In its latest Environmental Sustainability Report, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics reports that it is on track to reduce its “relative greenhouse gas emissions” by 30% by 2015 compared to 2005, through improvements in fleet use, energy efficiency and new vessels. The latter point includes the use of larger ships, as the company took delivery of its latest vessel in March, a 7,800-unit large car and truck carrier (LCTC) called the M/V Titania.

In the report WWL reveals that in 2011 relative CO2 emissions in grams per tonne/per km were reduced by 4% compared to 2010. The report also shows the latest results of its global low-sulphur fuel policy, which the company says has allowed it to eliminate 167,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions between 2000 and 2011. It is the eighth year in a row that WWL has kept its average global sulphur content of bunker fuel below 1.5%, according to the report.

However, the company’s president and CEO, Arild B. Iversen recognised that while WWL’s efforts to cut emissions and increase efficiency through investment in new vessel design and technology had kept it one step ahead of environmental regulations, the company had to go further to adjust to “this new reality”.

That new reality includes the designation of emission control areas that will mandate the use of 0.1% sulphur fuel in most European waters by 2015. Annex VI, which concentrates on air pollution, set limits on sulphur oxide (SOx) and NOx emissions from ship exhausts as well as setting out aims to cut particulate matter emissions by 80%.

From August this year, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will enforce the same emissions standards on waters off the North American coasts aimed at reducing air pollution. The same will apply to Caribbean waters from the beginning of 2014.

WWL said that both measures will increase fuel costs for operators significantly.

The new Mark V vessels that WWL is bringing into operation this year use 15-20% less fuel per unit transported than the previous Mark IV vessels thanks to a streamlined hull design and advanced turbo generators that produce electricity from exhaust heat. The generators also reduce emissions of SOx and CO2 by 5%. At the same time, the vessels have a 50,000+ square metres of deck area with a 500 tonne capacity stern ramp, making them the largest of their kind.

As mentioned, the latest WWL vessel to go into use is the M/V Titania, the latest of 11 new builds, including four Mark V vessels, being delivered from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Engineering as part of a fleet rejuvenation programme the company began during the height of the recession in 2008 when it took 19 vessels out of circulation and into cold lay-up. Half of them were subsequently recycled in order to make room for the next generation of vessels.

The Titania has just entered operation on WWL’s ‘round the world’ trade route, starting in Asia, carrying a mix of passenger vehicles and rolling equipment according to a company spokesperson. This year the company will receive two Mark V and four PCTC (pure car and truck carrier) vessels, of which the Titania is one, bringing the total to four Mark Vs and seven PCTCs delivered by the end of 2012.

WWL’s sustainability report for 2011 also includes reference to its Castor Green Terminal concept, aimed at reducing emissions on land. Last year the company challenged its employees to find processes, produces or locations where the standards aimed at by the Castor Green concept could apply and the report details the winning proposals from 116 submissions from 250 employees across the world. These include, from Canada, the use of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines to generate energy for terminals and a proposal from Australia to set up mobile battery charging stations using solar power for renewable energy within the terminal yard to limit unnecessary movements.

The winning proposals will be implemented and shared as best practices with WWL’s Ways of Working industrial management programme.