Don’t get left behind: best practice in Carbon Accounting

In this article, RightShip’s Senior Sustainability Advisor, Lucy Packham, outlines some of the significant market shifts impacting the maritime industry when it comes to emissions reduction 

Many organisations aren’t waiting to push for considerable operational improvements in the maritime industry. In April 2021, the World Bank released a report that placed the decarbonisation of the maritime industry at the centre of its agenda.  

This filters through to financiers who are applying responsible lending lenses to their processes, which in turn impacts the entire supply chain. This means that if you’re not already, it’s time to look at how you will account for your carbon to meet market expectations.  

In addition, the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), established in 2005, is a central policy to reduce emissions, operating in all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. As the EU works towards climate neutrality by 2050, this has a flow on effect for other countries operating in the region.  

While emissions trading isn’t necessarily the solution, the reality is that ship owners, and possibly charterers, will have to pay a carbon tax when operating in Europe, which is why it’s essential to reduce your emissions impact now, not just from an environmental perspective, but for financial planning purposes.  

Setting global market trends  

The EU ETS has also spurred on the rise of emissions trading in additional locations include Canada, China, the US, Japan and New Zealand.  

A key component of the ETS is measuring, reporting on and verifying emissions generated by businesses with a strong degree of accuracy.  

In July 2021, the European Commission implemented legislative proposals to achieve its 2050 net zero emissions goals, and a net reduction of GHG emissions by 2030, with shipping a major factor in this strategy.  

The first step is monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) CO2 emissions. Each year, the European Commission publishes a report that outlines the CO2 emissions and energy efficiency of the fleets it monitors. Also, from 2019, ships calling into EU ports began to report emissions under the EU regulation and the IMO’s data collection system. 


The best course of action is to start Carbon Accounting now 

While you may not presently be impacted by such regulations where you operate, we are seeing regulatory pressure grow in regions around the world, and those who are already accounting for their emissions are on the front foot.  

When you have a clear picture of your emissions profile today, you can plot a course to improvement over time. It’s best not to wait until you’re asked. Leading organisations are already doing it now, in turn increasing their market value proposition.  


Try RightShip’s Carbon Accounting tool today