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Sustainable Business

Understand social and environmental obligations and opportunities.

COP26: How green shipping could impact your business

While the dust still settles on COP26, business are attempting to digest what the conference means for them. After two weeks of speeches, negotiations and commitments, one of the many elements that emerged from COP26 is the push to create a greener shipping industry, which, indirectly is likely to impact all sizes of business.
By Hugh Williams,

How will COP26 impact the shipping industry?

 The conference in Glasgow saw more than 200 organisations linked to the shipping industry commit to scaling and commercialising zero-emission shipping vessels and fuels by the end of the decade. These organisations also called on governments to create regulations and infrastructure which could enable a full transition to net-zero shipping by 2050. Leading bodies, including the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the UN Global Compact also committed to join forces to help workers transition to a zero-emission shipping industry. This will be achieved by supporting the learning of new skills and the creation of new, quality jobs.

In addition, 19 countries signed the Clydebank Declaration to support the establishment of zero-emission shipping routes, which aims to create at least six zero-emissions maritime corridors by 2025, and many more by 2030. Plans for these routes are thought to include the major container shipping route from Asia to Europe.

What does greener shipping mean for your business?

If you run a business which relies on the import or export of components or goods which are sent along one of the new zero-emission shipping routes, then the Clydebank Declaration means you will be able to lower your emissions associated with distribution of goods. This reduction will allow you to make progress towards your broader carbon emission reduction goals.

For many businesses, the emissions from their distribution of goods makes up a significant proportion of emissions within their supply chain. This means that if they can reduce emissions associated with distribution of goods, they will take a significant step to lowering their overall carbon footprints.  

Innovation in zero-emission shipping fuel, and ambitions to boost training and job creation in sustainable shipping, are also exciting developments to come out of COP26. These moves will allow green shipping to scale. This will mean that the benefits of improving shipping’s sustainability will soon be felt by all businesses using shipping as a distribution method, not just those operating on zero-emission shipping routes. At that point, more businesses will be able to leverage green shipping as a means of reducing their carbon footprint.

How can SWLEP support you?

SWLEP’s Growth Hub offers fully funded 1-to-1 sessions to build your green strategy, in addition to other, more general, business support. That means we can work with your business to help you understand whether shipping could play a role in your carbon reduction strategy.

We can also look at your wider transportation and distribution strategy to assess how it can be adjusted to help you reach your carbon reduction goals. This could be through assessing the use of alternative distribution methods to lower your carbon footprint, such as e-cargo bikes and electric vans. Our service will also highlight any financial support available to accessing these modes of transport.

Distribution of goods often makes up a huge proportion of a business’ carbon footprint. Creating a carbon reduction strategy now can help you take significant strides towards your environmental goals.

To organise your free green advice session, please get in touch with Hugh Williams, our Business Navigator for the Green Agenda. [email protected] or call 01249 477287.