Project background

We are currently working with a shipping services provider to manage and report on it its environmental impact within the maritime sector. Consisting of almost 50 sites across 22 countries and 6 continents, this truly global organisation offers customers an integrated and holistic approach to shipping; brokering key relationships and providing financial, research and wider business support. 

UK ports handled nearly 500 million tonnes of freight in 2015, almost an eighth of the total EU volume. Globalisation means that most of what we buy in shops, or what the UK industry produces, will pass through shipping corridors at some point in its lifecycle, which makes the maritime industry one of the major contributors to the economy. economic development. However, it is also estimated to account for a staggering 17% of global CO2 emissions by 2050 (between 1-3 MtCO2)2. With such a significant impact, getting sustainability right becomes even more important.

Following two years of reporting with a different service provider, this organisation decided to take the next step in its sustainability journey and approached Avieco for support. Historically, the organisation’s approach to environmental reporting had been reactive and there was often little time to develop a narrative for the year’s performance due to the sheer number of sites considered “in scope” for the annual reporting exercise. The size of its global portfolio also meant that the organisation had low visibility of the environmental initiatives implemented at a local level and found it challenging to capitalise on energy-saving opportunities. 

Our approach  

Our managed Data Service team offered a tailored approach, focusing on the specific challenges of their global organisation. We developed a bespoke multi-year approach consisting of five key elements. 

Understanding the business –  Gaining an in-depth understanding of the business’ operations, its property portfolio and the key employees (‘champions’) involved in data collection was essential to ensuring a successful outcome. Ensuring that the data management process is inclusive and representative of all business areas built a good foundation on which to progress.

Data collection – Tackling the historically poor data quality was key to our approach. Lack of employee engagement and limited understanding of each site were identified as main challenges. We responded to this by implementing our in house data collection software, enabling employees around the world to be more involved with the carbon footprint process. Through delivering training webinars, tailored data collection guides and providing a support team on hand to answer queries, we empowered the key employees champions to take ownership of their own emissions. 

Office visits –  Our experience has shown that working with clients on-site realises many benefits not possible through remote support. This organisations’ main offices are UK based, and one employee manages data for almost a fifth of their sites. We visit site each year to offer on-site data collection support. The personal approach helps develop a relationship with the people behind the data and improve data quality. 

Data review – Our carbon reporting platform is a simple, user-friendly way to ensure data from across the company is recorded in the same format in the same place. This highlights any gaps or inconsistencies, enabling us to co-ordinate with the champions to resolve queries, improving the accuracy of reporting. As our partnership continues and a database of historic information is built up, this process becomes even clearer allowing employees to start identifying potential risks sooner. 

Carbon footprint and reporting – We have calculated the organisations carbon footprint for the second year, simplifying the process through our platform. Our relationship to date has streamlined the process, improved data quality and enhanced the accuracy of reporting. This allows more time and effort to be focused on developing narrative for the annual report and recommendations for future years. Focusing early on the organisations unique challenges and our employee interface ensures that reporting is not just an annual exercise, but instead delivers real value. 

Project outcomes   

Moving into the 3rd year of we managed data, the shipping business has already reduced their carbon footprint by 6%, despite increasing their estate portfolio. This success is likely to be amplified in future years as the business is moving towards continuous data management, whereby ‘champions’ can input their sites consumption data every month. Not only will this ensure that data is more complete, but it will also enable the company to take a more proactive approach to managing their environmental impact 

Choosing to adopt a managed data service has helped the business start to develop a narrative around their carbon footprint. It has allowed them to better understand their own organisation and the impact they can have.  Visibility of the initiatives across each site instigates improved engagement between the central team and the global sites. A bi-annual progress snapshot acts as a valuable tool for engaging the company board and investors, and can support compliance with other legislation or frameworks such as ESOS or CDP. 

We are excited to continue supporting this organisation to bring these opportunities to fruition and help this shipping business power a more sustainable economy. 


Eurostat freight transport statistics

European Parliament Emission Reduction Targets for International Aviation & Shipping


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