Svitzer aims to be fully carbon neutral by 2040

Written by Nick Blenkey
Svitzer aims to be carbon neutral by 2040

Svitzer's decarbonization strategy aims to see the company become fully carbon neutral by 2040

Leading towage operator Svitzer, which operates 435 vessels in 32 countries, today unveiled a decarbonization strategy that aims to see the company become fully carbon neutral by 2040.

The two-stage strategy will firstly see Svitzer aim to reduce the CO2 intensity of its entire fleet by 50% by 2030. This will pave the way for fully carbon neutral operations just ten years’ later in 2040, which is in line with the ambition of Svitzer’s parent A.P. Moller Maersk group.

As part of the strategy, Svitzer says it will invest time and capital to embed sustainability throughout its business, in day-to-day operations, in people and how they do their jobs, in its fleet and through the types of fuel used by its vessels.

Svitzer will measure progress against a 2020 baseline, which saw the company’s fleet emit 280,000 tonnes of CO2, or the same amount as 110,000 cars.

Svitzer has already implemented process changes to help spur improved efficiency across its fleet. For example, the company’s “Aim for 8” initiative – which asks crew to optimize their speed during tug mobilization and demobilization – has saved over 255 tonnes of Marine Gas Oil (diesel) in the U.K. alone.

Initiatives like these which influence the behavior of Svitzer’s staff, combined with improved vessel connectivity, integrated performance monitoring across the company’s fleet and improvements to scheduling optimization, will help drive down emissions in the short term.

Svitzer will also focus on changing the fuel mix of its fleet. The success of the organization’s EcoTow project, which has seen Svitzer’s entire fleets in London, Felixstowe, and Southampton switch to low carbon biofuels, is currently being replicated more widely across ports in the U.K. and to the company’s global operations. Svitzer will also begin to explore methanol as a fuel for towage and, in the long-term, take required steps to retrofit and renew its fleet in order to operate on low carbon fuel solutions.

Finally, Svitzer will focus on improving the efficiency of its fleet from a design perspective. As part of this, the company will launch its new and innovative TRAnsverse Tug design, which can generate higher steering forces than most designs of similar dimensions in a smaller, more nimble package with a reduced environmental footprint. The Robert Allan design will come into operation from third quarter 2023.

“We are proud to unveil our strategy to become fully carbon neutral by 2040,” said Svitzer CEO Kasper Nilaus. “We are not committing to these ambitions lightly and understand that it will require leadership and collaboration with our customers, suppliers, industry peers, and ports around the world to ensure success. Widespread changes and investment into the way we work, the fuel we burn, and the composition of our fleet will be required”

Gareth Prowse, head of decarbonization at Svitzer, added: “The decarbonization strategy we are launching today is ambitious and sets a clear roadmap for Svitzer but, most importantly, it is absolutely achievable if we focus on the right areas to generate real progress. That is why we have split our strategy into three pillars: behavior, equipment, and fuel, and we will focus on each of these in a step change fashion to bring about carbon neutrality in a way that works for our customers and maintains the high level of service Svitzer is known for.”

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