Mersk’s move to reduce its carbon footprint comes in the wake of pressure exerted by some of its biggest customers. These are in a similar process, against the background of rising public criticism. According to Marsque, more than half of its largest customers, about 100 in number – including Amazon, Disney, Microsoft and H&M – have set or are in the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains.
And yet, there is a long way to go. A report released last month, which relied on data from 2019, ranked the most polluting retailers in terms of greenhouse gas emissions generated as a result of their marine shipping volumes. Food Doll and Home Depot IKEA and Amazon are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, followed by Samsung and Nike.
The head of the sustainability department at the H&M fashion group, Leila Artur, said in response to the Marsque announcement that its investment in large vessels operating on green methanol is an “important innovative step in supporting the retail climate goals” to become climatically neutral by 2030 and positive by 2040.
In February this year, Mersk announced that it was accelerating the timetable for moving to green ships by seven years, previously set for 2030. “Customer demand plays a significant role in our decision to do so now,” said Lee Kindberg, head of Mersk’s North America Sustainability Department, noting that Mersk is working closely with some of its largest customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The website The Verge reports that as part of its efforts to achieve the goal, Smash has partnered with vehicle manufacturer BMW, H&M and Levi Strauss to develop sustainable fuels for ships. “For many companies, most emissions are in the value chain, so they cannot reliably present their climate leadership without addressing these emissions, as well as emissions in all their activities,” Cynthia Kamis, senior at the Global Resources Institute and co-founder of the EU-sponsored venture, was quoted as saying. M, which helps businesses develop goals to reduce their carbon footprint.