Our Environment

Respect for the environment sits at the very core of sustainability. It is what enables the long-term continuity of our company, economy, and society. 

At Samskip, operating on sea, river, road, rail, and air, we see every corner of the world for its beauty. With every journey, we continue to grow our understanding and appreciation of the natural wonders of our planet. We rely on nature to conduct our business smoothly and in return, we must respect it. We may not be perfect, but we will pledge to do the best we can to create a positive impact on the environment. 

Our Environmental Pledge

Despite many unknowns and uncharted waters, we strive to be at the forefront of sustainable development and innovation. Through our multimodal network, we make every journey a smooth process, and take the utmost consideration of the available opportunities to reduce our negative environmental impacts. And with our online carbon calculator our customers have the ability to monitor the CO2-e footprint of their multimodal journey, discovering the significant amount of carbon they can save by choosing multimodal transport with Samskip. 

Our vessels might not be equipped to battle sea monsters, but they are helping pioneer towards a new generation of low-to-zero emission and fuel-efficient container shipping. We are proud to have successfully implemented the use of 100% FAME biofuel on two of our vessels in 2021, saving an average of 89% of CO2-e emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels. This is a first in our industry, and we will continue to move away from fossil fuels by increasing this number to four vessels in 2022, making the move low-emission shipping a reality for Samskip. 

In recent years, we have also focused on increasing intermodality to reduce road congestion, implemented new digitalised processes, and facilitated partnerships to make a meaningful and positive impact on the planet. Tackling the issue of empty milage is one of our key priorities. Globally, over 20% of trucks on the roads are driven empty. This is why we are devoted to optimising our cargo flows transportation and reducing the number of empty miles across our network.

Samskip's CO₂ Reduction Project

At Samskip, we have many ongoing projects that reduce our CO2-e emissions. From the office to our vessels, to our company cars, we reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.  

Our offices

We were the first in the Europe to install carbon-cutting laminated glass to keep our offices cool and minimise the use of air conditioning as much as possible. The glass used, SRM35+, provides a strong reduction of incoming infrared light, causing a major impact on comfort and productivity. As a result, this glass has also reduced the temperature in the summer from 4-7 degrees, allowing us to save energy.   

Our employees

This year, we installed 6 electric car charging stations at our offices in Rotterdam to encourage employees to consider taking electric or hybrid vehicles to get to work, when cycling, public transport, or carpooling is not an option for them.

Our customers

We have long had a carbon footprint calculator which allows our customers to see the expected CO2-e emissions for their transport and the savings they can expect when moving with Samskip, compared to a trucking alternative. Today, with the help of TNO, we are developing an ultraprecise carbon footprinting system that will allow us to report the carbon footprint of our customers’ orders based on real fuel data.

Our industry

Industry experts at TNO also advise us on the new ISO 14083. This will be the universally recognised standard for computing and reporting transport emissions. Before its release date in November 2022, we aim to be fully compliant and ready for certification.

Carbon Footprinting System

The transport industry contributes to a sizeable proportion of the world’s CO2 production. The significant rise in emissions is a main cause of human-induced climate change, contributing to various forms of pollution and damage to our ecosystems. 

We are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint drastically over the coming years and have already taken action, resulting in a 6.7% reduction in the past year. The measurement of our carbon footprint is made possible in collaboration with TNO, who have provided advice and help in developing a carbon footprinting system. We use primary fuel data, as well as default data where necessary, to gain an accurate picture of our emissions, and the progress we are making though our various reduction projects. This is a more accurate and convenient way to calculate the carbon footprint of a journey, helping to make better decisions for people and planet. 

In addition to our carbon footprinting system, the online CO2-calculator, accessible through our website, allows any current or potential customers to get a better understanding of the expected CO2-e footprint for any transport lane, and the expected savings they can achieve when using different modalities of transportation at Samskip, as opposed to the road-transport alternative. For example, if a customer were to book an order from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to Hull, in the UK, that customer would save 572kgs of CO2-e by transporting with the Samskip multimodal network instead of by road! 

With these two integral tools, we will be able to transparently communicate and spread awareness on the impacts of our operations, and the positive change our customers can enforce by switching to Samskip.

Our Environment in Numbers

Scope 1 CO2 emissions
297.900 tons CO2-e
8,0% down from 2020
Scope 2 CO2 emissions
294 tons CO2-e
83,8% down from 2020
Scope 3 CO2 emissions
111.100 tons CO2-e
1,7% down from 2020
Renewable Electricity
100% in all offices and warehouses globally
Number of ongoing alternative fuel projects
Number of vessels run on 100% biofuel
Number of vessels run on LNG

Environmental Protection

Waste and Water Management

Big on waste... reduction

Like many companies, having large scale operations with different facilities and many people often means a lot of waste. However, we believe that what matters is how you deal with the waste, so we decided to take action.

Samskip employees rolled up their sleeves, and took matters into their own hands by organising a trash pickup event.
Samskip employees rolled up their sleeves, and took matters into their own hands by organising a trash pickup event.
Samskip employees rolled up their sleeves, and took matters into their own hands by organising a trash pickup event.

Waste sorting station

We have taken a proactive approach to the minimisation and proper disposal of waste. In our canteens, we have made sure to take measures to limit food waste by encouraging employees to limit their uneaten or unused foods, as well as having sorting bins and a waste classification system in place for easier recycling.

2021 also marked the opening of our waste sorting station in our Iceland location. This has been an incredibly successful and efficient initiative with our facilities sorting through all of the waste we produced, and with ease! 

Waste in 2021

Waste Table
kg kg CO₂-e %
Sorted 563.356 68.177 63,30%
Unsorted 309.473 136.357 34,80%
Undetermined 16.760 0 1,90%
Total 889.589 204.534 100%

Every drop counts...

While our vessels often sail across the seas, we cannot overlook the scarcity of consumable water that we face on land. While our operations may not be very water-intensive, we do place extra care and effort in being fully aware of the water that we do use across our locations and in our day-to-day activities. We make sure to keep a close eye on our water consumption through precise monitoring and tracking, in order to identify potential reduction areas and adjust our usage accordingly. 

Hot water consumption
140.896 m³
104.482 m³
2 year difference
Cold water consumption
19.800 m³
17.792 m³
2 year difference

Water consumption in 2021

Saving water is an important part of our environmental management system, and the actions we have taken are yielding results. In Iceland in 2021, we achieved a 26% reduction in hot water usage, as well as a 10% reduction in cold water usage, compared to our 2019 baseline.

Our Place in the Natural World

Regenerating our Ecosystems with Ecobal

In the past year, we have engaged in an exciting new initiative with Ecobal (meaning Ecological Balancing) to support the revitalisation of Europe’s forests and to offset our carbon footprint. Ecobal is an organisation that helps companies contribute to a healthier natural environment by offsetting their carbon footprint and promoting biodiversity in Europe.

Through Ecobal, we have reserved 50,000 square meters of woodlands across Poland, France, Italy, Romania, and Spain. Ecobal is responsible for the maintenance and protection of these large areas of land, as well as the facilitation of the planting of hundreds of new seedlings, which are typically done by Ecobal clients and suppliers in order to take a hands-on approach towards aiding the regeneration of natural habitats.

We can track the progress and growth of these areas using geofencing technology and will receive verification of our offsetting and forest conservation efforts through ECO2 compensation certificates issued by Ecobal.

Through engaging in this exciting initiative, we aim to not only offset the CO2-e produced by our operations but also have a positive and far-reaching effect on the biodiversity and natural habitat of our surroundings. We hope that our actions together with Ecobal can help restore the surroundings and the affected communities to what they once were.

Ecobal helps to balance emissions by revitalising forests

Green Power

Biofuel usage in marine vessels and HVO trucks: the power of cooking oil and residual waste 

We are proud to be one of the first companies to implement biofuel in our marine vessels and HVO in our trucks. Through our partnership with the sustainable cargo initiative – GoodShipping – we now run two of our vessels on 100% marine biofuels, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. The initial usage of biofuels has enabled an average CO2-e reduction of up to 89%. This initiative demonstrates our longstanding dedication to taking a leading role in reducing CO2-e emissions within the sea freight industry. 

Originally running on traditional fuels, the Samskip Endeavour, an 800TEU capacity containership, was the first to pilot using sustainable biofuels more than three years ago through this partnership with GoodShipping. Now, with their help, the Samskip Endeavour runs on 100% biofuel. We aren’t stopping there, as we also have another vessel with biofuel potential: the Samskip Innovator. This vessel was piloted following the negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow (one of the biggest annual climate change conferences!), and is now permanently bunkered with 100% marine biofuel as well.

The biofuels we use are ISCC-certified, made from sustainable waste streams, and have proved to be a successful substitute for conventional marine fuels as part of our operations between the Netherlands, the UK, and Ireland. Our biofuels supplier, GoodFuels, is supporting our efforts to rapidly extend the use of these biofuels. GoodFuels’ second-generation sustainable biofuels consist of certified feedstock, labelled as waste or residue. Using these alternatives fuels means that there are no land-use issues, no competition with food production, or deforestation during the production process. 

In another partnership with TMA and Unilever, we aim to bring biofuel to land transport on a large scale. The biofuel that would be used is certified as a 100% ISCC-EU product produced from cooking oils and residual waste, and can be used in regular diesel engines. Through this collaboration, we plan to put in place and utilise a Mass Balancing System, which gives clients a choice on which fuel to use for their transport routes from a mix of available traditional and alternative, renewable fuels in our system. This would allow the local sourcing and use of biofuels upon request by a client for their transportation. We saved 14,500 kilograms of CO2-e through this partnership – this amounting to a reduction of around 90% compared to traditional fuels! Those who choose this system can therefore fuel anywhere, anytime. We will strive to encourage more customers to adopt this system. 

“Sustainability runs through Samskip as a core value from every perspective. Therefore, we take great pride in and welcome the collaboration with GoodShipping to strengthen our deep partnership, becoming one of their fulfilment and innovation partners. We always aim to build a better future and to leave a positive footprint on our planet. By playing a forward-thinking and pioneering role in the energy transition, our customers can now benefit from a simple and easy means of decarbonising their cargo streams. We get to pioneer advanced marine biofuels, and the environment benefits from an immediate carbon reduction.”
– Ásbjörn Gíslason, CCO and Deputy CEO at Samskip
Ásbjörn Gíslason, CCO and Deputy CEO at Samskip
“This announcement marks yet another important milestone in our journey beyond the fossil default. Reducing fuel emissions and consumption is a vital next step for the maritime transport industry, so we are extremely pleased to have found a stable fulfilment outlet for our sustainable cargo streams with Samskip, deepening a long-term partnership that is helping to change the way our market thinks about future fuels.’’
– Katarin van Orshaegen, Commercial Lead at GoodShipping

The power of LNG trucks

A few years ago, we partnered up with Don Trucking, a transport company that has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025. With 60 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) trucks currently in operation, Don Trucking has supported us by introducing 40 LNG trucks in our fleet, offering shippers an easier way to reduce their emissions throughout the supply chain. In the next three years, Don Trucking aims to introduce the first 4-5 electric vehicles in their fleet. 

In Germany, we are currently using 100% LNG trucks with Don Trucking, and in the Netherlands our fleet with them consists of about 30% of LNG powered trucks, with the aim of increase this in the coming years. Although LNG is a fossil fuel, and transitionary, these trucks are, emission-wise, a better alternative than trucks running on regular diesel, as the trucks still meet the high demands on performance, fuel efficiency and operating range. 

Besides reducing emissions, we also collaborate to reduce the total amount of empty loads by combining cargo space for multiple clients. As a result, we can increase efficiency by 10% by 2024, leading to even more emissions savings.

“We are committed to provide our customers with shipping options that are aligned with their corporate and social responsibility objectives. Moving to a greener solution and reducing carbon emissions is a core strategy for Samskip. We acknowledge that it is increasingly important to be able to offer customers a new way of doing business with us. Further enhancing the use of LNG in our network is a combination that our customers in regional and long haulage require.”
– Frédéric Leca, Chief Operating Officer, at Samskip
“We are very pleased to see an active involvement from logistical service providers towards sustainable solutions. More and more companies are looking to sustainable shipping alternatives and we are proud to be doing this together with Samskip. We take pride to lead by example and show that transporting cargo with a significant reduction of emissions is possible and that the time to make that switch has come.’’
– Dariusz Hejnicki, Board Member, at Don Trucking

Regenerative Power

Our ambition to use the most renewable energy sources aren’t limited to our fleet, we seek to embrace renewable and alternative energies in all our operations, no matter how small the change. We believe that it all adds up. 

Fossil fuels are a thing of the past…Our offices in Iceland and Norway, are both currently fossil fuel free, running purely on a combination of renewable energies. We aim to apply this approach to all our offices and in any steps of our operations that requires energy. For the parts of our operations that are not renewable, we also plan on buying certificates of origin to understand and transparently communicate where we source our non-renewable energy from. 

Electricity is a thing of the future…All of our offices globally are powered by 100% renewable electricity, coming from wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal electricity sources, and we are proud of it! We also actively promote the use of electric and hybrid cars to our employees and have installed multiple charging stations across our office locations to accommodate and provide the necessary infrastructure for our employees to charge their electric or hybrid vehicles when at work. Our vessel terminals in Iceland and the rail network in Duisburg also have electric trucks that help us move containers around the very large premises. 

In the past, we have used solar panels alongside other alternative energy sources to power our facilities, such as our FrigoCare warehouse in Rotterdam. However, while this facility has been sold during the course of 2021, and is therefore no longer under our care, we remain motivated to constantly search for further opportunities to increase the use of renewable energy throughout our operations. 

At many of the ports that our ships dock in, we shut down the engines and connect our ships to electricity to charge their batteries to ensure that we do not waste fuel. 

No matter where we operate, whether on land, sea, at our terminals, or in our offices, we aim to be adaptive and flexible in adopting technologies that contribute to achieving more sustainable practices.

Green Innovation

Taking full advantage of our knowledge and skills, our teams of experts not only strive to utilise existing cutting-edge technology but also pair unique and innovative approaches to maximise operational efficiency. Combining this with our sustainable mindset, we know that technology and digitalisation will be the driving force behind our success, in sustainability and elsewhere!  

On our path to sustainability, green innovation lies at the core. This year, we have relentlessly pursued our mission of Making Green Logistics Easy. We have done this by launching a plethora of projects focused on reducing our local and greenhouse gas emissions, placing the shift of our fleet of vessels, barges, trucks, and trains, over to using alternative fuels and renewable energy sources at the core of our efforts  

Sailing at the forefront of technological and digital change is not always easy, but we do our best to stay ahead and drive exciting advancements. Some of the exciting advancements ahead include developing network optimisation models, using digital twin simulations of ships, and our Nav-Tech Eye technology to remotely assess and respond to situations, as well as guide our decision-making processes.

Automated Network Optimisation Model

We love investing in and giving a platform to our employees to pursue innovative ideas and projects that aim to drive our business activities forward. One of our data analysts, Sandra, who was pursuing her master’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research, wanted to do her thesis project for Samskip; of course, we supported her. Titled “Container routing and empty repositioning in a multimodal network,” the paper presents a network routing optimization engine which uses operations research to minimise cost and CO2-e emissions in our European multimodal container transport network. This proof-of-value project was a great success and showed very promising results.

With route optimisation being an incredibly important lever for our multimodal business model, developing a decision tool, the model can help us to reduce overall costs, prevent late deliveries, minimise energy intensity, and in turn the emissions of our network. We are very proud of Sandra and her outstanding project. Without ambitious and motivated people like her, our future-looking and sustainable ways of working wouldn’t be possible.  

Hydrogen take-me-home device

While we are always looking for new opportunities to innovate through new builds, we are equally ambitious to improve and adapt our existing vessels and technology. One of these innovative solutions is the ‘hydrogen take-me-home device’. This means installing a hydrogen fuel cell onto existing compatible vessels, to allow them to run emission free for a number of hours before switching back to their regular power supply. 

As hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel, we are able to eliminate all greenhouse gases and local emissions when sailing in ports, fjords, or other coastal regions close to populated areas. Using existing equipment and vessels makes it a very efficient solution, running at low cost, and reduced power usage and emissions. 

Digital technology innovation spotlight


For almost three years, we have been engaged in an exciting partnership with VETNIS, led by Auðun Freyr. VETNIS is a development company focusing on the production and distribution of green hydrogen to power local Icelandic heavy-duty transport. VETNIS aims to become the leader in producing and distributing green hydrogen made using renewable energy sources for transport and heavy industry in Iceland.

Choosing VETNIS as our partner was a great step towards realising our ambitions to be frontrunners in the development and use of alternative fuels in Iceland and Europe. 

Together we are taking on the challenging task of developing and testing the use of hydrogen in heavy duty road transport. We expect hydrogen powered trucks to soon be able to travel 600-700km without refuelling, which is about the same as our existing trucks. We are currently modelling and simulating different solutions to explore various possibilities and options in this exciting partnership.

Gísli Arnarson (COO Domestic, Samskip Iceland), and Auðun Freyr (Founder of VETNIS), meet at the Samskip premises in Iceland.
Digital technology innovation spotlight

Nav-Tech Eye

An employee is using the Nav-Tech Eye smart glasses, making it possible to monitor work from ashore.

Understanding different challenges and perspectives is necessary in the creation of our well-oiled community.

Often when our crew members on the water or in remote locations run into unexpected troubles and need help, it might be natural to wish that you could see what they see to give the most accurate advice possible. The use of the Nav-Tech Eye makes this a reality.

We use this cutting-edge technology in order to:  

  • Help superintendents, auditors, surveyors, and crew engineers quite literally see through the eyes of the crew members.
  • Better distribute our people to be able to provide the needed assistance to emergency situations regardless of the type of problem.

We have also started using the Nav-Tech eye for other functions such as for use in crew-seminars which has traditionally been held in person but can now be held digitally. 

This initiative helps drastically reduce travel, saving time, lowering costs, and reducing emissions. 

"The Nav-Tech Eye is one of the most promising innovations we've got going on right now, it allows us to look through the eyes of our vessel crew using smart technology. We can solve problems without sending mechanics to the vessel and provide training to new employees from ashore, thereby saving time and resources."
– Erik Hofmeester, Head of vessel management
Eric Hofmeester, Head of Vessel Management

Our Suppliers

Code of Conduct

Given the international nature of our operations, we engage and work with a wide variety of suppliers and partners. We recognise that a large majority of emissions are found throughout the supply chain and for this reason, we firmly believe that we are all responsible in addressing and encouraging sustainable behaviour and operations. We consider sustainability to be a core aspect of doing business, as it represents long-term continuity of both our business and of society as a whole. To assist with this, we have a supplier code of conduct in place. Within this code we aim to align our suppliers with our emphasis on reducing our carbon footprint through focusing on Environment, People, Customers, and Quality, our principles of sustainability.

Going beyond these principles, we outline the minimum expectations we have for our suppliers in terms of following international frameworks like the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights on Work (ILOD). We make sure to cover and request compliance on all important areas such as business integrity, labour practices, health and safety and environmental management. 

For all the contracts that we provide our suppliers, we ensure compliance and alignment to our vision by attaching our supplier code of conduct and ensuring that the supplier agrees with these requirements.

Our Approach to Supplier Audits 2022

As we continuously strive to achieve operational excellence while ensuring that we minimise our negative impact on our environment and society, it is important to have strict selection criteria alongside our supplier Code of Conduct, to ensure that our new and existing suppliers align with our priorities and vision. As part of this supplier checking process, we evaluate the following aspects: 

  • Strategic fit
  • Financial fit
  • Quality & sustainability
  • Legal fit
  • Cultural fit

We also make sure to conduct audits on our suppliers and track their standards and certifications, such as ISO14001 and ISO9001. Depending on the category and type of supplier, we conduct multiple audits a year concerning aspects such as business ethics, human rights, sustainability, and quality.

Supplier Reporting

The relationship with our suppliers is an extremely important factor in not only how we aim to run our business, but also how we cooperate with our network of stakeholders in collectively improving our sustainability efforts. We try our best to keep track of our achievements and progress, as well as those of our suppliers, in order to work towards shared progress and success in achieving a sustainable supply chain.

Total number of suppliers
Our strategic and preferred suppliers
80% of total spend
Sustainability at Samskip
Our People