MSC has hit back at a report by non-profit Transport and Environment (T&E) claiming the shipping behemoth has joined the EU’s list of top 10 polluters, saying the report “does not offer a complete assessment of our role and impact” in emissions
The box ship operator said that it was “vital” that the raw data reported in the European Union (EU) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system is analysed “accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions”.
MSC said that the report offers an incomplete analysis of these data and does not give an accurate picture of the emissions from the shipping sector.
A statement adds that “In particular, the T&E analysis fails to take a number of operational aspects of MSC’s services fully into account, and thus does not offer a complete assessment of our role and impact in terms of emissions.
“Furthermore, CO2 emissions should be compared on an equal basis. The analysis by T&E focuses on emissions in the EU and, if it is to be fully comparable across shipping lines and industries, should only take into account emissions which actually occurred in the geographical area of the EU.”
According to an MSC analysis of its own operational records, only 40-45% of the 11M tons of emissions reported in the MRV were actually in the EU. To accurately assess MSC’s role in the decarbonisation of shipping, the company says that it is vital to take the following points into account: Shipowners are mandated to report consumption and CO2 emission data for voyages starting and terminating in EU ports (including voyages between EU ports).
These emissions are calculated based on the last port of call before entering EU or the first port of call after leaving EU. As an example, a ship carrying fruits from the Caribbean to Northern Europe and back needs to report emissions for the whole distance of the trip, even though only part of it takes place in the EU. As a result, the actual emissions in the EU for this particular ship may be up to 65% less than is recorded in the MRV. “This is particularly relevant for a global company such as MSC, which operates in all the world’s major shipping lanes,” MSC states.
MSC performs its own feedering services, which means these vessels are also included in its total carbon footprint. MSC explains “These smaller feeder vessels transfer containers between larger ships and smaller ports. Other carriers using third party feeders are not held accountable for those emissions. By outsourcing such services, container lines are able to report much lower emission figures, as it is the shipowners’ responsibility to report the emissions in the MRV.”
MSC said that the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) ”gives a reliable indication of a ship’s environmental performance and the ratio of CO2 emissions per ton of cargo MSC moves is among the lowest in the industry”.
The T&E report ranks MSC as the third most efficient shipping line based on real-world operational efficiency. But MSC said “the figure 19.92 included in the report differs significantly from MSC’s own data produced using third-party verified methodology. The global EEOI figure for MSC in 2018 was 14.56 indicating that the gap between this verified figure and the one included in the report is unrealistic. Based on this MSC could rank even higher in the efficiency scale,” the company said.