Understanding climate change: Hapag-Lloyd to support the “Seaexplorer” sailing project

Sailing the seven seas, collecting data for science, and explaining climate change to schoolchildren across the world: this is exactly what the team of the “Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco” does. Hapag-Lloyd is now supporting what is probably the best-known sailing team committed to sustainability, which is led by the German world-class skipper Boris Herrmann.

You might actually know a bit about the “Seaexplorer”, formerly known as “Malizia”, already: It is the sailing yacht that the Swedish environmentalist activist Greta Thunberg sailed on across the Atlantic emission-free to attend the UN Climate Conference in New York in August 2019. But there is more to know about it: On all of its voyages – including those to the Southern Ocean – the professional racing team works together with scientists and climate institutes. Their goal is to gain a better understanding of the role the oceans play for the world’s climate. What’s more, as part of its “Malizia Ocean Challenge” school initiative, the crew vividly conveys the knowledge they have gained to more than 5,500 children each year.

Boris will shortly set sail again for The Arctique Race on 4th July 2020 for a 10-12 day solo race starting in France, heading to Iceland, before going to the Azores and then back to France. He will be racing against 23 other boats, you can follow the race tracker here.  

Knowledge for all

Since August 2018, the 18-plus-metre “Seaexplorer” has been sailing with an ocean CO2 sensor on board. As part of a project jointly run with the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the crew sets out drift buoys during their voyages to collect measurement data. Working together with researchers from the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), they continuously measure and evaluate this data on their fully automated onboard SubCtech laboratory. The collected data is also transmitted to international databases. Plans now call for this exchange of climate change-related information to focus even more on coming up with concrete solutions. As part of this effort, the “Seaexplorer” team is expanding its network of collaborating organisations to include other companies. In addition to Hapag-Lloyd, its other partners in the logistics industry include Kühne + Nagel, MSC and CMA CGM. With this the boat has been renamed from “Malizia” to “Seaexplorer” due to the partnership with Kühne + Nagel and their new digital Seaexplorer platform. The platform visualises the carbon emissions of sea freight vessels worldwide and enables customers to choose the services based on CO2 emissions.  

Solutions for sustainable action


When it comes to our own sustainability-related activities, we have also set ambitious goals for ourselves. Compared to the reference year 2008, Hapag-Lloyd has reduced its specific CO2 emissions – meaning emissions per TEU/kilometre – by 50 percent. Since the beginning of the year, approximately 95 percent of the vessels in our fleet have been operating using low-sulphur fuel oils, which emit over 70 percent less sulphur oxides than the heavy fuel oil previously in use. We are working on developing even better solutions that go beyond what we are legally required to do. This year, as well, we will continue to focus on additional improvements, including technological and digital innovations as well as further reductions in the emissions of our fleet.


If you would like to learn more about the “Seaexplorer” project or Hapag-Lloyd’s commitment to sustainability, please click on the following links:

Sustainability Report

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