Charlotte Holst, Head of Communications and Sustainability

“The oceans are at the heart of our operations and are the workplace for our seafarers, who see plastic pollution first-hand every day. At Maersk Supply Service, we believe we have a responsibility to take care of the oceans, for example by minimising plastic waste. “

An environmental & social responsibility – and good business sense

According to the UN, every minute, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic is dumped into the oceans. It is estimated that there could now be up to 199 million tonnes of plastic currently floating in the seas.

The impact is far reaching, across ecosystems, habitats and species – and since the ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet, this can directly affect millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and health.

At Maersk Supply Service, we therefore see that we have both a responsibility and a vested interest in using our maritime capabilities and assets to address this environmental issue. The oceans have a key role to play in our society’s green transition, offering solutions that can responsibly meet our demand for energy and resources. So protecting and improving ocean health both makes good business sense by supporting the blue economy, and supports our wider society in line with our core company values.

A global environmental issue

Since 2018, Maersk Supply Service has been supporting The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit organisation developing plastic-harvesting technologies to rid the oceans and rivers of plastic. We are proud to be using our capabilities to facilitate this important project, by providing both the vessels to tow the ocean system, but also skilled, experienced and safety-oriented people who can project manage and optimise the maritime operation itself.

In autumn 2021, The Ocean Clean’s plastic-sweeping System 002 achieved proof of technology, with the Now ready for scale-up in 2023, this past year has seen the teams continue the ocean-cleaning mission, with 194 tonnes plastic removed from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to-date and fast, tangible progress in the execution and methodology.

Our internal focus

Since it can take centuries for plastic to break down, our focus is both on prevention and cure. On an internal level, Maersk Supply Service launched its Plastic Policy in 2020, laying out our commitments to:

  • Use our marine expertise to help find solutions to reduce ocean plastic
  • Avoid unnecessary plastic in our operations
  • Engage with our suppliers, partners and customers to find solutions to minimise plastic use

Since then, our plastic-reducing initiatives have seen us engaging with suppliers to install an additional 33 water filtration systems across our fleet, which has led to an estimated annual fleet-wide 75% reduction in bottled water consumption.

Tow & Install of the Ocean Cleaning System

Plastic Policy

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