This is the Annual Sustainability Report of Samskip B.V., including Samskip Multimodal B.V., and Samskip HF. The report covers our activities from 2021, as well as future visions and aspirations for 2022 and beyond. The intention of this report is not only to celebrate our successes, but also to be transparent in our reporting and look forward to future improvements. Our approach is to focus on the social, environmental, ethical, and business development aspects of the organisation, with an emphasis on partnerships, which make us stronger and more adaptable to sustainable practices.

“The shift towards sustainability is larger than just reaching emission targets. At Samskip, our people pioneer and lead the green transition of the logistics industry. And our goal is not only to help our clients realise their sustainability ambitions, but to make it easy. Committed to reaching Net-Zero by 2040, with ambitious reduction targets for the coming years, we at Samskip are the ambassadors of green logistics.”
– Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, Group CEO

With this report, we aim to give insight into the sustainability world of Samskip by telling our story – old and new – and looking at our initiatives to reduce our negative impact on the planet, and start creating a positive one. Reporting on our energy, emission, water, waste, and pollution management. We have a wealth of initiatives that drive the reduction of CO2-e. Most notable are our projects to develop an ultraprecise carbon foot printing system for our operations, and our increased use of alternative fuels, such as biofuels, LNG, and hydrogen. At Samskip, we strive to increase network digitalisation and automation through innovative technology, such as our Nav-Tech eye gear, which allows us to digitally link to the Nav-Tech glasses our employees are wearing, to see what they see and give real time guidance and situational assessment. What underpins our efforts, however, are our employees themselves, who we aim to develop under our guidance and career progression opportunities. We aim to promote diversity, engage employees in responsible business practices, keep them safe, and educate them on sustainability. By demonstrating business integrity, we also show our understanding of the importance of compliance and information security. 

Throughout this report, we describe our emissions in terms of CO2-equivalents, or CO2-e in short. By adding the “e” for equivalent, we take all other greenhouse gases (GHGs) into consideration as well, leading to a more reliable number when it comes to environmental impact.

To supplement this report, we are guided by the GRI standards. Therefore, we ensure the highest quality for our report in terms of accuracy, transparency, inclusiveness, and reliability. A list of indicators we comply with can be found here, giving a complete overview of relevant key performance indicators. The report is currently not assured.

Message from our CEO

We are incredibly proud to be publishing our annual sustainability report for the year of 2021. It was a successful year for Samskip with many changes in the organisation, and exciting developments. But it was not without its challenges.

We have struggled with our performance, especially in the UK due to Brexit and Covid-19-related issues. Solving issues like terminal congestion and driver shortages have been high on our agenda. We have been working extremely hard both internally and externally with our partners to adjust our operating model to make it better suited to the new normal. But, despite these hurdles, Samskip has thrived, with increasing revenues, improved profitability levels and falling global emissions.

The most notable development for us this year is the announcement of our revised strategy, with the new long-term vision of making green logistics easy. Together with our employees, the leadership team sees the importance of aligning the company with sustainable practices for the protection of our environment and to limit the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

That is why we are putting sustainability at the centre of our company, rolling out a new strategy and investing in development and innovation in the form of new technologies, alternative fuels, and optimisation software. Sustainability will be at the core of our company culture.

Samskip has always been dedicated to minimising our impact on the environment, and providing a safe, secure, and sustainable workplace for our people. But this year, we have decided to take it a step further. This sustainability report is a crucial milestone for Samskip, and in it we aim to show our history and commitment to decisive and deliberate climate action.

Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, group CEO

About Samskip

As a global logistics company, we offer transport and related services by road, sea, river, rail, and air, around the world, focusing on cost-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly solutions. 

We have the largest European multimodal container transportation network, with logistics operations spanning all over the globe, with 32 offices in 20 countries, and with over 1500 permanent employees. Our high-frequency logistics, and freight-forwarding services connect destinations across Europe, the United States, Russia, and Central Asia. Whether it’s door-to-door or from docks to the railway terminal, we focus on utilising multimodal transportation, and making our customers’ journeys as smooth as possible. 

So what makes us different?

We are the environmentally friendly solution. We may not be perfect, but sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We have built a multimodal network and business model that makes us sustainable by design. However, there is still much for us to do. We will keep pushing to take our vision even further through our innovative processes and ideas. We aim to not just be ‘good’ or ‘compliant’ but to be the most environmentally friendly container transportation company in Europe.

2021 in Numbers*

million annual turnover
tons of CO2-e emissions
reduction in operational carbon footprint compared to 2020 baseline
transported container units (TEUs)
118.000+ kg
of goods transported with Samskip Air
shortsea departures per week
rail departures per week
140.000 m2
rail terminal
trailers and chassis
trucks in operation
containers (incl. flats and reefers)
renewable energy in all our locations
vessels running on 100% biofuel
LNG vessels
sustainable partnerships
Active in 38
countries worldwide
32 offices in
20 countries
employees around the world
* Does not include NorLines or recently acquired SeaConnect

Our Journey

Samskip was originally founded in Iceland in 1990. This marked the start of a dynamic history of transformation and growth through strategic acquisitions, and expansion, leading up to the Rotterdam-based multinational we are today.

Vision, Mission and Values

Together we make things happen! To do so, we live by the following words:

Although we are professionals, we like to be flexible and personable. To support this reality, we use and develop top-notch technological solutions, which are key to helping our clients reach their goals swiftly, safely, and in the most sustainable way possible.

Our Vision, Mission, and Values are carefully constructed to honestly reflect our beliefs, aspirations and plans for the future.

Our Values capture our DNA, attitude, morals, and mentality at Samskip. These attributes help us to realise our Mission and Vision for the future.

our values

We believe that opportunities are created by innovating, by challenging the status quo, thinking critically and creatively.

Our Attitude

We are committed to our people, partners, and planet, and take responsibility for our actions and their impact on the world around us.

Our Morals

We are reliable professionals that deliver on our promises to our people, partners and customers.

Winning together
Our Mentality

We collaborate and help each other to succeed; together we create an inspiring place to work; together we win.

Making green logistics easy
To deliver the most reliable logistics service, focused on sustainability, customer experience and operational excellence

Our 5 Strategic Pillars

Our Strategic Pillars form the foundation on which we can realise our ambitions and potential growth.


Continuously develop our Profit-driven Network


Be Customer Centric in our decision making


Put Sustainability at the centre of our company

Our People

Empower Our People to reach their full potential


Achieve and sustain Operational Excellence

Our Performance

Our CO₂-e emission results are calculated with a carbon footprinting model that Samskip has developed in collaboration with experts from leading research institute TNO. The calculations themselves are based on the latest draft (March 2022) of the upcoming ISO14083-certification. We intend to have our carbon footprinting model ISO14083-certified once the standard is published in November 2022. Please feel free to reach out to us for any questions about the CO₂-e-calculation in this report.

Reduction GHG emissions for 2021
Environment (Baseline year: 2020)
20212022 Targets
Operational GHG emissions (WTW) 409.043 tonnes CO₂-e 10% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
6.5% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
6.7% reduction of CO₂-e emissions per tonne-km of transported goods
Scope 1 GHG emissions 297.900 kilo-tonnes CO₂-e 15% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
8.0% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
Scope 2 GHG emissions 294 tonnes CO₂-e N/A¹
83.8% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
Scope3 GHG emissions 111.100 tonnes CO₂-e N/A²
1.8% absolute reduction in CO₂-e emissions
1 Targets for Scope 2 GHG emission reduction yet to be set
2 Targets for Scope 3 GHG emission reduction yet to be set

Operational emissions include scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 emissions that are directly caused by the movement of cargo, e.g. burning of fuel on our ships (scope 1), cooling temperature-controlled warehouses (scope 2), and the emissions from 3rd party hauliers (scope 3). It does not include scope 1 emissions from personnel company cars, scope 2 emissions from offices, nor scope 3 emissions from other procured services such as business travel, etc.

As seen below in table 2, we present our calculated carbon footprint per container transport operation category between the years 2020 and 2021. We were supported by experts on carbon footprinting for transport and logistics from TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, to be sure that we did everything up to standard. These calculations are based on the latest draft (March 2022) of the ISO 14083. We intend to have our carbon footprinting system audited and certified for this new standard once it is published in November 2022. 

Total CO₂-e emissions and carbon efficiency per transport operation category (TOC) for 2020 and 2021
Transport Operations Category 2020 2021
Total CO₂-e (kton, WTW) kg CO₂-e/ton-kmGCD (WTW) Total CO₂-e (kton, WTW) kg CO₂-e/ton-kmGCD (WTW)
Short-sea container transport 271.3 0.04582 249.8 0.04041
Rail line haul of containers 47.2 0.02303 41.0 0.02290
Road transport of containers 114.0 0.09718 114.8 0.09360
Inland barge transportation of containers 4.3 0.03290 3.4 0.03225
Totals 436.9 0.04710 409.0 0.04396
All carbon efficiency numbers are based on greatest circle distance (GCD) and not actual travel distance, as Samskip believes this to be a better measurement efficiency of transport, taking into account not only the energy and carbon intensity of operations but also the operational efficiency, incl. routing. Using GCD is also recommended by the latest ISO 14083 draft.
Results from our latest employee survey
2021 Performance¹
Employee Engagement Score 7.3/10
Employee Net Promotor Score 18, with 21% detractors, 39% neutrals, 39% promotors
1 The 2021 employee survey was only distributed among employees in Iceland. We're expanding this survey to global level over 2022.
Governance and security results
2021 Performance 2022 Targets
Information Security Breaches 0 0
Whistleblowing reports 0 0
Our 45 foot pallet-wide high cube containers account for the largest share of our wide-ranging equipment.

Our Industry

The problem and our solution

The facts are clear. The negative environmental footprint of the transport industry is significant.

Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global CO2-e emissions. But there is one specific modality that is responsible for the lion’s share of those emissions…

Road transport alone accounts for 15% of total CO2-e emissions. This is why we do everything we can to move cargo off the roads and encourage our customers to opt for tailored and innovative multimodal transport solutions instead. One such solution is replacing long-haul trucking with rail transport through our state-of-the-art railway terminal in Duisburg.

Rail is the least emitting freight transport modality. For example, approximately 18% of European cargo is moved by rail, yet it only accounts for 4% of total energy expenditure in cargo transport, and only 0.2% of carbon emissions

From there, cargo can be transported to its destination by LNG truck, or by inland barge for an even more environmentally friendly option. No matter the destination, we make sure to leverage the many different transport solutions that our multimodal network offers, and we always try to pick the less energy and carbon intensive modalities to transport our customers’ goods. 

The shipping industry is responsible for around 940 million tonnes of CO2-e annually. Here at Samskip, want to make a real positive difference, and to actively contribute to lowering these numbers. The International Maritime Organisation has set a target to cut these emissions by 50% by 2050, but this target is in no way ambitious enough to stop climate change. That’s why we have committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative, with the target of reaching Net-Zero by 2040. 

This is only a taste of the plans we have to become the most environmentally friendly logistics solutions provider in Europe.

Sustainability at Samskip