ESG strategy and governance

We must take active responsibility for the society and environment we operate in. While this has always been our core belief, our understanding of what active responsibility constitutes has changed over time. And never more than in the last few years.

Evolving our strategic approach

Working actively and strategically with all aspects of corporate risk and responsibility is a baseline requirement from our customers, investors, employees, regulators, civil society and other stakeholders – and their expectations are converging. Maersk is simultaneously undergoing its own transformation: from conglomerate to end-to-end logistics provider, from fossil fuel follower to green industry leader, and from technological conservative to digital frontrunner.

We launched our ESG strategy in early 2022. Building on many years of sustainability progress, our strategy today charts an even more ambitious course: it establishes ESG as core to our purpose and intrinsic to our strategy and operations.

Looking ahead, external expectations and regulatory reporting requirements will continue evolving, and new ESG landscapes are taking shape regionally and globally. We regularly review our material issues and strategic priorities to ensure alignment with regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectations and opportunities for impact. (See pages 13-14 in our 2023 Sustainability Report for more information).

Defining and working with our strategic priorities

Our ESG strategy is centred around three core commitments. These encompass areas our Executive Leadership Team has determined as strategic priorities within the environment, social and governance dimensions. Supporting KPIs and targets represent issues where Maersk can create the most significant impact due to our position, size and reach. This also makes them critical to the success of our business strategy.

Our full ESG framework comprises 14 categories covering all of Maersk's material sustainability responsibilities, risks and opportunities.

Our ESG governance framework

Overall governance of our ESG strategy is anchored in our Board of Directors and the Executive Leadership Team. Responsibility for actions across the 14 categories is anchored in line of business to ensure alignment with business priorities and a long-term focus on ESG. A sponsor from the Executive Leadership Team is assigned to each category ensuring continued ownership and leadership focus.

To facilitate oversight and support decision making for strategic dilemmas and risks through the year, ESG progress updates are provided to the ELT quarterly for our strategic KPIs and biannually across all 14 categories.

Ultimately, governance is anchored with the Board of Directors, that endorses the overall ESG strategy. Underlining the commitment to our ESG strategy, the Board of Directors has decided to link executive remuneration to key ESG targets from 2023.

In 2023, a new Board ESG Committee was established with the primary purpose of supporting the development of our ESG strategic direction, acting as a sounding board for the ELT and supporting the Board with strategy insights into specific ESG matters. This Committee meets quarterly to discuss selected deep dives on strategic topics throughout the year.

Maersk leadership team
Maersk's Executive Leadership Team, 2023

ESG in our central governance framework

Several ESG topics related to compliance are integrated into Maersk's central governance framework, Commit, which consists of 35 internal governance rules determining the goals and boundaries for our actions. Each rule has a designated owner in the organisation who is responsible for compliance reporting to the Risk and Compliance Committee.

Executive oversight of compliance with Commit is anchored in this committee, where three members of the Executive Leadership Team meet quarterly. The expectations of all employees on ESG compliance are described in the A.P. Moller - Maersk Code of Conduct.

Get a full overview of our internal governance framework on page 10 of our Sustainability Report.

Driving progress on our ESG priorities

For each of the strategy's core commitments, we have established supporting commitments and targets which steer our activities and enable our stakeholders to measure and hold us accountable for our performance.

All 14 categories and relevant sub-categories covered by our ESG strategy have defined ambitions, KPIs and metrics for reporting. See how we are translating our commitments into action.

Female farmer harvesting radish.

Sustainability Report 2023

Explore our progress on environmental, social and governance dimensions in our latest Sustainability Report.




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