Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business

The Maersk Group publishes its Sustainability Report 2014


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Having launched a new sustainability strategy in 2014, Maersk continues to address sustainability challenges in a way that creates value for society and for its business.

Our efforts in sustainability rest on one premise: it must support both society and our business activities. We focus on accelerating the positive impact of our business on society where it creates value for the business at the same time.Nils S. Andersen, Group CEO.

The Maersk Group operates in the shipping and energy industries. It has four core businesses which include Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling.

The strategy, which runs from 2014 to 2018, has three focus areas: Energy efficiency, enabling trade and investing in education. A year after the strategy was launched, progress has been made on all three areas.

Enabling trade to unlock growth

Better integration and lower trade barriers help advance economic development for many more people. For example, reducing supply chain barriers only half the way to global best practice standard, could increase the global GDP by $2.6 trillion according to World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Enabling Trade report.

With 90% of world trade travelling by sea, the Group has an important job to do, says Nils S. Andersen: “700m fewer people now live below the poverty line compared to 20 years ago. Trade and better integration of low-income countries into the global economy have helped drive that transformation.”

In 2014 the Group conducted a number of studies into its actual and potential impacts across value chains, which will be used in the local business development. It also initiated projects such as reducing administrative trade barriers for farmers in East Africa; training companies in the Americas in logistics and transport capabilities; and improving standards in the tuna fishing industry in East Indonesia.

Maersk works with other companies and external partners, such as the Inter-American Development Bank, NGOs and governments, on projects to improve local ability to access global markets.

Improvements in energy efficiency

The Maersk Group’s CO2 efficiency improved by 5% in 2014, totalling a 21% improvement from a 2010 baseline. Maersk Line, as the biggest contributor to the Maersk Group’s overall emissions, improved its efficiency by approximately 8% in 2014 and saved $98m worth of fuel.

The Group has raised its overall target for improving CO2 efficiency to 30% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline.

“We sustain our efforts at decoupling growth from resource consumption. For the first time, our projections show that this is possible also over the period up until 2020,” says Nils S. Andersen.

Investing in education locally

Improving local skills can help societies’ growth and development, as well as counter the skills shortage that challenges Maersk’s growth strategy.

In 2014 the Group initiated work on a new model for education pipeline development. The key assumption is that investing in secondary school and basic vocational training in growth markets will facilitate long-term industry growth and support future employment. Once finalised, the model will also deliver guidance for Maersk’s businesses on priorities for strategic investments in education.

Key report highlights:

The report covers all aspects of the Group’s 2014 sustainability performance including human rights, anti-corruption, responsible procurement, diversity, as well as performance and efforts within safety and the environment.

  • 21% CO2 efficiency improvement since 2010 across the Group
  • 39% CO2 reduction per container in Maersk Line from a 2007 baseline
  • Just short of 10,000 people were trained in anti-corruption in 2014
  • In 2014, the Group allocated up to $1m to support the UN’s logistics efforts against the Ebola crisis in West Africa and made 66 pro bono shipments carrying 370 containers of food, medicine and vehicles to the affected countries.

The report serves as Maersk’s Communication on Progress (COP) to the UN Global Compact, and it has been assured by an external assurance provider.

The report is available for download at

For further details contact:
Karolina Greda

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