Leadership stories


For Hapag-Lloyd, sustainability is more than just climate protection, as it also comprises ecological, economic, social and qualitative concerns in equal measure – for both today and future generations. This is supplemented by the company’s Global Code of Ethics, which supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Sustainability is a marathon rather than a 100-metre sprint, and we have to bring all relevant parties along on this journey. Despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis, we will continue to focus on additional improvements, including technological and digital innovations as well as further reductions in the emissions of our fleet."
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO Hapag-Lloyd

Report and set targets

  • Reports emissions using the GLEC Framework through the Clean Cargo initiative for container shipping.
  • Allows customers to calculate the emissions of their container transport from the beginning to the end of the journey using an online EcoCalc tool that makes use of Clean Cargo and EcoTransIT World data, and covers CO2 emissions.
  • Sets a CO2 emissions-reduction target of 20% per TEU-km for 2020 compared to 2016 – a reduction of around 17% was already achieved in 2019. This comes on top of reductions made in the past: In 2018, emissions per TEU-km were 50% lower than in 2008.
  • Sets objectives in line with the combined ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications which are valid for all activities of the door-to-door transport chain.


  • Specifies that newly-built ships meet the latest technical-efficiency and environmental standards, which is assessed using the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index). The EEDI establishes a relationship between engine output, specific fuel consumption and CO2 factor with the capacity and speed of the ship.
  • Reduces water resistance by developing ship-specific biofouling-management plans and optimizing the hydrodynamic design of the ships’ bulbous bow and propellers. A new digital tool measuring water resistance resulting from biofouling more effectively allows us to remove it much faster. This has resulted in energy (fuel) savings of around 9%. In 2019, 33 ships underwent this cleaning.
  • Bunkers low-emission biofuel – the so-called ‘B20’ fuel – to reduce CO2 emissions. This fuel consists of 80% low-sulphur fuel oil and 20% biodiesel based on cooking oils and fats that had previously been used in the food service/catering sector. This low-emission biofuel generates up to 90% less CO2 emissions than conventional fuels.
  • Implements numerous other measures with a positive effect on reducing CO2 emissions, such as the use of larger, more efficient ships; the introduction of digital solutions; improved routing and planning along the entire transport chain; measures to more efficiently use container slots on board; and training of the Board Management team to improve energy efficiency on ships.


  • Collaborates with various environmental non-profit organisations and initiatives, including several relevant to climate: Clean Cargo, Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) and the TRIDENT Alliance.
  • Actively involved in dialogue with the scientific community, such as via a partnership with the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) at the Kühne Logistics University or within the context of the Clean Cargo initiative.
  • Supports the objectives of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the World Shipping Council (WSC) and the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) for the reduction of CO2 emissions in their ongoing negotiations with the IMO and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
About Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading shipping companies, offering container transport by sea as well as door-to-door transport. The company has a fleet of 239 ships transporting 12 million TEU per year, and has offices in 129 countries. Find out more on www.hapag-lloyd.com


Hapag Lloyd’s sustainability webpages

Hapag Lloyd’s Sustainability Report 2019

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