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31.05.2023 By: Christian Doepgen

Artikel Nummer: 45372

Biofuels or e-fuels?

Customers can choose the degree of sustainability. Hapag-Lloyd is set to let customers have a say concerning emissions reduction measures. Biofuels are a part of the services they can choose – even if they may not necessarily represent the ideal solution. Associations are calling for the use of e-fuels instead of LNG.

In May Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Naturschutzbund Deutschland, Nabu), amongst others, expressed harsh criticism of the German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd at the latter’s annual general meeting. Nabu director Leif Miller took exception to the fact that “Hapag-Lloyd continues to rely only on fossil energy, including LNG.”

In his opinion, the carrier’s climate-protection policies are falling behind industry standards. “Whilst other container shipping lines are increasingly moving in the direction of e-fuels, Hapag-Lloyd hasn’t made any such move yet so far.”

The Hamburg-based shipping line has now responded posthaste by adding another tool to its toolbox. On 4 May Hapag-Lloyd launched its ‘Ship Green’ initiative, which gives customers the option when booking online to opt directly for the climate-friendly shipping of their goods, saving either 25%, 50% or 100% of their contract’s CO2 emissions. Synthetic fuels aren’t the core element, however – rather, biofuels are.

In its press release on the subject the shipping line underlined the selective procurement of its biofuels, amongst other things. “The biodiesel we use comes exclusively from certified suppliers and is produced from waste or residual materials, including used cooking oils.”

Biofuels remain controversial

Shippers and freight forwarders who choose the option will receive a ‘Ship Green’ certificate showing the emissions saved every quarter.

Biofuels aren’t uncontroversial in the overall mix of climate protection measures, however. In Germany, for example, Greenpeace opposes the option. The organisation doesn’t consider biofuels to be effective tools, in the face of food shortages, low energy efficiency and the deforestation caused by monocultures required in production.


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