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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Can Berge Bulk really hit zero emissions by 2025?

Listen to the latest edition of Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

James Marshall is the chief executive of Berge Bulk and he has a plan to get its 75 vessels to become a net zero-carbon fleet by 2025. In this week’s podcast, he talks to Lloyd’s List Editor Richard Meade about how he plans to get there, why existing technology can get you nearer than you think and why nuclear reactors on board vessels should be back on the table as an industry option

ON the face of it, the directional decisions of any shipping company are easy.

The transition to a zero-carbon future is an inevitability, transparency is a given, efficiency is a good thing to invest in and steps towards integrating one’s self into a fully digitalised supply chain will only be met by appreciative murmurs and profitable opportunities from one’s customers.

If only it were that simple.

No doubt, the shipping industry is on the brink of an epoch shift, but the answer to the question of how you decarbonise an industry built on carbon is simple: slowly and at great cost.

The devil, as ever, is to be found in the detail.

For those taking the decisions, there are no easy answers, no silver bullets, only hard pragmatic questions and least-worst options.

So this week on the podcast, we are delving into the choices that are available for shipowners.

Not just the 30-year strategy — in many ways, that is the easy bit — we want to know more about the tough choices that owners are having to take now with limited information, limited options and only a directional target to aim for.

This week we are joined by the chief executive of Berge Bulk, James Marshall.

Berge Bulk is very much a member of the coalition of the willing when it comes to sustainability. It was an early member of the Get to Zero coalition, it has been addressing environmental issues from emissions to waste and green recycling as part of its strategic investment plans for some time. In many respects, it is up there in the advanced guard of those wanting to make decisions rather than waiting at the back with the regulatory laggards who aim to follow the leaders at the last possible opportunity.

But frankly that does not mean much when realistically you cannot do much more than pay through the nose for flexibility. There are no zero carbon options available today.

So how does James counter the charge that this positioning at the top is little more than greenwash right now, and what does he do as a chief executive option wanting to make the right calls when the best you can realistically hope for is the least-worst option?

Enjoy the Lloyd’s List Podcast and remember you can now subscribe via iTunes and Spotify, as well as most other podcast providers. And make sure you are registered for a free account on Lloydslist.com so you can receive our Daily Briefing e-mail.

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