Hitting the High Seas with the GLEC Framework

16 June 2020 - Biofuels trial for BMW's sea transport for car carriers calculates 400 tonnes carbon reductions using the GLEC Framework

More than 60 multinationals are using the GLEC Framework to calculate their logistics emissions. What do they use these calculations for? Obviously to report emissions to customers, the public and other external stakeholders. But the real benefit comes from being able to assess how much impact different solutions (individually or as part of a company’s roadmap) have on reducing the carbon footprint. We’ve seen this done by logistics service provider OIA Global who reduced 43% of CO2e through better packaging of shoes for a global retailer. And by BDP International, who worked out that taking alternative routes to transport goods for their customer FMC could reduce emissions by up to 38% -- without increasing costs!

Smart Freight Centre is now partnering with other programs to make both emissions as well as realized reductions more transparent and reliable. Let’s zoom into sea freight this time. Clean Cargo, the buyer-supplier platform for maritime freight that covers 80% of global container cargo, calculates emissions for its members in line with the GLEC Framework. The Global Maritime Forum is a strategic partner of the GLEC partnership and together we’re developing guidelines to calculate emissions from bulk shipping. We joined their Getting to Zero Coalition that aims to switch to zero emissions ships by 2030 as announced by the last September at the New York Climate Summit.

But we should also do anything we can to reduce emissions today. Here comes the GoodShipping Program that supports companies to reduce their sea freight CO2e emissions by using biofuels blended in with traditional bunker fuels. This Bio Fuel Oil (BFO) is made from used cooking oil, which virtually eliminates Sulphur emissions and reduces CO2e emissions by up to 90% compared to fossil fuels. As you might know, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations tightened the Sulphur limit in ship’s fuel oil since 1 January 2020, and set an industry target of 40% CO2e intensity reductions by 2030 compared to 2008. So there is a real incentive for companies to act now!

They started a trial with BMW to test marine BFO on the “roll-on-roll-off” vessels used by shipowner UECC to transport cars between the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. CO2e emissions will be decreased by 400 tonnes from March-July 2020, and further reductions are expected as BFO continues to be delivered to UECC after the trial period. Both the baseline and the expected emission reductions were calculated using the GLEC Framework.

A new GLEC project focuses on improving the calculation of emissions from alternative fuels, and while the initial focus is on road freight, there is a similar need for marine shipping.

The more companies and programs switch to using the GLEC Framework, the more reliable and comparable claimed reductions will be. What are you waiting for?


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