May 17 - Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) has launched a new company policy which states that all vessels are to operate using fuel containing sulphur levels of less than 0.1 percent, or equivalent at berth, in all ports across the globe.

For the past 11 years, WWL has operated with a voluntary policy limiting the average fuel sulphur content to 1.5 percent, compared to the industry average of 2.7 - 3.5 percent, thereby avoiding the release of approximately 220,000 tonnes of sulphur into the atmosphere. To put this figure into perspective, it is comparable to the total amount of sulphur emitted in France in 2012, claims WWL.

The shipping line says that recent research has also clarified the impact of sulphur on human health as a cause of respiratory and cardiac problems. The 0.1 percent sulphur legislation in Emission Control Area (ECA) zones covering North America and the EU was created as are a response to this.

However, most ports around the world are not covered by such strict sulphur legislation, WWL adds. In the shipping line's case, 49 of the company's 79 main trading ports and 23 of the 24 ports called at occasionally lie outside these designated ECAs.

Anna Larsson, WWL's global head of sustainability explains: "Human life is worth the same everywhere. If WWL can follow a less than 0.1 percent sulphur limit at berth in one part of the world, we can adhere to the same in all ports. This way, we can significantly reduce WWL's impact on human health and environment where it matters the most."