'We must act now'
Robbert Wehrmeijer wants to contribute to a better world every day. Not only for the sake of his two daughters, but also for future generations in general. As Managing Director of Carbon Management at FincoEnergies, Wehrmeijer has the same motivation. FincoEnergies is an independent supplier of sustainable energy solutions. The GoodShipping brand uses insetting to make sustainable shipping available to all.
‘We all know the sea level is rising. According to a recent study by the IPCC, in the best-case scenario that will be by an average of 37 centimetres across the globe by the year 2100. GoodShipping is committed to minimising the damage and achieving the most optimistic scenario possible. That is feasible provided no more CO2 is emitted in 2050,’ Wehrmeijer begins.
At the same time, he does not shy away from the challenges: ‘Logistics and transport are responsible for more than a third of global CO2 emissions. That makes it a major source of pollution. And that while the amount of freight being sent worldwide is still increasing. We are in the middle of climate change and if, as a sector, we want to become a sustainable supply chain, we must act now.’ That is what GoodShipping enables, via insetting.
Up to 85% reduction in emissions
‘Insetting means that we reduce CO2 emissions within the sector in which they are emitted. We do that by facilitating the move from fossil fuels to sustainable biofuels,’ Wehrmeijer explains.
By facilitating this switch, scope 3 emissions can be reduced by 85%. And that without the shippers having to make any adjustments to the supply chain.
Even though GoodShipping started with insetting back in 2017, there was no international standard for some time. Together with, inter alia, the Smart Freight Centre (SFC), the World Economic Forum and DHL, GoodShipping developed the Voluntary Market Based Measures Framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting.
‘It is actually a set of rules to monitor the traceability and accounting of insetting, which is also called Book & Claim,’ Wehrmeijer explains. The Managing Director of Carbon Management calls the framework a milestone: ‘Following the guidelines creates transparency and companies can effectively quantify, monitor and account for their CO2 emission reduction.’ Furthermore, the framework promotes the acceptance and reliability of insetting and establishes the concept.
‘It’s a good start but no way near enough,’ Wehrmeijer continues. ‘We must scale up and continue exploring other and additional solutions,’ he believes. GoodShippings’ recent expansion to road insetting – a comparable concept but for then for road transport – is a good example of that.
More than biofuels
Currently, the focus is predominantly on biofuels, but FincoEnergies is also exploring various alternative solutions for the future, such as electric propulsion, the use of hydrogen and other alternative fuels as well as capturing CO2.
‘We are talking with fleet owners, too,’ Wehrmeijer continues. ‘Sustainable vessels are being developed and built, but the current fleet is still polluting the environment every day in the meantime. With our solution, chain parties can already work on a cleaner future today. Furthermore, we are committed to blockchain technology, so as to guarantee the source of our products and services and to increase transparency in the chain.’
Collaboration is crucial
According to Wehrmeijer, the biggest challenge remains convincing all companies to start using biofuels today: ‘We realise what a massive challenge it is to make the transport sector CO2 neutral. Effective solutions are a must, certainly with the increasingly stringent requirements from legislators and regulators.’
Collaboration is therefore also crucial. GoodShipping works closely with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Smart Freight Centre, among others. ‘At FincoEnergies, we operate as a one-stop-shop. Besides insetting solutions, we offer sustainable biofuels via GoodFuels and for really unavoidable emissions we offer high-impact CO2 credits via GoodZero,’ Wehrmeijer outlines.
‘Switch to Zero’
To accelerate the move to sustainable shipping, without requiring complicated changes to the supply chain, GoodShipping set up the ‘Switch to Zero’ campaign together with the Port of Rotterdam Authority. In this campaign, companies had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the concept of insetting in an accessible way and to reduce the CO2 emissions of (part of) their freight for an attractive price, without any further obligations. They could thus experience that change is already possible today and that it does not require adjustments to the supply chain.
‘I am proud of the collaboration with all the various stakeholders involved in reducing CO2 emissions within the supply chain,’ Wehrmeijer states. ‘Furthermore, it makes me, or should I say our entire team, proud when we are here at the office and we can see our own bunker vessel on the IJ that we use to facilitate the move from fossil fuels to sustainable biofuels.’ The ultimate goal is for the insetting solutions to become redundant, because global transport has become completely sustainable in itself.