The world’s largest container shipping business A.P. Moller-Maersk has set itself the goal of reaching "carbon neutrality" by 2050.
The Denmark-based company says that its relative carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has already been cut by 46 per cent against a 2007 baseline – nine per cent more than the industry average.
In 2012, shipping was responsible for around 800 million tons of CO2 emissions — more than two per cent of the world total, according to IMO figures.
"The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonization in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains," Soren Toft, A.P. Moller-Maersk's chief operating officer, said in a statement.
Toft added that the next five to 10 years would be crucial.
"We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonized solutions," he said.
“The last four years had seen Maersk invest $1 billion and engage more than 50 engineers per year in the development and deployment of energy efficient solutions.
Maersk's announcement is believed to be partly a response to the International Maritime Organisation's landmark Initial Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy, adopted in April.
The objectives agreed to by governments in this strategy are to at least halve shipping sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and to reduce by 40 per cent carbon intensity of the industry by 2030, both compared to 2008 levels.