The European ferry and logistics group says the alterations led to 370 fewer sailings in the year on the route between Northern Ireland and Scotland and a 3.6 per cent carbon reduction.
Overall, P&O Ferries reports it has reduced its carbon footprint by 85,000 tons by taking advantage of new partnerships to sail less frequently and maximise the efficiency of operations.
Peter Hebblethwaite, chief executive of P&O Ferries, said: “I am delighted that we have made outstanding progress in reducing our carbon footprint in 2022 and can promise that we shall do everything we can to eliminate another 40,000 tons from our operation in the next three years.
"The lion’s share of the reduction is attributable to our innovative space charter agreement signed with our competitor DFDS 18 months ago, whereby we make freight space on our Dover-Calais ships available to one another to maintain customer service levels on the route and ensure its continued resilience.
“We are determined to make P&O Ferries the best ferry company in Europe. That means: the best ships, the best routes and the best value for tourist and freight customers. I can assure everyone that a vital part of our plan for the future is reducing carbon emissions in cargo and logistics supply chains.”
The space charter agreement with DFDS means that P&O Ferries will sail 9,000 times on the English Channel in 2023, down from 16,000 times in 2019, the last comparable year. The agreement, the company adds, also reduces the time drivers spend waiting at the ports, giving them access to a departure every 36 minutes and reducing gate-to-gate journey times by an estimated 30 minutes.
In March of last year seafarers and unions staged demonstrations at the Port of Larne over the ferry company’s shock axing of 800 jobs. P&O Ferries faced a barrage of criticism at the time after it announced “a programme of work to become a more competitive and efficient operator”.
This year P&O Ferries will take delivery of two new super-ferries, which the company states will cut fuel use by 40 per cent through a combination of fuel and battery propulsion.