Flagship Founders’ latest start-up, zero44, helps shipping companies develop an optimal CO₂ strategy

Source: press release, 11 May 2022

zero44 Managing Directors and Co-Founders Nils Obermann and Friederike Hesse
zero44 Managing Directors and Co-Founders Nils Obermann and Friederike Hesse (photo: zero44)

Flagship Founders has announced its third start-up. zero44 helps shipping companies, ship managers and charterers monitor and control their fleets’ CO2 emissions to improve their carbon footprint and secure commercial success. Stringent new rules on emissions from 2023 will see carbon reduction become a key issue within the industry.

Shipping aims to reach carbon zero by 2050. However, global emissions are still rising instead of falling. Innovative, more efficient technologies and sustainable fuels are also not yet ready for immediate use. It will be decades before the entire world merchant fleet is replaced.

At the same time, pressure on industry players is growing. From 2023, the IMO is imposing stricter climate regulations. There are also plans to expand the European Emission Trading System (ETS) to the maritime industry, a move set to cost an extra one million euros per ship per annum on average. Shipping companies, ship managers and charterers need urgent solutions to future-proof their businesses and cut emissions quickly and consistently.

Carbon strategies for the best possible business results
When it comes to cutting emissions, zero44 helps customers make the best possible choices for their business. It intervenes in CO2 management at an early stage, using customised digital solutions to provide shipping companies with comprehensive, daily carbon reporting and offering concrete advice on future strategies. The commercial impact of the customer’s decision-making is illustrated, plus how they can optimise processes as a result. A range of parameters and options are analysed, including the duration and route of future voyages – two factors that impact carbon emissions substantially. The ship’s existing IMO rating is also used for calculations. Some cases may show the most economical alternative is to pay a surcharge for higher CO2 emissions – another scenario zero44 considers as part of its recommendation process. The company provides a full and comprehensive solution allowing shipping companies to future-proof their businesses quickly and efficiently.

“The shipping industry urgently needs solutions to become more sustainable – and not over the coming years or decades, but now,” explains Friederike Hesse, Managing Director and Co-Founder of zero44. “Climate change waits for no one. We need to find creative and long-term carbon reduction approaches we can rely on immediately, regardless of a ship’s classification, age or its technology. A lack of any comprehensive, satisfactory solutions is what prompted us to found zero44 in the first place. We want to help operators make these tough decisions and work with them to shape a more sustainable, resource-friendly global shipping industry. This is the only way to make the sector fit for the future.”

Flagship Founders’ third start-up
Fabian Feldhaus, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Flagship Founders is delighted with the new start-up. “Shipping needs to be fast now and become sustainable. As Flagship Founders, we are determined to contribute to this and have had our eye on the issue from an early stage. Talks with a range of industry players and experts have only confirmed what we already knew. Over the next 30 years, the drive towards carbon zero will be one of the biggest challenges this global industry has ever faced. New rules will mean every shipping company must scrutinise how they manage emissions. We need to consider the commercial impact of future legislation and optimise planning processes accordingly. The potential in this area is huge, we were able to validate this in the run-up to the founding. Our expertise in building digital business models is the perfect fit, so the decision was made to build and spin off zero44.”

At the helm of zero44 are Managing Directors and Co-Founders Friederike Hesse and Nils Obermann. In its current product development stage, the company is focussing on expanding their team and building customer relations. Software for the wider market is due to be launched later this year.