IKEA, Amazon, Philips, Nike and other giant companies that form Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA), invited shipping lines to submit bids for zero-emission shipping services, that will enable ZEMBA members to reduce supply chain emissions.

ZEMBA launched yesterday a Request for Proposals (RfP) for 600,000 twenty-foot containers (TEUs), over a three-year period, on ocean vessels powered by zero-emission fuels.

Through this tender, ZEMBA will help its member companies reduce nearly 1 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 215,000 cars off the road.

This RfP is the first major buyer-led initiative to accelerate the transition to zero-emission maritime fuels in one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize.    

ZEMBA was launched in March 2023 by the USA-based Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organisation, Amazon, Patagonia and Tchibo to fast-track commercial deployment of zero-emissions shipping services at scale, create a competitive market for these services, and help reduce emissions.

For this first tender, ZEMBA has secured more than 20 members, including Amazon, Bauhaus, Brooks Running, Chewy, Electrolux Group, Flexport, Green Worldwide Shipping, IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co., lululemon, Meta, Moose Toys, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Philips, Schneider Electric, Sport-Thieme and Tchibo.

The ZEMBA request for proposals is seeking bids for shipping services, from individual carriers or consortiums, that achieve at least a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels on a lifecycle basis.

ZEMBA will negotiate a “green premium” for the aggregated demand of its members. The green premium accounts for the added cost of operating a vessel using zero-emission fuels.

Final contracting will be bilateral between ZEMBA members and the winning bidder.

Additionally, as part of the RfP bidding process, ZEMBA is requesting vessel and fuel assurances from bidders.

The winning bidder will also be required to provide third-party verification of the emissions reduction ZEMBA members can claim.