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Eight leading companies pledge not to ship through the Arctic Ocean

Eight companies have moved towards sustainable ocean freight by signing the Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic Shipping Pledge.

By signing the pledge, leading logistics and retail companies have promised to forgo shipping goods via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) out of concern for the environment.

The new signatories are Allbirds, Artizia, Bureo, Hudson Shipping Lines, International Direct Packaging, Kuehne + Nagel​, Puma and Ralph Lauren.

They join global retailers such as Asos, H&M and Nike who signed the pledge when it first launched last year.

The NSR  between Europe and Asia can cut transit time by nearly 40% compared to traditional routes such as the Suez Canal.

Studies have revealed the impact of climate change on the Arctic marine environment due to polar ice melting.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2019 report card revealed the thickness of the sea ice has dramatically decreased.

“Arctic sea ice declined to its second-lowest summer extent on record, covering just 4.15 million square kilometers,” Ocean Conservancy stated.

“This same decline in sea ice has made the polar routes more appealing to shipping companies.”

Companies who have signed the pledge have committed to avoid sailing or sending their products through the Arctic’s trans-shipment routes.

They are also supporting the environmental and human safety of current and potential future Arctic shipping.

Ocean Conservancy reported that shipping accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“The dangers of trans-Arctic shipping routes outweigh all perceived benefits and we cannot ignore the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping on our ocean,” Ocean Conservancy CEO Janis Searles Jones said in a statement.

The pledge states that consumer goods and shipping companies will continue to explore ways to reduce emissions from global shipping.

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