WWL Highlights Sustainability Strategy Amid Challenging Market

Thursday January 5, 2017

Anna Larsson, Head of Sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) says the company's sustainability strategy, which is being implemented in the context of a challenging shipping market, combines both WWL's long-term vision and the company's immediate-term targets.

"We work proactively to find and adopt new technologies and start preparing for legislation early. This reduces our business risk and facilitates compliance with legislation, reducing implementation costs and risks," Larsson told Future Ready Singapore, noting that the industry is facing increasing pressure to reduce emissions amid a lack of cleaner energy sources.

Larsson's comments comes on the heels of news that WWL's environmental initiatives have earned the company the SEC-CDL Outstanding Singapore Environmental Achievement Award and the SEC-MPA Singapore Environmental Achievement Award (Maritime).

As Ship & Bunker reported in May, in response to what it says is a lack of global coverage of more stringent Emission Control Area (ECA) regulations, WWL announced that it had launched a new policy that requires all of its vessels to utilise bunkers with a less than 0.1 percent sulfur content, or an equivalent method of compliance, while at berth in any port around the world.

"If we can run at 0.1 sulfur in Europe and North America, there’s no reason for us not to operate in the same way in all ports. Human health is worth the same everywhere," said Larsson.

Larsson notes that, prior to the company's latest policy for sulfur content in bunkers, WWL had already been utilising a voluntary low sulfur policy, burning bunkers with sulfur contents of 1.5 percent or less over the past 12 years, while industry norms sat at 2.7 percent.

In light of the coming 0.50 percent global cap on sulfur in bunkers, WWL is said to be researching different fuel mixes and fuel types in order to meet industry demand for effective alternatives to HFO.

"We’re investigating how we can best operate on different fuels and energy sources, and how we can fulfil (international) regulations by using scrubbers, for example," explains Larsson.

WWL also intends to develop and test low sulfur and hybrid fuels with Exxon, and has been urging authorities to enforce regulations on sulfur content through the Trident Alliance, an industry orginsation that is chaired by Larsson.

Through working with various partners to optimise efficient shipping operations, WWL is said to have reduced its CO2 per unit transported by approximately 20 percent since 2005.

In June, Ship & Bunker reported that Larsson had said that "environmental regulations, properly enforced to ensure a level playing field, are a competitive advantage and not a liability for a country."