Amazon and IKEA are among the business users of container transportation that will switch to zero-carbon marine fuels by 2040, according to executives.
Global shipping contributes for approximately 3% of CO2 emissions, and the industry is under increasing pressure to become cleaner.
The effort, which was organized by the non-profit Aspen Institute and currently has nine signatories, including Unilever and Michelin, sets a target for corporations to acquire only ocean freight services powered by scalable zero-carbon fuels by 2040.
"Now is the time to act," said Edgar Blanco, Amazon's director of net-zero carbon.
Working with others was critical for creating ocean shipping fuel options, according to Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, sustainability manager, supply chain operations at Inter IKEA Group.
Due to a surge in demand for retail items, while people have been stranded at home due to lockdowns, container shipping prices have reached new highs in recent months, worsened by port disruptions, resulting in increased costs for cargo users.
The United Nations wants to cut the industry's GHG emissions by half by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, although there are growing proposals for a more ambitious goal of complete decarbonization by 2050.
A 50% reduction will necessitate the rapid development of zero or low-emission fuels as well as new ship designs.