Banco Santander S.A., London Branch –José Antonio Alvarez
Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Designated Activity Company–Brian Moynihan
Barclays Bank Plc – Jes Staley
BNP Paribas –Jean-Laurent Bonnafé
Citibank N.A.London–Mary McNiff
Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft –Martin Zielke
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank–Philippe Brassac
Danske Bank A/S – Chris Vogelzang
Deutsche Bank – Christian Sewing
Handelsbanken – Carina Akerstrom
HSBC France –Jean Beunardeau
MUFG – Kanetsugu Mike
Nordea – Frank Vang-Jensen
SEB – Johan Torgeby
Standard Chartered Bank – Bill Winters
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., London branch–Onur Genç
DNB Bank ASA – Kjerstin Braathen
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., Brussels branch–Chen Siqing
ING Bank – Ralph Hamers
J.P. Morgan Securities Plc – Chris Harvey
Mizuho Bank, Ltd. – Koji Fujiwara
Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited – James Gorman
Natwest Markets Plc–Robert Begbie
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation – Makoto Takashima
Société Générale–Frédéric Oudéa
Standard Bank South Africa Limited, Isle of Man branch-Lungisa Fuzile
Dear Sirs and Madams:
We are encouraged by what we see. In the world of sustainability, accountability is often in short supply. It is evident you want to change this notion and set the standard higher. Requiring that Maersk reduce their carbon emissions to realize the full potential of your credit facility is a great idea. You are doing your part to help the environment by pushing others to do the same.
While this is a commendable start, you will need to be mindful moving forward. There have been many mistakes made in efforts to improve the health of our planet and we fear that history is about to repeat itself. Besides from reducing carbon dioxide emissions, there has been a push to reduce sulfur oxide emissions in the shipping sector as well. To do so some shipping companies, including Maersk, are relying on scrubbers. This is proving to a be a terrible, misguided choice.
The trouble with scrubbers is that they are a big uncertainty. There is not enough credible evidence to assure their safety and effectiveness. Even the IMO recognizes this as an issue and is encouraging further study of the impact of scrubbers on the environment.
The information we do know about scrubbers, certainly gives us cause for concern. It is a fact, that for every ton of fuel burned by a ship using a scrubber, 45 tons of toxic washwater is released. This washwater has been shown to contain both carcinogens and heavy metals. Evidence suggests that this is harming not only to the marine environment, but to human health as well.
Take for example, this study conducted by Umwelt Bundesamt. Researchers combined data from multiple studies to examine the cumulative effects scrubber washwater can have. They found that scrubber washwater decreases pH and increases temperature, putting more stress on the already fragile marine environment.
There is also this study conducted by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Researchers found that scrubber discharges negatively impact vital functions in several marine organisms. This included copepods, a keystone species, that play a direct role in the marine food chain. It makes sense then that there is a growing fear that pollutants in the washwater are creeping into our food. In an internal, IMO-commissioned report, findings compiled from GESAMP show that these harmful substances can enter the food chain. If true, this poses a major threat to human health. Do you want to drink discharge water from a scrubber?
It is not often that an opportunity comes along where we can truly hold others accountable for their actions. You have this opportunity. Shipping companies, including Maersk, are endangering our planet and putting lives at risk, all to increase their profits. You have the power to change this. We urge you to pressure these companies into stopping the use of scrubbers. Like you did with the carbon emissions, you can make your credit facilities conditional on not using scrubbers. Scrubbers are a risk not worth taking!
The Environmental Protection Alliance