Amazon, IKEA and other major brands invite bids for zero-emission shipping

Date: Thursday, September 14th, 2023
Source: Splash 247

An alliance of freight buyers that includes e-commerce giant Amazon and the world’s largest furniture retailer IKEA has invited shipping lines to place their bids to move 600,000 containers over a three-year period on ships that offer a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels on a lifecycle basis.

The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA), an initiative of Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) facilitated by the Aspen Institute, said the first major buyer-led move to speed up the transition to zero-emission shipping fuels will help its members reduce nearly 1m metric tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 215,000 cars off the road.

Delivery of shipping services powered by new, cleaner fuels is anticipated in 2025. As part of the bidding process, ZEMBA requests vessel and fuel assurances from bidders and third-party verification of the emissions reduction its members can claim.

ZEMBA was launched as a nonprofit membership organization in March 2023 by the Aspen Institute, Amazon, clothing firm Patagonia and German coffee chain Tchibo to realise the ambition of zero-emission ocean shipping by 2040.

For this first tender, ZEMBA has secured more than 20 members, including Amazon, IKEA, Bauhaus, Brooks Running, Chewy, Electrolux Group, Flexport, Green Worldwide Shipping, Levi Strauss & Co., lululemon, Meta, Moose Toys, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Philips, Schneider Electric, Sport-Thieme and Tchibo.

“Maritime shipping is an essential service for global companies like Amazon, and we urgently need this sector to make clean fuel investments to reach our climate goals,” said Adam Baker, vice president of global transportation at Amazon.

Eric Leveridge, Ship It Zero lead at Pacific Environment, commended the move by saying: “We congratulate Amazon, IKEA, Patagonia and the Aspen Institute for spurring the shipping industry towards decarbonization, and call on Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s and all major retailers to join this important alliance. With the highest temperatures ever recorded in 2023, the time is now to commit to zero-emission shipping. The UN has warned us that the window is ‘rapidly closing’ to meet our climate goals and retailers must do their part by choosing to ship their goods on zero-emission ships by 2030.”

Applauding ZEMBA’s call for bids international not-for-profit organisation Global Maritime Forum, said: “Shipping plays a pivotal role in the global economy and this first-of-its-kind request for proposals sends a strong signal that the entire value chain needs to come together to decarbonise the sector.”

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