Cargill has hailed its successful focus on sustainable shipping as it announced further reductions in emissions from its time-chartered fleet in 2018.

In its second annual corporate responsibility report, the trading giant revealed a 3.6% cut in the amount of CO2 grammes emitted per cargo-ton-mile, compared to 2017.

The company saved 350,000 tons of CO2 as a result.

Cargill has now achieved a 12% reduction versus its 2016 baseline and remains on course to meet its 2020 target of 15%, the company said.

"The improvement was made possible by the company’s chartering policy and improved operational efficiency," it added.

It has already exceeded one of its 2020 targets by achieving 82% of its fleet rated as A to D on RightShip’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission index.

Tech drive continues

In 2017, Cargill asked third-parties for solutions to cut a single vessel's GHG emissions by 10%.

More than 180 companies applied to its CO2 Challenge and Cargill is working with those shortlisted to model new techniques in wind propulsion, combustion-enhancing technology, air lubrication and waste heat recovery.

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s ocean transportation business, said: “Our fleet is more efficient and safer than ever before.

"In 2018, we were able to transport the same amount of cargo over the same distance using less of the planet’s natural resources. While we are pleased with the progress, we know it’s not enough.

"The effects of climate change are on our doorstep and we must do more."

Safety record boosted

Turning to safety, it said the average RightShip risk rating of Cargill’s fleet improved by 5% despite an overall increase in the number of vessels employed.

Dieleman also said the company is recruiting for a new position of safety officer to help boost this further, as well as the well-being of its crews.

"We had conversations with ship operators about crew conditions," he added.

He added: “Our progress in areas such as seafarer well-being and better supplier management is encouraging.

"We will continue to work hard to realise sustained positive change."

In terms of diversity, Dieleman said a small improvement had been seen regarding gender in its leadership.

He added: "We cannot achieve our targets without the support of our business partners. This year, we began defining a comprehensive approach to more strategic relationships with shipowners and operators to increase transparency and accountability.

"In the future, this will help us more strongly influence practices that protect seafarers and raise energy efficiency."

Dieleman concluded: "The challenges to make the shipping industry fully sustainable are considerable. Yet I am optimistic that it can be done.

"This year has shown us that an innovative spirit, open partnerships and steady progress can help us chart a new course and reach our long-term goals."