The latest news and developments on the implications of climate change for waterborne transport infrastructure. News is added by partners of the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership. You can also let us know about the latest developments by emailing us, or by using #navclimate on twitter.
Decarbonization and the shipping sector
The focus on decarbonization in the shipping sector has increased significantly over the past couple of years. This has been driven by the IMO’s strategy to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. This has led to a number of recent initiatives, including the Getting to Zero Coalition led by the Global Maritime Forum. This was announced at September’s UN Climate Summit, and studies that set out the economic, legislative and technical requirements and implications of various options; among the most relevant studies are: World Bank, “Understanding the Economic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies on Shipping”; International Transport Forum, “Decarbonising Maritime Transport”; Energy Transitions Commission, “Reaching Zero Carbon Emissions from Shipping – Consultation Paper”; UMAS, “LNG as a Marine Fuel in the EU”.
LNG – a low carbon fuel?
“LNG as a Marine Fuel in the EU” is of particular relevance because, in the light of the increasing pressure to act, significant interest and subsequent investment have been generated in LNG (liquified natural gas) as a low carbon fuel. However, the implications of the studies are that LNG, which is itself a fossil fuel in the most commonly available form, is likely to be at best a transition fuel to other lower or potentially zero-carbon fuels, with significant variability in the life-cycle GHG emission reductions that can be achieved through the use of LNG depending on feedstock and technology deployed.
The need for industry evidence
In conclusion there is a need for an unequivocal evidence base to be generated and agreed across the industry, within a relatively short timescale, so that coordinated investment in fuel supply, infrastructure and supportive policy can be implemented in time to meet the agreed 2050 goals.
Join our journey towards efficient and zero emissions freight and logistics here.
SFC is the Smart Freight Centre, SFC was established in 2013 as a global non-profit organisation leading the way to a more efficient and environmentally sustainable global freight and logistics sector.
SFC is dedicated to remove market barriers and leverage existing initiatives to catalyse the uptake of practical solutions throughout industry that improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and lower operating costs. SFC can play this role because it is a fit-for-purpose organisation with secured funding, independent from industry or government, and has a global network across stakeholder groups. SFC focuses on three approaches:
Awareness of climate change issues is variable across SFC’s network. Many initial contacts at the forefront taking action in respect of greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the logistics sector but there is less awareness elsewhere. Participation in the Navigating a Changing Climate initiative enables SFC to work with like-minded organisations in the sector to set the agenda and lead the development of consistent, workable approaches to calculation and reporting of greenhouse gases from maritime and inland waterway freight transportation and from associated terminal operations. This is an essential step towards effective decision making and emission reduction strategy development and subsequent action.
Including the carbon footprint as a factor in business decisions (alongside costs, time and reliability, etc.) is becoming of greater importance for the implementation of environmental policies e.g. as a result of actions following on from the Paris agreements. Interested parties can download their tool for assessing the emission impacts of future infrastructure investment decisions here
This guidance provides advice on how to carbon audit logistics buildings with view to logistics chain calculation (e.g. with reference to GLEC Framework and EcoTransIT World). A step-by-step description how to calculate greenhouse gas emissions of logistics sites (e.g. warehouse, distribution centers, terminals) is missing so far. The obtained carbon intensity values provide transparency to identify reasonable GHG reduction measures.
An updated method to calculate the carbon footprint of the global logistics supply chain was released this summer by Smart Freight Centre and the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), a group of companies, industry associations and programs, and backed by leading experts and other stakeholders.
“The days that multinationals did not publicly report emissions from freight transportation are over, as we see the GLEC Framework become more and more mainstream,” said Sophie Punte, Executive Director of Smart Freight Centre (SFC), the global non-profit organization that leads the GLEC.
According to the International Transport Forum, freight and logistics generate around 8-10 percent of CO2 emissions – an impact that will continue to grow without a concerted global effort. The GLEC Framework allows companies to calculate and report emissions from planes, trains, ships, trucks and logistics sites consistently across supply chains. Results are used by companies to identify hot spots for improvement, but also by customers, investors and governments who benefit from reduced climate impacts from logistics.
Suzanne Greene, lead author, explains “The updated GLEC Framework is designed to be easy for companies to implement, with clear calculation steps, guidance on reporting and target-setting, and new data on the average emissions from logistics activities.” Alan Lewis, co-author and leader of the GLEC since 2014 said, “We especially benefitted from lessons learned by testing with companies as part of the EU-funded LEARN project. Another major step forward is the GLEC Declaration that allows companies to report emissions in a single, standardized format, so increasing transparency for all stakeholders.”
More than 30 leading multinationals, such as HP Inc., HEINEKEN and Maersk have formally adopted the GLEC Framework since its first release in 2016. This number is expected to rise quickly as the GLEC Framework is recommended by Greenhouse Gas Protocol, CDP, Science-Based Targets initiative, several green freight programs, calculation tools and industry associations, as well as the UN-led Global Green Freight Action Plan.
“The GLEC Framework is the building block the industry needs to measure and manage transportation emissions in a standard way with an overall goal to reduce the end-to-end supply chain impact on the environment,” said Jacqueline Faseler, Global Director for Supply Chain Sustainability & Compliance at Dow. “Dow is proud to be the first global chemical company to adopt the GLEC Framework and work together with associations to help it become the standard across the chemicals sector."
“More and more customers are asking for emissions data that is calculated the GLEC way,” commented Birgit Hensel, Vice President Shared Value, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “This is good news because we can only reach our zero-emissions 2050 goal by collaborating with our customers, suppliers and peers.”
“We encourage all sectors to include freight and logistics in their efforts to combat climate change, to which the GLEC Framework contributes,” said Niclas Svenningsen, Manager of Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change. “The fashion sector is showing leadership as it commits to low-emissions logistics through the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.”
“The GLEC Framework has helped to align GHG emissions methodologies across modes” said Angie Farrag-Thibault, Director T&L and Collaboration at BSR and Program Director of the Clean Cargo Working Group. “Combining ocean freight data from Clean Cargo with data from other modes to calculate the total logistics footprint has never been easier! We are delighted to have achieved this goal collectively, with other initiatives accredited to the GLEC Framework.”
The GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting, version 2.0 is available to download at smartfreightcentre.org
In 2016 the first GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies has been released. Actions now are focused on adoption of the GLEC framework by companies and addressing gaps to refining modal default carbon footprint factors to further increase the accuracy of logistics emissions in global supply chains.
Concerning inland waterway freight transport, the existing framework provides a global default consumption factor with no further (regional) distinction between e.g. vessel types, sizes, (operational) power and load factors.
Therefore, SFC has the objective to integrate a more detailed methodology for inland waterways into the next update of the GLEC framework. This report provides the methodology used and process followed to establish updated GHG emission factors for Inland Water Transport, as planned, discussed and concluded within the GLEC IWW Action Group.
Calculating and reporting leads to a decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted per container despite an increase in total containers handled.
VRTO makes an excellent case for business to calculate and report their logistics emissions. After investing in new electrically-powered terminal equipment, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted per container has decreased despite the increase in total containers handled. VRTO was able to backtrack these business decisions by measuring their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Measuring and reporting their emissions, allows VRTO to set a baseline for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the coming years and base future decisions on actual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data.
Find out the latest case study about VRTO in the download attachments.
Navigating a Changing Climate Partner Smart Freight Centre recently published its reflections on the transport-related events its team attended at the recent COP in Bonn. See here for more information
On 1st December FEPORT published revised guidelines for container terminal operators providing advice and instruction on the elements to be included and excluded in reporting greenhouse gas emissions as part of terminal-level carbon footprinting and analyses. The EEEG guidelines, first published in 2012 were revised in cooperation with FEPORT’s Environment, Safety and Security Committee. Through the involvement of Navigating a Changing Climate Partner Smart Freight Centre these guidelines now take into consideration the latest developments in greenhouse gas account, including revised emissions factors, and will provide a base methodology for including container terminals alongside other transport modes in the forthcoming revision of the GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies.