Preserving oceans and their biodiversity

World Innovation: CMA CGM first shipping company to choose liquefied natural gas for its biggest ships

November 7, 2017

Firmly committed to the protection of the environment, CMA CGM becomes the first shipping company in the world to equip its future giant containerships with engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG), a technological innovation for a drastic reduction of pollutant emissions.

Read the press release

CMA CGM environment

Oceans cover 70% of our planet’s surface and hold up to 80% of its biodiversity. They play a key role in the fight against climate change as they absorb 25% of CO2 emissions.

With its main activity at sea, CMA CGM has made oceans protection a priority within its environment policy.

In order to prevent marine pollution and accidents, CMA CGM has equipped its vessels with new technologies and set up an onboard waste reduction plan.

Technical innovation promoting maritime environment preservation

Engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG)

On November 7th, 2017, CMA CGM announced that it would use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for its future giant vessels. In addition to various advantages regarding air quality and carbon footprint, this innovative choice also almost nullifies the potential risks and environmental impact tied in the event of an accident or shipwreck.

Ballast Waters Treatment system

CMA CGM environment

Various organisms (planktonic, unicellular) are present in ballast waters collected for vessel stabilization. These organisms can become undesirable when released in a different ecosystem than the one they were collected from as they could induce harmful consequences on the marine biodiversity.

In order to protect marine and coastal ecosystems, a ballast water management plan is applied by CMA CGM ships: ballast waters are renewed offshore, more than 200 miles away from the coast*. 30 vessels of the fleet are now equipped with a ballast water treatment system.

Also, in order to exceed the IMO requirements, all recent CMA CGM vessels are equipped with an innovative ballast water treatment system. The waters are filtered with UV light both when collected and released in order to clear the water of all living organism that might impact marine biodiversity.

This system was specifically chosen by CMA CGM because it does not release any chemical products at sea.

*according to the IMO 2004 International Convention regarding vessels' ballast waters management

Fast Oil Recovery System and a double-hull system

CMA CGM environment

The Fast Oil Recovery System, a pollution management technology, is a simple, reliable and safe system allowing the recovery of hydrocarbons located in the hold without piercing the hull in the event of a ship’s stranding. 38 vessels are equipped with this technology.

Until 2010, fuel in container-ships was only protected by a single hull layer.

Since the entry into force of the rule MARPOL 12A (~ 2010), all CMA CGM owned vessels are now equipped with a double-hull protection.

The installment of a second protective layer around the fuel tanks prevents maritime pollution in the event of a collision or a hull breach.

Waste management

CMA CGM environment

Ships produce various types of waste (oil, food waste, sanitary). This is why waste management is supervised by the Marpol convention which rules are followed by CMA CGM.

But to exceed Marpol’s regulation requirements, the Group has committed to an innovative, ecological, and exemplary program: the “Green ship” program. All owned vessels are subject to this initiative structured around four key points:

  1. The recycling of all waste
  2. The removal of incinerators in favor of new generation compactors, eliminating the emission of polluting gases
  3. The formal prohibition to throw any waste overboard (excluding food)
  4. Using waste recycling solutions onshore

An extra decanting tank

Additional tanks allow bilge water, engine and grey water to be treated. In addition, all equipment on deck is electric to eliminate problems with hydraulic fluid leaks.

Ships' recycling

CMA CGM has one of the most modern and young fleet within the sector, so in a logical way, ships are predominantly sold on the second hand market a long time before they reach their end of life.

However, when it comes about ship recycling issues, the Group’s position is to urge the adoption and ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Faithful to his environmental commitments, CMA CGM has already taken proactive actions to promote better hazard management enhancing health, safety and environment in the dismantling process in line with the Hong Kong Convention. Among other, since 2007, all our new building vessels are equipped with an approved Inventory of Hazardous Materials ( Green Passport).

In the selection process, CMA CGM requires recycling shipyards to be audited by external independent classification society in compliance with the Hong Kong Convention guidelines.