Five major companies have joined forces to help make shipping more sustainable. AB InBev, AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina and Huntsman plan to develop a common and concurrent approach to sustainability in their procurement of ocean freight and selection of carriers. 

As well as sharing best practices, all the partners will take an active role in the sustainability dialogue between shippers and carriers. The main focus of this joint approach to more sustainable shipping will be to create momentum for further improvements and drive more collaboration on sustainability initiatives in the shipping sector.

All those involved share a common mission to create a better world and develop plans – within their organizations and value chains – to contribute to a better future.

Sharing, learning and joint efforts will be key to maximizing and speeding up the overall impact, especially within supply chain and logistics. The BICEPS network partners represent a significant amount of shipping demand that can be used to boost change in the right direction. In order to leverage their combined forces, the five partners have chosen to work together with Pure Birds, a well-known catalyst for creating sustainable impact, based on the power of demand.

FrieslandCampina, Walter Vermeer, Category Procurement Manager Logistics: “We are doing this because we just want to boost the speed and adoption rate of proven processes and technologies, to make the impact bigger and faster.”

The challenge for the shipping sector is to achieve a more sustainable and effective shipping operation. The sector is facing a high emission of sulphur and CO2 (1 billion ton of CO2 per year, comparable with the 6th nation of the world*). But the sector has already taken some good initiatives and there are excellent examples of carriers who realised significant CO2 reductions by implementing new processes and technologies. The way forward for a step change is to leverage on these best practices and adopt available clean technologies on a larger scale, with the involvement of all the supply chain parties.

The companies of the BICEPS network will participate in this development by taking steps within their shipping operations to adapt the selection procedures to reflect actual carrier performance on sustainability and their engagement to impact reduction.

Pure Birds, Coen Faber, Partner: “Creating demand by collaboration of shippers is a powerful mechanism to speed up sustainable development and innovations in supply chains. With the BICEPS network we aim to create a breakthrough in sustainable shipping.”

As part of this approach, CO2 reduction targets will be defined based on a CO2 baseline, together with a uniform set of requirements for sustainability assessments of suppliers and carriers within the shipping industry. This will streamline the efforts of complying with the reporting requirements of shippers to carriers. Next to that, the network partners will work together with the shipping sector to persuade other sector partners to participate in the realisation of sustainable practices within the whole sector (like incentive schemes by ports, adopting of clean technologies and re-usage or recycling of end-of-life ships).

Other shippers are more than welcome to join, and to share best practices. 

DSM, Kim van Neer, Global Category Manager Ocean and Airfreight: “At DSM everything we do should make a meaningful contribution to a more sustainable world. Therefore also within our procurement of ocean freight we have fully adopted green tender principle, which means we screen all shipping lines based on sustainability and rank them accordingly. Via the BICEPS network we hope we can further leverage this concept to further boost sustainability initiatives in the shipping industry.” 

AB InBev, Gert van den Bossche, Global Director Logistics Sourcing: “This initiative perfectly fits into our Dream to be the Best Beer Company Bringing People Together For A Better World. Our international operations represent a major part of our logistics footprint, and we want to run it in an even more sustainable fashion. By working together with our BICEPS-partners, we set another important step towards secure and greener logistics.”  

Huntsman, Johan Wittekoek, Purchasing Manager Transport and Warehousing: “Shipping is a critical part of our global business. Without it we cannot serve our stakeholders’ interests in receiving raw materials and delivering high quality products to our customers. We at Huntsman manage our operations to protect the environment from any possible impacts and are pleased to collaborate with service providers and industry partners to reduce the undesired impacts of marine logistics.”

AkzoNobel, Eric Majoor, Sourcing Manager Logistics EMEA: “Shipping is one of the key focus areas of our global strategy of radical resource efficiency, which we call Planet Possible. We’re working with customers and suppliers all over the world in order to reduce our impact across the whole value chain, while also helping our customers to make a positive influence on society. This partnership therefore represents a valuable step towards improving the sustainability profile of a hugely significant sector within the whole sphere of global logistics.”

FrieslandCampina, Walter Vermeer, Category Procurement Manager Logistics: “FrieslandCampina is consciously working on impact reduction in every step in our grass-to-glass supply chain to enable realization of climate neutral growth. Our participation in the BICEPS-network is our means to also adding greener ocean shipping into our scope.” 

Pure Birds, Coen Faber, Partner: “As Pure Birds we initiate these connections of collaborations in supply chains to create more sustainable change and innovations. And in shipping is a need to develop this to realize more impact.