Global agribusiness giant Bunge has joined other major trading companies to become a signatory of the Sea Cargo Charter Initiative, the company announced on 7 October.

The Sea Cargo Charter is designed to establish a common baseline to evaluate if shipping activities are in line with adopted climate goals. This is consistent with the aims of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the United Nations (UN) agency responsible for regulating shipping – to reduce shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, with a strong emphasis on zero emissions.

UN agencies estimate that the international shipping industry carries around 80% of world trade flows and is responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Large industrial companies are major users of international shipping services and the shipping of crude oil, coal, iron ore, grain and other bulk commodities make up over 80% of global seaborne trade.

“Bunge is committed to finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint, on both land and sea, and to engage with our value chain peers to find scalable solutions for global challenges,” said Marcio Valentim Moura, Bunge’s director of global logistics.

The 17 founding signatories of the Sea Cargo Charter include Anglo American, ADM, Bunge, Cargill Ocean Transportation, COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Ørsted, Shell, Torvald Klaveness, Total and Trafigura.

“The Sea Cargo Charter enables leaders from diverse industry sectors to use their influence to drive change and promote shipping’s green transition by choosing maritime transport that is aligned with agreed climate targets,” said Johannah Christensen, managing director, head of projects and programmes at international non-profit organisation Global Maritime Forum.

The charter’s development has been led by global shipping companies – Anglo American, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Dow, Norden, Total, Trafigura – and leading industry players – Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel, Stena Bulk – with support from the Global Maritime Forum, Smart Freight Centre, University College London Energy Institute/UMAS, and Stephenson Harwood.