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Nine leading businesses launch new initiative to accelerate progress to a net zero future

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Nine leading businesses launch new initiative to accelerate progress to a net zero future. Image: Maersk
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The heads of nine companies today announced the establishment of a new initiative to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy. The initiative, known as Transform to Net Zero, intends to develop and deliver research, guidance, and implementable roadmaps to enable all businesses to achieve net zero emissions.

The Initiative will be led by founding members including A.P. Moller – Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz AG, Microsoft Corp., Natura &Co, NIKE, Inc., Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro, as well as Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The Initiative is supported by BSR, which is serving as the Secretariat for the Initiative.

Transform to Net Zero will focus on enabling the business transformation needed to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050, in addition to driving broader change with a focus on policy, innovation, and finance. The outputs of the initiative will be widely available to all, though additional companies may join. The Initiative intends to complete the outputs of this work by 2025.

The work will be led by the following principles:

  1. Focused on transformation: Delivering on our individual commitments and translating into action, which will include corporate strategy, governance and accountability, finance and operations, risk management, procurement, innovation and R&D, marketing, and public affairs.
  2. Led by science and best practice data and methods: Committed to standardized approaches to achieve what the best available science requires for a 1.5°C world; committed to improving the quality and availability of research, data, and tools for all; committed to the highest return for the climate on investment.
  3. Leveraging existing efforts: Committed to open collaboration with existing net zero initiatives (sign-on, advocacy, sectorial, methodology efforts) to leverage existing work and advance business transformation to net zero.
  4. Strong governance and oversight: At the highest levels of the company, governance and oversight structures will work to achieve net zero, including through developing innovative products, services, and business models.
  5. Robust reduction and removal across the extended enterprise: Net zero requires emissions reductions across the entire value chain, including impact of products and services and supply chain. Net zero requires us to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions aligned with the latest science and increase our capacity for GHG removals in the near term to be the path to get companies—and the world—to net zero no later than 2050 to ensure a stable climate, and will mean a mix of climate-positive actions should be pursued.
  6. Investment in innovation: Substantial commitment and willingness to invest in and accelerate innovation to achieve net zero transformation, including partnering with others.
  7. Policy engagement: Advancing public policy that enables and accelerates progress towards net zero, and engagement with bodies such as trade associations to achieve this objective.
  8. Transparency and accountability: Public reporting and disclosure on progress towards net zero transformation to key stakeholders, including investors, customers, consumers, and where required―regulators; sharing information with all stakeholders on good practice to net zero transformation.
  9. Just and sustainable transition: We know that marginalised groups and low-income communities bear the greatest impacts of climate change. Therefore, we will help enable conditions needed to achieve effective, just, and sustainable climate solutions for people of all gender, race, or skills.

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Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions

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Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line
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NYK Line, Japan Marine United Corporation, and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai signed a joint R&D agreement for the commercialization of an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that would use ammonia as the main fuel, in addition to an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB).

Background

Since carbon dioxide is not emitted when ammonia is burned, it is viewed to have promise as a next-generation fuel that could mitigate shipping’s impact on global warming. In addition, it is said that zero emissions can be realized by utilizing CO2-free hydrogen* as a raw material for ammonia. In particular, a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is expected to be achieved by replacing coal and natural gas as the main fuels for power generation.

Parties in Japan have succeeded in generating electricity through the use of a gas turbine with 100% ammonia. In addition, innovative next-generation thermal-power-generation technologies that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions are being developed. These technologies are aimed at generating electricity by co-firing ammonia at coal-fired power stations.

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a significant issue in the marine transportation sector. In 2018, the International Maritime Organization set the goal of halving GHG emissions from the international maritime sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century.

Ammonia is expected to be used as an alternative fuel for vessels. As demand for ammonia fuel is foreseen to expand, the need for a transportation infrastructure for stable supply is expected to increase. Thus, the companies have decided to start this joint R&D of AFAGC and A-FSRB.

Overview of Joint R&D

Ammonia-fueled Ammonia Gas Carrier ( AFAGC)
Large-scale marine transportation of ammonia is currently carried out by multi-purpose LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) vessels. In this project, we will be engaged in the R&D of a liquefied ammonia gas carrier. It is expected that the use of ammonia, which is the cargo, as a marine fuel will contribute to the early realization of zero emissions for oceangoing vessels.

Ammonia Floating Storage and Regasification Barge (A-FSRB)
In this joint R&D project, we will be engaged in the R&D of a barge** that is equipped with a floating storage and regasification facility exclusively for ammonia for the first time in the world. This project is expected to contribute to the early introduction of ammonia fuel by utilizing the barge as an alternative to land facilities (storage tanks, regasification facilities, etc.) for the stable supply of ammonia fuel.

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Future Outlook

This joint R&D aims not only to utilize ammonia as a marine fuel but also to establish methods for the mass transportation and supply of ammonia and to become a solution for introducing a mixed combustion of ammonia into coal-fired power stations operated by Japanese electric power companies.

As a result, the R&D is expected to contribute significantly to the decarbonization of not only the maritime industry but also the energy industry.

* CO2-free hydrogen
One way of producing hydrogen without generating CO2 is through the use of renewable energy. A second way is by using natural gas or coal together with carbon capture and storage. CO2-free ammonia synthesis is technology for synthesizing ammonia using such CO2-free hydrogen.

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

Joint R&D starts for use of ammonia in marine transportation to reduce GHG emissions. Image: NYK Line

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Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services

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Nikola receives landmark order of 2,500 battery-electric waste trucks from Republic Services. Image: Nikola Corporation
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Nikola Corporation a global leader in zero-emission and infrastructure solutions, announces a minimum order of 2,500 electrified refuse trucks from Republic Services, expandable up to 5,000. This order is to begin full production deliveries in 2023 with on-road testing likely to begin in early 2022. The refuse trucks are anticipated to carry up to an industry-leading 720kWh of energy storage.

“Nikola specializes in heavy-duty, zero-emission Class 8 trucks. The refuse market is one of the most stable markets in the industry and provides long-term shareholder value,” said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton. “The Nikola Tre powertrain is ideal for the refuse market as it shares and uses the same batteries, controls, inverters and e-axle. By sharing the Tre platform, we can drive the cost down for both programs by using the same parts. You couldn’t pick a better partner than Republic Services, a leader in long-term environmental sustainability and customer service. Republic Services will help us ensure the Nikola Tre meets customer and fleet lifecycle demands and we are excited to have them participate in the design process.”

Republic Services is the second largest recycling and solid waste provider in the U.S. and is recognized as an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to its customers.

“This is a game changer,” said Nikola CEO, Mark Russell. “Refuse truck customers have always ordered chassis from truck OEMs and bodies from other suppliers. Nikola has fully integrated the chassis and body, covering both with a single factory warranty. Trucks will include both automated side loaders and front-end loaders — all of which will be zero-emission.”

The powertrain software will be limited to 1,000 HP and is expected to outperform current diesel and natural gas competitors. The new platform can give refuse trucks nearly three-times the HP of natural gas and diesel options, giving operators the ability to go up hills with full loads without issue — a challenge natural gas vehicle manufacturers have been working to solve.

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World’s first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles

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World's first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The world’s first zero-emissions top handlers, unveiled last fall as part of a pre-commercial demonstration project at the Port of Los Angeles, are now being used in daily operations at the Everport Container Terminal.

“We are pleased with performance results that we are receiving from drivers, mechanics and Everport management as the equipment is tested daily in real-world conditions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.  “We are doing everything possible to advance commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.”

The two battery-electric top handlers were designed and built in the U.S. by Taylor Machine Works, Inc. a leading heavy-duty equipment manufacturer and the largest supplier of top handlers in service at the Port. Also known as top picks, top handlers are off-road vehicles with an overhead boom for loading containers weighing up to 100,000 pounds onto trucks and trains, unloading them, and stacking them on terminals between pickups and deliveries.

The top handlers run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges. Each top handler has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators. Additionally, drivers and mechanics are providing input on the maneuverability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the Port’s $7.7 million Everport Advanced Cargo-Handling Demonstration Project. The California Energy Commission is supporting the large-scale zero-emissions technology project with a $4.5 million sustainability grant.

The Everport demonstration is one of 16 projects in which the Port is either the lead agency or a participant working with multiple partners to test near-zero emissions and zero-emissions engines, emissions control technology, and alternative fueling and charging stations. In addition to the battery-electric top handlers, the projects include testing ultra-low NOx renewable natural gas equipment and fully battery-electric fuel cell heavy-duty trucks; battery-electric forklifts, yard tractors, and rubber-tired gantry cranes; and emissions control equipment on large ships and harbor craft.

Eliminating tailpipe emissions from cargo-handling equipment is essential to achieving the Port’s larger goal of reducing greenhouse gases from all port-related sources. Port targets call for reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

 

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