily in low-carbon technologies and extensive newbuild and retrofit programs to boost performance and minimize our environmental impact. For example, MSC’s fleet improvement program has resulted in a 13 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per transport work in 2015-18.
“Furthermore, the latest newbuilding additions to the fleet – led by MSC Gülsün, the largest container ship in the world – has introduced a new class of sustainable container shipping, with the lowest carbon footprint by design, at 7.49 grams of CO2 emissions to move one ton of cargo one nautical mile.”
MSC fully supports reporting CO2 emissions transparently and precisely in the European Union (EU) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, as mandated by EU legislation, but says it is vital that the raw data reported in the system are analysed accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions.
“In this respect, a recently published report by Transport and Environment (T&E) offers an incomplete analysis of these data and therefore does not give an accurate picture of the emissions from the shipping sector. In particular, the T&E analysis fails to take a number of operational aspects of MSC’s services fully into account, and thus does not offer a complete assessment of our role and impact in terms of emissions.
“Furthermore, CO2 emissions should be compared on an equal basis. The analysis by T&E focuses on emissions in the EU and, if it is to be fully comparable across shipping lines and industries, should only take into account emissions which actually occurred in the geographical area of the EU.”
According to an MSC analysis of its own operational records, only 40-45 percent of the 11 million tons of emissions reported in the MRV were actually in the EU. To accurately assess MSC’s role in the decarbonisation of shipping, it is vital to take the following points into account, the company says:
• Shipowners are mandated to report consumption and CO2 emission data for voyages starting and terminating in EU ports (including voyages between EU ports). These emissions are calculated based on the last port of call before entering EU or the first port of call after leaving EU. As an example, a ship carrying fruits from the Caribbean to Northern Europe and back needs to report emissions for the whole distance of the trip, even though only part of it takes place in the EU. As a result, the actual emissions in the EU for this particular ship may be up to 65 percent less than is recorded in the MRV. This is particularly relevant for a global company such as MSC, which operates in all the world’s major shipping lanes.
• MSC performs its own feedering services, which means these vessels are also included in our total carbon footprint. Other carriers using third party feeders are not held accountable for those emissions. By outsourcing such services, container lines are able to report much lower emission figures, as it is the shipowners’ responsibility to report the emissions in the MRV.
• MSC is continuously improving energy efficiency and thus mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) gives a reliable indication of a ship’s environmental performance and the ratio of CO2 emissions per ton of cargo MSC moves is among the lowest in the industry. The T&E report ranks MSC as the third most efficient shipping line based on real-world operational efficiency. However, the figure 19.92 included in the report differs significantly from MSC’s own data produced using third-party verified methodology. The global EEOI figure for MSC in 2018 was 14.56 indicating that the gap between this verified figure and the one included in the report is unrealistic. Based on this MSC could rank even higher in the efficiency scale.