Growing our scope, shrinking our carbon footprint - Meelunie
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Growing our scope, shrinking our carbon footprint

Reducing shipping industry carbon emissions and helping restore ocean health

BY Meelunie 24/11/2022 Meelunie

Since 2021, the business operations of Meelunie have been carbon-neutral for our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. To calculate these emissions we use the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We are also increasingly addressing our scope 3 emissions. For this we are partnering with BigMile, who supply software that calculates and analyses transport-related carbon emissions, and GoodShipping (part of GoodNRG), who decarbonise supply chains by replacing fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives.

Shipping on recycled cooking oil

“We joined forces with GoodShipping in 2019 to help us achieve our ambition of a 100% carbon-neutral supply chain by 2030,” explains Jeroen de Waaij, Meelunie’s Sustainability Manager. “On joining, we committed to a reduction in carbon volume that corresponds with the annual freight we ship from Rotterdam to Hong Kong. We chose this route for its historical significance for Meelunie: it was the very first shipping route for Meelunie products back in the middle of the 20th Century. Next, we focused on our Rotterdam to Shanghai route, partly because this is an important trade lane for our flagship Windmill products and partly because our Chinese office is in Shanghai. We’re now investigating the possibility of adding a route to the US as our second carbon-neutral trade line.”

GoodShipping implement the emission reduction on Meelunie’s behalf by substituting fossil fuels with biofuels, thus decarbonising a portion of Meelunie’s scope 3 emissions. GoodShipping’s sister company, GoodFuels, offer shipping companies two bio-fuel alternatives that use recycled cooking oil as a raw material. The biofuel reduces carbons emissions by 80-90% and is sulphur-free. As Jeroen points out, “This obviously drastically reduces our carbon footprint on any shipping route where biofuel is used.”

Mass Balance Principle

The logistical challenges of having biofuels readily available in multiple ports around the world is one of the reasons GoodShipping employs the so-called Mass Balance Principle in its collaborations with companies such as Meelunie. Under the Mass Balance Principle it does not matter where in the atmosphere you reduce carbon, as the net result for the atmosphere is the same as we are all living under the same blue sky. Adopting this principle means GoodShipping can make the switch to biofuels in the most logistically efficient locations, thus maximising the reduction in carbon emissions.

More sustainable value chain

Pilots are currently being conducted for carbon-neutral shipments. “The main focus is on the deep-sea leg, but we’re also looking into including pre- and on-carriage,” explains Jeroen. “By offering our supply chain partners this service we want to raise awareness and involve them in sustainability initiatives within our value chain, such as fuel switches. The next step is to include the carbon footprint of the cultivation and production stages. We can then communicate the carbon emissions of a product once we’ve delivered it and offer customers cradle-to-gate carbon-neutral options. With the ultimate goal of making our entire supply chain carbon neutral!

Joining the slow lane

In another initiative, Meelunie is supporting GoodZero, a recently-launched GoodNRG programme. One of the GoodZero projects, being run by US-based Running Tide, aims to move fast-cycle carbon back into the slow carbon cycle, which is anything up to a thousand times slower than the fast carbon cycle. The ingenious means by which Running Tide will do this is by steering floating carbon buoys with kelp growing on them into the open ocean. The kelp-covered buoys will eventually sink, so that the carbon will lie buried deep in ocean sediments, creating a slow-carbon cycle and helping reduce the carbon in our atmosphere.

“With this GoodZero project, we broaden the geographical spread of our positive impact initiatives to include the US,’ explains Jan van Vilsteren, General Manager Meelunie America. “This will strengthen our position as a sustainable frontrunner in the US market. Our hope is to involve and engage our US customers in our sustainability journey, and so inspire them to take steps themselves.”