Shipping Efficiency

We aim to drive a 50% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 2050.  

What Is Shipping Efficiency?

We are working to reduce the carbon footprint of global maritime shipping by creating mechanisms that integrate climate considerations into lending decisions to help incentivize shipping’s decarbonization.

Why It Matters

Maritime shipping transports 90 percent of the world’s goods and is responsible for 2–3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year. Left unchecked, shipping emissions are expected to grow by 50–250 percent by 2050, putting the sector on track to become a major contributor of global GHG emissions.

Who’s Involved

We are working with financial institutions, ship owners and charterers, and governing bodies to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to maritime lending decisions and an urgency to shipping’s decarbonization.

What We're Doing

We are working with financial institutions in the maritime industry to create a level playing field and ensure that the shipping industry will thrive in a low-carbon economy.

What We’ve Accomplished

  • In December 2016, we launched BetterFleet, the first publicly available and comprehensive online portal revealing the operational efficiency of ships throughout the world.

  • In 2016, over 2 billion tons of cargo moved on efficient ships selected with the GHG Emissions Rating we developed with RightShip.

  • HSH Nordbank and KfW IPEX-Bank now use energy-efficiency data in deciding which vessels will receive financing.

  • Carbon War Room’s direct engagement with the White House prompted the U.S. to submit a paper, with CWR’s input, that strongly influenced IMO’s development of a climate “road map.”

  • We helped fund a multitechnology efficiency retrofit, and identified a profit-sharing business model that enabled profitable investment in energy efficiency technologies, with shipowner Hammonia Reederei and charterer Intermarine. The deal was recognized by Business Green as the Energy Efficiency Project of the Year, and shortlisted for Lloyd’s List Deal of the Year Award.

  • In August 2016, our report Revealed Preferences for Energy Efficiency in the Shipping Market exposed market dynamics and failures that are key to designing effective pathways and regulations for reducing carbon emissions.

  • In 2014, Canada’s Prince Rupert Port Authority and Port Metro Vancouver became the first ports in the world to offer incentives for the most efficient ships.

Our Partners

University College London




Our Team

ned harvey headshot

Ned Harvey

James Mitchell

James Mitchell

dave headshot

Dave Mullaney

leeann baronett headshot

LeeAnn Baronett

Kathleen Wight

Kathleen Wight


Maersk Charts Course Toward Sustainable Shipping


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Navigation Decarbonization—An approach to evaluate shipping's risks and opportunities associated with climate change mitigation policy


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Green finance for dirty ships

The Economist

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Revealed Preferences for Energy Efficiency in the Shipping Markets


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Dead in the water: an analysis of industry practices and perceptions on vessel efficiency and stranded ship assets


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