International freight forwarder EV Cargo Global Forwarding has joined some of the world’s leading companies in pledging to protect the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
The Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge invites companies to avoid intentionally routing ships or sending goods through the region as part of a potential new global trans-shipment route.
EV Cargo Global Forwarding’s decision to sign up is part of its ongoing “Doing well by doing good” Environmental, Social and Governance strategy, which focuses on air, sea and community. It feeds into EV Cargo’s wider values on sustainability where it aims to minimise the environmental impact of its global operations.
The decision is in response to an increasing use of shipping and tourist routes along the Russian and Canadian Arctic coasts, made possible by a rapid decline in sea ice and the use of ice-breaker vessels.
Major shipping companies such as Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd & Hudson Shipping Lines as well as global freight forwarders such as Kuehne + Nagel have promised their support, while retailers including H&M Group, GAP, Ralph Lauren, asos and Puma have also signed-up.
Clyde Buntrock, EV Cargo Global Forwarding chief executive, said: “Sustainability is a key focus for EV Cargo and this pledge is the latest commitment to our ESG strategy. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and last year sea ice declined to its second-lowest minimum on record.
“Although shipping accounts for just 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, increasing vessel traffic in these areas risks an increased possibility of accidents, oil or fuel spills and exposing vulnerable wildlife and communities to new risks.
“The Pledge signifies a positive step and serious intention by both consumer and logistics industries alike and I am proud to sign it on behalf of EV Cargo, alongside other leading global companies.”
Mr Buntrock added: “As part of the Pledge, we will also continue to explore ways to reduce emissions created by global shipping through ‘end-to-end’ supply chain optimisation and packing efficiency through our packaging optimisation programmes.”
The Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge was co-founded in 2019 by Nike and Ocean Conservancy. Although it concedes that local and regional shipping is vital to northern communities and indigenous communities, the Pledge also recognises that precautionary policies are essential.
Ocean Conservancy is focused on working towards other rules and practices for the Arctic, including banning the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil and addressing impacts like underwater noise, grey water pollution and reducing shipping speeds.