AP Møller-Maersk is again driving its environmental strategy by helping to clean up the world’s oceans by extending its partnership with The Ocean Cleanup for three more years
Its subsidiary Maersk Supply Service will provide marine support to efforts to remove plastic waste from oceans, providing a flotilla of vessels. AP Møller-Maersk will also support The Ocean Cleanup with end-to-end handling services, warehousing, container and special transport.
At the same time, Maersk Supply Service has launched a plastic policy to reduce plastic waste from its own operations and supply chain.
Maersk Supply Service has supported The Ocean Cleanup since 2018 with anchor handlers Maersk Launcher, Maersk Transporter, Maersk Handler and crew supporting test phases of the offshore operation in the Pacific Ocean and the North Sea. In Q4 2020, the first collected plastic waste was turned into fully recycled products.
Maersk Supply Service chief executive Steen Karstensen said the company was committed to ensuring the oceans remain a healthy environment for future generations.
“Our seafarers sail the ocean every day and see the increasing problem with plastic polluting our seas,” he said. “We look forward to continuing the collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup and providing project management and marine support over the coming years,” Mr Karstensen confirmed.
He said his company will make a difference through collaboration. “A great takeaway from the collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup is the willingness people have to find solutions that are both impactful for the marine industry and are better for the environment,” he said.
Maersk group’s efforts with The Ocean Cleanup will go beyond Maersk Supply Service as it will support logistics ranging from worldwide shipments to airfreight, container and special transport, customs clearance, warehouse and storage management.
“As a responsible maritime operator, we are committed to ensuring the oceans can remain a healthy environment for generations to come,” said Maersk vice president for corporate communications and sustainability Mette Refshauge. “We are therefore very pleased to not just prolong, but broaden the partnership agreement initiated back in 2018,” she said. “We will have a transport and supply chain manager fully embedded in The Ocean Cleanup´s office in Rotterdam,” Ms Refshauge added.
This manager will engage with the full range of Maersk’s supply chain and transport services globally. “And will help The Ocean Cleanup to develop their own supply chain management capacity over time,” said Ms Refshauge.
As part of the agreement, Maersk will also assist The Ocean Cleanup in deploying scientific sensor technology aboard Maersk’s own fleet to map plastic floating in the oceans to help the organisation gain a better understanding of the severity of the problem it is working to solve.
“Maersk’s support over the last three years has been invaluable to furthering our mission,” said The Ocean Cleanup director of science and operations Lonneke Holierhoek. “This contribution to our mission will not only help us clean more plastic from the ocean, but it will help us to effectively deploy more Interceptors river cleaning systems, and develop our next products made of certified plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” she said.
The Ocean Cleanup introduced the Interceptor, to extract plastic in rivers before reaching the ocean, in 2019.
Maersk Supply Service’s commitment has been strengthened by introducing a plastic policy to reduce waste. This has three navigating principles: to use marine expertise to develop solutions to remove plastic waste; to avoid unnecessary plastics in operations; and to engage with suppliers, partners, customers and employees to find solutions to minimise plastic use.
Maersk Supply Service will be transparent about its results and learnings. “With the new plastic policy, we commit to how we will work to reduce our plastic footprint and actively take part in solving this global environmental problem,” said Mr Karstensen. “We will do this in partnerships and close collaboration – with our employees, suppliers, partners, customers and industry peers.”
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