Rustam Dosaev on Sustainable Practices: The Path to Green Shipping

The article deals with the issues of sustainable practices, advanced technologies and joint efforts of companies in the field of sustainable development, which modernize the transportation of goods across the world’s oceans. The best examples of the application of such developments in the world are displayed.

Relevance of sustainable shipping issues

Shipping, as a key component of global trade, has a significant impact on the carbon footprint and environmental situation on the planet. Experts predict that emissions from maritime transportation will increase from about 90% 2008 -2018 to 90-130% by 2050.

The Path to Green Shipping

Growing concerns about climate change and environmental degradation have stimulated a paradigm shift towards sustainable maritime transportation.

Green shipping encompasses a wide range of objectives that strategically prioritize the preservation of the environment, aquatic ecosystems and the ecological balance of the ocean, without the risk of reducing the volume of shipments.

At its core, green shipping aims to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and other harmful environmental impacts associated with traditional shipping methods. This includes reducing carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NO2) emissions, as well as eliminating the risk of oil spills and waste disposal. This includes efforts to utilize cleaner energy sources and introduce environmentally friendly energy efficient technologies such as wind turbines or solar panels.

Relevance of sustainable shipping issues

The shipping industry is increasingly implementing regulations at various levels aimed at controlling ship pollution, including management of water ballast discharge from ships, to prevent the transfer of non-endemic species of living organisms into the ecosystems of different regions. Consumers are increasingly taking environmental aspects and environmental responsibility into account when deciding on the choice of services. Adopting sustainable delivery methods helps corporations meet customer expectations and improve their brand reputation.

Green shipping practices contribute to the long-term viability of businesses by reducing operating costs, increasing efficiency and mitigating regulatory risks. By investing in sustainability, businesses strengthen their operations for the future and ensure continued success.

Key components of sustainable shipping include:

– Switching to alternative fuels – biofuels, hydrogen and natural gas – this approach significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

– Integration of technological advances and optimized container ship designs – promoting energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption.

– The use of electric and hybrid vehicles, wind-powered propulsion systems and other renewable resources makes ships more environmentally friendly by reducing emissions. These innovative technologies promise to be a key solution for more sustainable shipping in the future.

– Digitalization and smart shipping, the application of database-driven technology solutions for route optimization, cargo handling and operational efficiency.  The use of such innovations leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and pollutants during route fulfillment and forced downtime in ports.

– Developing initiatives in green ports, shore power plants and green cargo handling to minimize the impact on the ecosystem during port operations.

– Green packaging solutions. Green transportation extends beyond the ships to the delivery process. Companies are increasingly using environmentally friendly biodegradable and recyclable options.

– Joint efforts and correction of carbon and sulfur emissions. Many shipping partners are joining forces with conservation organizations and participating in carbon reduction proposals. By investing in renewable projects or conservation efforts, shipping businesses have the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions and work toward carbon neutrality.

In fostering the application of such significant innovative initiatives in the shipping industry, the collaboration of governments, industry organizations and stakeholders plays a key role. Their involvement facilitates the development and implementation of effective policies, laws and standards that encourage sustainable shipping. They also provide financial support and enable the development and dissemination of environmental technologies and solutions in the maritime industry. Overall, cooperation among all stakeholders contributes to improving the environmental performance of shipping and to the overall improvement of the world’s water resources.

Best practices in green shipping

In addition to regulatory frameworks and national policies, many industry partners have taken voluntary measures to address negative impacts on nature and promote sustainability more broadly. Corporate social responsibility offerings are becoming increasingly popular among leading industry players as they seek to improve their reputation while minimizing negative impacts on society and the environment.

One example is Maersk Line (Denmark), one of the world’s largest container transportation service providers. The company has set ambitious CO2 reduction targets, including the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The organization has invested large financial resources in energy-efficient container ships, implemented route and speed optimization measures, and launched efficient waterway methods that use crosswinds and currents to reduce fuel consumption. The “slow pass” strategy involves adjusting the ship’s speed to save fuel while meeting delivery deadlines.

Another example is CMA CGM. This French container shipping corporation has introduced a number of sustainability initiatives in recent years. These include utilizing alternative energy sources, developing ship designs with reduced pollution and increased energy efficiency. For instance, in 2020, the organization launched a container ship powered entirely by liquefied natural gas. Its subsidiary, Terminal Link, operates several sustainable terminals around the world that utilize electric cranes and low-emission vehicles. CMA CGM’s collaboration with IKEA has been innovative – together the two corporations have developed containers made from biodegradable paper and recycled plastic. The effectiveness of this project is obvious: such a design reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60% compared to traditional containers.

Another successful case was realized by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) – the Japanese shipping company has implemented a dual digital system that simulates ship operations and identifies opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce waste. MOL has invested in renewable energy by installing solar panels on several of its container ships to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The vessels were designed with energy-efficient innovations such as optimized hull shapes and propellers. MOL is currently collaborating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to produce an ammonia-powered vessel – which experts estimate will significantly reduce greenhouse gas levels.

Finally, a significant contribution to the development of green shipping was made by the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, which has made significant investments in eco-infrastructure. In 2020. Hapag-Lloyd announced plans to retrofit six of its large ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) that reduce sulfur emissions by up to 99%. The company aims to produce cleaner fuels by using synthetic fuels and carbon capture technologies. Hapag-Lloyd’s green finance system is actively working to attract investment in projects that aim to build environmental infrastructure to help achieve these goals.

These examples demonstrate how the shipping industry is actively pursuing green solutions, taking into account the importance of preserving the environment and reducing environmental impact. The implementation of sustainable shipping practices remains challenging, but progress is being made through a combination of regulatory frameworks, national policies and voluntary initiatives by the industry.


Fourth Greenhouse Gas Study 2020, 2020, , (

Ship-goes-in,, 09.2013, (

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