COA Environmental Strategy

  • The COA supports any initiative that can potentially reduce the carbon footprint of container manufacture, use and disposal in a cost effective manner and enhance its environmental sustainability.
  • The COA encourages its members to source, operate and dispose of containers responsibly in line with this strategy.

Containers and the concept of containerization have many inherent environmental benefits.

  • they are reusable packaging,
  • they minimise the requirement of packaging for the goods carried in them,
  • they are a very efficient method of transporting goods, allowing easy transfer between ships, trains and trucks.
  • they have a long operating life, 12 – 15 years for marine use, up to another 20 years in their secondary use,
  • their secondary use for storage, temporary offices, housing, etc saves the use of new materials, which would otherwise have been used to make them, and
  • at the end of their lives, as they are mostly made of steel, they can readily be recycled.

The COA has, since its inception, promoted and circulated information on the development and use of alternative materials, which further reduce the environmental impact of the production and operation of containers:

  • The elimination of the use of tropical hardwood in the manufacture of container floors and the promotion of alternatives such as bamboo, bamboo hybrids, steel, a combination of steel/bamboo or plywood and plastic /composite.
  • The switch from the use of solvent to water borne paint and other materials such as sealant to reduce pollution during manufacture.

Environment Work Group
The COA supports initiatives to promote environmental sustainability in the container industry and work with manufacturers, component suppliers and depots to promote good environmental practice and to circulate information on new developments and ideas to its members and the wider container industry.

In pursuit of this strategy, the COA has formed an Environmental Work Group, which will communicate with COA Members. The Work Group will:

  • Actively seek out any developments that could be of interest to the COA memberships and circulate information about it.
  • Respond to any questions or enquiries from outside parties about the environmental strategy of the COA.
  • Respond to any enquiry about the COA environmental policy by promoting the many environmental benefits of the container industry as listed above.
  • Provide industry knowledge to companies/organisations promoting new ideas, materials and concepts that could support the sustainability of container manufacture and operation.
  • Introduce such companies/organisations to COA members or other parties that can assist them in the development of their ideas technically, operationally and financially.
  • Keep COA members updated with news ideas that may be of benefit to them to achieve their environmental targets.
  • Propose and develop specific new ideas to reduce the environmental impact of the use of containers – eg investigating ways of recycling or re-using flexitanks.

The COA WG cannot:

  • Invest in the development of any new ideas or materials
  • Formally endorse any idea, concept or product.