This pledge was made on 23 August to the Elysée Palace, where shipping industry leaders met after invitation from Emmanuel Macron ahead the G7 meeting on 24-26 August. The French President was also accompanied by Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Labour Muriel Pénicaud, and Deputy Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson.
On this occasion, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, announced two major decisions as part of the company's commitment to environmental sustainability:
- the CMA CGM fleet will not use the Northern Sea Route: To avoid posing a greater threat to this fragile environment, Rodolphe Saadé has decided that none of the CMA CGM Group’s 500 vessels will use the Northern Sea Route along Siberia, which is now open due to climate change.
- the Group will give priority to LNG to power its future ships: CMA CGM has already revealed plans to use LNG power in its ultra-large 23,000 TEU container ships, to be delivered starting from 2020. By 2022, the Group will have 20 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet.
Rich in its unique and largely unexplored biodiversity, the Arctic plays an essential role in regulating ocean currents and global climate patterns. The use of the Northern Sea Route will represent a significant danger to the unique natural ecosystems of this part of the world, mainly due to the numerous threats posed by accidents, oil pollution or collisions with marine wildlife,
...the company noted.
During the meeting, Mr. Saadé also delivered to the President of France, on behalf of the maritime industry, the SAILS (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low-impact Shipping) Charter, formalized on the initiative of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
Through this charter, the ten French signatory shipping companies, all members of Armateurs de France, commit to implementing specific actions in the reduction of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, whale protection, vessel energy optimization and performance, and strengthening of relations with the scientific community.
We make these choices to meet the needs of our employees and our customers, who are increasingly concerned about the environment. But above all, we make these decisions for the future, to leave our children a cleaner planet. These are brave, bold choices, which go far beyond purely business decisions,
...stated Mr. Saadé.
Between 2005 and 2015, CMA CGM has reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported by 50% and has a target to further reduce these emissions by a further 30% by 2025.