Singapore-based Swire Shipping has set itself an ambitious target of reducing its greenhouse gas footprint to net zero, preferably well before 2050.

Cutting out emissions that cause global warming is required for its very existence.

"For the countries we serve in the South Pacific, global warming is not an existential problem. They are in danger of disappearing under water," managing director James Woodrow said at a recent conference in Singapore.

Simon Bennett, general manager for sustainable development at China Navigation Co, Swire Shipping and Swire Pacific Offshore.