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Major Retailers Launch Zero-Emission Shipping Tender

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1204
September 13, 2023

The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) has launched a tender inviting shipping lines to bid on the transportation of containers on ships powered by zero-emission fuels.

A Request for Proposal covers the equivalent of 600,000 TEUs over a three-year period starting in 2025.

ZEMBA, whose members include some of the world’s largest retailers such as Amazon, IKEA, and Nike, described the tender as the first major buyer-led initiative to accelerate the transition to zero-emission maritime fuels.

The tender could help ZEMBA participating companies reduce nearly 1 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions from the supply chain, equivalent to taking 215,000 cars off the road.

ZEMBA is a nonprofit membership organization launched in March by the Aspen Institute, Amazon, Patagonia, and Tchibo. For this first tender, it has secured commitments from more than 20 members, including: Amazon, Bauhaus, Brooks Running, Chewy, Electrolux Group, Flexport, Green Worldwide Shipping, IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co., lululemon, Meta, Moose Toys, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Philips, Schneider Electric, Sport-Thieme and Tchibo.

The RFP seeks bids for shipping services from individual carriers or consortiums that can achieve at least a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels on a lifecycle basis. Fuel choice will address safety and land use concerns, particularly those that relate to biogenic substances. Shipping lines will have until 2025 to meet the criteria.

Lifecycle emissions will be validated using in-sector book-and-claim approaches to assure highly credible emissions reductions. ZEMBA says it will work to negotiate a “green premium” with bidders to account for the added cost of operating a vessel using zero-emission fuels.

The RFP was developed in association with partners from classification society Lloyd’s Register, Neoteric Energy and Climate LLC, a specialized climate and energy advisory firm.

“This RfP is a significant milestone toward a zero-emission maritime future,” said Ingrid Irigoyen, President and CEO of ZEMBA. “With over 20 climate-leading companies engaging in ZEMBA’s inaugural tender process, and more to come, we’re building the business case for a surge of investment in zero-emission maritime solutions, including new fuels and technologies that are not yet commercially available. Real leadership means taking action to solve problems, even the most challenging, and being willing to try innovative approaches. Advanced market commitments can be a game changer for harder-to-abate sectors like ocean shipping. I applaud our ZEMBA members for their leadership.”

ZEMBA’s member company’s have committed to an ambition of exclusively using zero-emission shipping for ocean freight by 2040.

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