Our vessels navigate some of the most pristine and environmentally sensitive areas in the Pacific, including the Hawaiian Islands, U.S. coastlines from California to Alaska, and around the islands in the South Pacific. We are committed to protecting these areas by operating our business in an environmentally responsible manner.


Reducing GHG Emissions and Climate Change

Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.  It is causing historic weather events, sea level rise, and other disruptions that negatively impact local communities and threaten our global economy.

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We recently conducted a full greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and are using the results to evaluate how best to reduce our impact on climate change. To effectively reduce our GHG emissions, we are focused on investing in our fleet to improve vessel efficiency, using route optimization technologies, and investing in our terminal operations.


Improving Air Quality

Matson was an early adopter of “cold ironing,” which refers to the use of shoreside electrical power in port rather than burning diesel to keep our vessel engines running. We made modifications to our vessels serving ports in California and China to equip them to provide cold ironing, a move that is helping to reduce fuel and ultimately emissions.

Nine of 12 active vessels in our domestic fleet have exhaust gas cleaning systems, or “scrubbers,” that virtually eliminate particulate matter and sulfur from engine exhaust. In addition, our four newest vessels are equipped with dual fuel capable engines which can run at full power on low-sulfur fuel or liquefied natural gas.

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Our newest Kanaloa Class vessels have Tier III engines, which are designed to meet the strictest International Maritime Organization (IMO) NOx emissions standards. All of our vessels meet or exceed the dramatically reduced fuel tolerances of the IMO 2020 regulations.


Recycling Retired Ships Responsibly

Because of concerns about the negative impacts of ship recycling practices around the world, Matson’s policy expressly requires that its vessels sold for recycling be directed to environmentally responsible and safe recycling facilities.


Preventing Spills

Matson’s goal is zero significant spills. We strive to prevent all types of spills through a combination of comprehensive written procedures, training, and proactive maintenance of vessels and equipment to prevent spills. If a spill does occur, we activate our oil spill response plan.


Protecting Ocean Health and Biodiversity

To protect our oceans and safeguard marine life, we have implemented robust policies, procedures, and programs designed to properly manage waste and prevent ocean contamination.

In 1993, Matson became the first container vessel operator to adopt a zero solid waste policy . Our “Greentainer” program uses a revenue slot on every voyage for the collection of all non-food solid waste for transfer to recycling, waste to energy, or other environmentally regulated disposal facilities on shore. Other than food waste, this ensures that no solid waste aboard our vessels is thrown overboard. We are also reducing solid waste associated with our office and terminal operations.

Matson was a pioneer in installing ballast water treatment systems to prevent the spread of invasive species.


Industry Collaboration

Matson works in collaboration with partners on its emissions reduction and sustainability initiatives. For instance, we are a member of BSR’s Clean Cargo Group, a business-to-business leadership initiative involving major brands, cargo carriers and freight forwarders dedicated to reducing emissions and the environmental impacts of global goods transportation to promote responsible shipping. Our subsidiary, Matson Logistics, is a member of the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary collaboration between the EPA and the freight transportation industry designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.


For more information about our Environmental Stewardship Program, please see: