UCL Energy Institute


Retail giants commit to fully decarbonise shipping supply chains by 2040

19 October 2021

New collaborative cargo owner-led network, supported by UCL Energy Institute researchers, sees climate-forward brands announcing target to switch ocean freight to zero-carbon fuels.

Blue and red cargo ship on the sea during daytime

Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, IKEA, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo, and Unilever are the first signatories to a 2040 ambition statement facilitated by Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV). 

Zero-carbon fuels refers to fuels that have zero greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis, are sufficiently scalable to decarbonize the entire shipping industry, and for which safety and land use concerns have been addressed. 

The ambition statement sends an important demand signal to the maritime value chain and bunker fuel producers that freight customers want zero-carbon shipping and they expect the industry to rapidly accelerate its decarbonization efforts in the years ahead.

The statement also signals new interest by public-facing and climate-leading consumer goods companies and retailers to work collaboratively, deploy their capacities for innovation, and drive economies of scale to foster an economically viable marketplace for zero-carbon shipping.

The coZEV signatories to the 2040 Ambition Statement are also calling on policymakers around the world to take swift and ambitious action to advance maritime shipping decarbonization — in their domestic, regional, and international leadership capacities, recognizing that market forces alone will not bring these solutions to scale.

The coZEV network is supported by UMAS, a sector focussed, commercial advisory service that draws upon the world leading expertise of the Shipping Team at UCL Energy Institute combined with the advisory and management system expertise of UMAS International Ltd.

Dr Nishatabbas Rehmatulla, Principal Research Fellow at UCL Energy Institute and Principal Consultant at UMAS said:

Yet again, private stakeholders have gone further and faster than policy makers in their efforts to decarbonise shipping. This statement and the actions that follow send a clear signal to the rest of the sector that zero carbon shipping is here and now. Regulators, national and international, and other stakeholders risk losing legitimacy and relevance if they move too slow. Zero by 2040 is imperative and genuine action must be taken now.”