Pole Star, a maritime technology company, has partnered with carbon accounting solutions provider CarbonChain to integrate its emissions calculation tool for vessels into Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC platform.

Through the PurpleTRAC system, clients of Pole Star will be able to screen and track ships for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels as well as possible sanctions exposures in seconds, according to a release by Pole Star.

Launched in 2014, PurpleTRAC screens vessels and automatically checks them against global sanctions lists, enabling financial institutions and other trade players to better manage their exposure to non-compliance risks.

Factors used by CarbonChain to determine the sustainability level of ships are fuel consumption, cargo weight and voyage distance. “We’ve found similar vessels can have a circa five times difference in emissions,” Adam Hearne, CEO and co-founder of CarbonChain, tells GTR

When it comes to tracking the emissions of ships – which the company has done for more than 76,000 vessels – Hearne says that solution providers need to be “ahead of the curve”. “We need to help private sectors manage their own rating and reporting requirements before government departments do it for them.”

The importance of vessel ratings is compounded by industry bodies adding further regulation, investors increasing their exclusion lists, and financial institutions now offering incentives that demand attention from CFOs and treasurers, he adds.

Maritime transport is responsible for approximately 2.5% of global GHG emissions, according to a 2014 report by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN agency responsible for regulating shipping. The volume of GHG emissions in shipping could rise significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place, increasing by between 50% and 250% by 2050 in a mid-range scenario depending on future economic growth and energy developments.

In 2018, the IMO set out an ambition of reducing the shipping industry’s GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared with a 2008 baseline. It also aims to cut the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030 compared with the same baseline.

“Robust ESG reporting for shipping fleets needs to become easier,” says Hearne. “CarbonChain environmental performance data can now be delivered to existing users of Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC platform, meaning a single familiar interface for existing customers, and the option to extend their PurpleTRAC functionality to cover carbon emissions.”

“Sustainable trade finance is becoming essential for many of our banking and trading clients and is something we at Pole Star are very keen to promote and support,” says Simon Ring, head of financial markets compliance at Pole Star. “The alliance with Carbon Chain will enable us to incorporate vessel carbon ratings and sustainable trade reports in conjunction with our market leading sanctions compliance technologies PurpleTRAC.”