Macquarie strongly supports the objectives behind the Poseidon Principles banking alliance targeting decarbonisation, but is not yet a signatory.

The mechanics of data collection related to the Poseidon project have been the sticking point to joining the signatories, according to Marc Hari, Macquarie's head of shipping finance.

"We are 100% committed to the objectives, as can be seen in the activities of the broader Macquarie Group," he told TradeWinds.

"We're not a [Poseidon] signatory to date, although that might change. Personally, I always hesitate becoming an early signatory of an organisation where how data is collected, analysed and reported usually is still in flux and needs significant refinement — that's the reason."

Under the Poseidon Principles, ships are monitored by shipping banks for their compliance with the International Maritime Organization's goals to halve shipping emissions by 2050.

Carbon cutting

So far, 27 leading banks have signed up to the Poseidon Principles, representing $185bn of ship finance.

Although Macquarie is not on that list yet, Hari pointed to the various decarbonisation-related products that have been developed elsewhere within the group, including what is believed to be the first carbon-neutral voyage arranged by a tanker pool.

As TradeWinds reported in July, leading pools operator Penfield Marine of Connecticut said it carried out the voyage in conjunction with the Macquarie Group’s commodities and global markets division.

The voyage involved the 158,400-dwt Seaways Hatteras (built 2017), a suezmax owned by New York-listed International Seaways.

The structure involves carbon offsets sufficient to cover the carbon footprint of an entire voyage, including the ballast leg and all in-port functions.

“We are very enthusiastic about the offset portfolio and appreciate Macquarie's leadership and insight into developing this offering for our tanker pools,” Penfield chief executive Tim Brennan said at the time.

Macquarie's ship finance business, which recently passed the $1bn mark, prides itself on its flexible approach to transactions.

It is not shy about financing older vessels, Hari said, at a time when some in lending circles see questions over how secondhand tonnage is banked.