Cargill launches innovation competition to cut shipping sector emissions
Food and agricultural company Cargill has called on businesses to innovate, develop and scale new technologies with the potential to reduce the shipping sector's gross CO2 emissions by 10%.
The firm, which relies on shipping as it operates in 70 countries globally, has launched a competition which will see businesses and entrepreneurs given funding to help them assess, test and scale innovations aimed at decarbonising the notoriously carbon-heavy sector.
The CO2 Challenge, run as part of a new partnership between Cargill and risk management firm DNV GL, will also provide researchers with technical expertise and help them create models to measure potential efficiency gains.
Cargill’s ocean transportation president, Jan Dieleman, said the move was the “start of an exciting journey” for the shipping sector, which currently represents 2-3% of global CO2 emissions.
“By taking this innovative approach, we hope to uncover new technologies, new ideas and new ways of working to help our industry meet the challenge of decarbonisation and reduce its impact on global warming,” Dieleman said.
“Applicants have a unique opportunity to see their product make it onto a vessel and, hopefully, into wider commercial production.”
The competition follows Cargill’s own commitment to reduce its CO2e emissions per cargo-ton-mile by 15% by 2020, against a 2010 baseline.
Dieleman said that because the firm is “on track” to meet its own carbon pledge, it is now seeking to drive sector-wide change and contribute to the United Nations’ (UN) target to halve shipping emissions by 2050, against a 2008 baseline.
As moves are made to decarbonise the power sector, transport has time and time again been highlighted as an industry where green progress continues to be slow.
However, businesses have made numerous commitments to make the shipping sector more sustainable in recent times, with six corporations this month announcing they would lead a new UN initiative to help the private sector tackle ocean issues including overfishing, marine litter and acidification.
The coalition pledged through membership to the UN’s Global Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business to re-evaluate their products, services and business models to negate harmful impacts on ocean ecosystems.
The companies have additionally committed to contribute to the restoration of ocean ecosystems in a bid to meet the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 14 - conserve and sustainably use the oceans - which includes significantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds by 2025.