Shipping is the most efficient means of cargo transportation. However, in absolute terms, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global shipping are significant and are rising due to the increase in global trading of goods. Greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2) methane (CH4) – trap the infrared radiation released by the earth’s surface and keep the planet warmer at a temperature of 33°C (91°F). The increase in CO2 from human-induced activities is widely accepted to increase the earth’s temperature. CH4 has approximately 21 times the global warming potential of CO2.
The main sources of GHGs created by Capital arise from fuel combustion and tank venting (98% from combustion and 2% from tank venting).
Capital’s strategic objective is to preserve its industry-leading position on climate change by combining energy efficiency improvements in current operations with investments in research and technology to reduce the carbon footprint of new vessels. Capital holds a leading position in the industry debate on regulatory frameworks for carbon emissions. In 2009, Capital developed a plan that commits the business to reduce GHG emissions by 30% on a 2009 baseline over an 11-year period until 2020.
Capital has sought to further improve its energy efficiency through active voyage management: weather routing and speed optimization, and using long-range weather forecasting to plot course and speed.
Since 2010, Capital implements the concept of ‘Virtual Arrival’, which is led by OCIMF and Intertanko. The concept involves using an accredited independent third party to verify the savings resulting from slowing down ships, then splits the benefits between the ship owner and the cargo owner. The benefits include both bunker and emissions savings. Additionally, a number of Energy Efficiency Measures such as voyage planning, propeller polishing and hull cleaning, monitoring of M/E and D/G performance, are only some of the main axes for Energy Efficiency.